[-empyre-] Critical Making in International Networks

Losh, Elizabeth elosh at ucsd.edu
Thu Apr 24 06:05:28 EST 2014

Delighted to be part of the contingent talking about Critical Making in International Networks, as I sit in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight to HASTAC in Peru.  Michael Simeone raised some important issues about "making decisions" earlier in the month, and of course my own thinking in the Virtualpolitik book has been shaped by the Latour and Weibel exhibition and book about "making things public."

In the context of work going on at UCSD as we approach the “Hemispheric Pathways” theme of HASTAC, I often think about conversations with my colleague Teddy Cruz about the flows of people, products, ideas, and resources in both directions across the US-Mexico border.  

For those who don’t know Cruz’s work on the list, I offer this report back from Cruz’s extraordinary conference Political Equator 3 to help you get acquainted with it: http://ucsota.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/political-equator-3-report-back-from-liz-losh/.  Part of the conference actually took place in the middle of a normally deserted no-man’s-land that was under constant patrol of Homeland Security forces.  There were a number of particularly memorable examples of critical making highlighted, including a detailed 3D topographic model of the border landscape in which we had assembled.  

Political Equator set a pretty high bar for an unforgettable conference, but I am hopeful that this year’s HASTAC will facilitate vivid encounters with how we “make things public” and “make decisions” by activating new kinds of discourses between the Global North and Global South.  I’m thrilled to be organizing two panels this year, one on “Hemispheric Hacktivism” with Joan Donovan of UCSD, Micha Cárdenas of the University of Southern California, Kyra of the Free Software Foundation, and Isabel Restrepo, Universidad de Antioquia, and one with my longstanding FemTechNet collaborators: CL Cole, TL Cowan , Jasmine Rault, and Radhika Gajjala, (who will participate remotely, because of a family emergency).   

Both HASTAC panels are explicitly cyberfeminist, although one focuses more on hacking conventional political imaginaries around e-government, and the other focuses more on hacking conventional structures of e-learning.  I’ll report back on our discussions later in the week and hope to hear your comments, so we can incorporate in framing these events in advance as well.  I am looking forward to learning more about hacktivism and tactical media activism from new colleagues in Peru and excited about collaborating with those interested in or already teaching courses on feminism and technology in Latin America to see how we can work on content-creation that reverses the flow of conventional North-South MOOC instruction.   

Elizabeth Losh
Director of Academic Programs, Sixth College
Culture, Art, and Technology Program
249 Pepper Canyon Hall
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0054
(858) 822-1666
lizlosh at ucsd.edu

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