[-empyre-] Critical Making in International Networks

Jentery Sayers (UVic English) jentery at uvic.ca
Wed Apr 23 09:06:48 EST 2014

Indeed, thank you, Tim and Renate, for including us. All of us here at 
UVic really appreciate the gesture.

Where the intersections of making and the humanities are concerned, 
we're exploring the ways in which forensic techniques can be creatively 
repurposed to blur the indexical relationships between data traces and 
subjects. Here, you might consider movements such as the Quantified Self 
(http://quantifiedself.com/) that are anchored in rendering subjects 
fitter, healthier, or more productive by gathering data about their 
everyday activities. From one perspective, such paradigms reduce 
embodied practices to abstract information, often through the gamified 
alienation of labor (as data). But they also work to locate and 
articulate subjects through data in the aggregate, taking activity 
across a variety of venues (online or off) and then attributing it to, 
say, a single address, handle, or name. In short, they demand norming 
and disambiguation. For these systems to be effective, you cannot be 
ambivalent or many. You must correspond with a sort of fingerprint for 
your networked activities.

In response, at HASTAC 2014, we're playing with the "evidentiary value" 
of data and objects, or the ways in which they invite and store 
information about people's embodied activities. In the next day or two 
(as the four of us travel to Lima), we'll further explain what we mean 
by this sort of experimentation. For now, tho, we're just curious to 
hear if any of you is conducting work in forensics or related fields, 
including physical computing, media archaeology, biometrics, computer 
vision, and predictive modeling. If so, then how does the articulation 
of subjects function (if at all) in your work? How and to what effects 
are you producing and expressing data traces?

More from each of us soon. Thanks again!



Jentery Sayers
Assistant Professor, English + Cultural, Social, and Political Thought
Director, Maker Lab in the Humanities | University of Victoria
jentery at uvic.ca <mailto:jentery at uvic.ca> | @jenterysayers 
<https://twitter.com/jenterysayers> | maker.uvic.ca 
<http://maker.uvic.ca/> | jenterysayers.com <http://www.jenterysayers.com/>

On 2014-04-21, 8:31 PM, Katie McQueston wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi everyone!
> Thanks Tim for including me!
> I'm Kaitlynn McQueston and I'm feeling very grateful to be involved in 
> this discussion with all of you. The posts so far have been very 
> interesting to me.
> The UVic MLAB makerspace (Jentery, Shaun and Nina) and I will be 
> staging an interactive project touching on ergonomics and digital 
> forensics.You will hear more about the details from the rest of the 
> MLab, I'm sure. I am especially excited about the juxtaposition of 
> interactive digital networks with free workshops on the material 
> skills of mold making. Mold making, being the predominant mode of 
> production of almost all our objects and technology housings including 
> ceramics, foundry work, plastics, glass works, etc. We found it 
> important to encourage this type of investment in material 
> skills/understandings alongside the programing, software, networking 
> and data interpretation as these two technologies are inseparable and 
> inform each other by necessity.
> Having been introduced to critical making quite recently, a lot of my 
> understanding of critical making is from a Visual Arts standpoint. My 
> artistic interests are in rooted in Labour issues, architecture 
> (Anarchitecture), and feminism.
> I find critical making, (demanufacturing in particular), much like 
> craft, skilled trades and contemporary art can be a tool for 
> empowerment which destabilizes authority and industrialization.
> (A real example of this could be the strength of Gandhi's civil rights 
> movement coming from people making their own salt and spinning their 
> own wool.)
> Looking forward to hearing more from the other folks in the discussion!
> Best
> Katie
> http://kaitlynnmcqueston.com/
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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