The Radical Outside
CRITICAL THINKING OF TECHNOLOGY: The Radical Outside | Fall 2017
Instructor: Morehshin Allahyari | http://morehshin.com | email@example.com Class Times: Tuesdays at 10am Class Location: School for Poetic Computation | http://sfpc.io/ @sfpc_school | https://twitter.com/sfpc_school | 155 Bank St, New York, NY 10014 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2-5pm
This is a theory course for critical thinking of technology through the lens of activism, politics, and the 'outside'; to think and create beyond technology for technology's sake; to ask difficult questions; to read, learn, and engage in technology as a field of contemporary art practices and theories, as well as art historical systems. What will separate this course from many others is a collective effort (by all of us) for 'reflective thinking'; to not find comfort in how - up to this very day - the story of technology is told to us; by which figures and which systems. I hope that together we can build a new library of critical thinking and reading; written and processed by women (+LGBT) and POC. This is a collaborative course for interrupting and re-building.
Expectations and Structure
- Each week, two or three students from the class will present that week's readings. We will focus on a combination of historical and contemporary text.
- Read all the material and come prepared to discuss it in depth. Please bring other resources, authors and artists that you find relevant. Please see here for presentation guidelines.
- Blog weekly about the readings and your thoughts. Think critically and post something that questions, criticizes, endorses, and/or adds to the reading or find other related material or resources that can juxtapose or compare the reading to something else you find relevant.
- Participation in class discussions for readings, material that we watch in class, giving feedback to your peers is essential.
- As this is primarily a discussion-based class, let's have all phones off. Best policy for laptop use: guidelines
- Classroom hygiene
- Best policy for speaking up, listening in
Schedule (Please keep an eye on the schedule in this document every week). This is under construction and will be changed throughout the course. Please feel free to give feedback.
Week 1 - Introduction to Critical Thinking and Re-Figuring
Tuesday, September 12, 10am
Artist talk (introduction by Morehshin): On Digital Colonialism, Re-Figuring, and Monstrosity What is critical thinking? Introduction to students How can this be applied to technology? In class we'll watch “All Watched Over by Machines of Love and Grace” and discuss the goals for the class. Introduction by Melanie Hoff: Melanie will talk about her work and current research around algorithms as ubiquitous, underlying systems of behavioral regulation as well as the need to ethically regulate algorithms themselves.
Week 2 - Who owns what history? On Singularities, Silicon Valley, and Futures (Plural)
Tuesday, September 19, 10am
- Readings Due (post one paragraph response in the directory named week_2_assignment/) Do Artifacts Have Politics? Author(s): Langdon Winner
In Class Morehshin: Introduction to Singularities and Futures
Presentation by Matthew Ortega
- A Brief History of Women in Computing by Faruk Ateş
- BBC documentary : Calculating Ada - The Countess of Computing 2015
Presentation by Amit Runchal
- The Californian Ideology by Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron
- Technology, the Faux Equalizer by Adrienne Lafrance
- Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents by Ellen Ullman
- “The Singularity is dear” - the Cybertwee Manifesto
- Vernor Vinge singularity
- Her - white singularity
“A singularity is a point in space-time of such unfathomable density that the very nature of reality is brought into question. Associated with elusive black holes and the alien particles that bubble up from quantum foam at their event horizon, the term ‘singularity’ has also been co-opted by cultural theorists and techno-utopianists to describe moments of profound social, ontological, or material transformation—the coming-into-being of new worlds that redefine their own origins. By reflecting on Afrofuturism and digital colonialism, they will also question narcissistic singularities of ‘I,’ ‘here,’ and ‘now’, counter the rhetoric of technological utopias, and confound principles of human universality.” Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke
Week 3 - Art, design, and activism
Tuesday, September 26, 10am
- Readings Due (post one paragraph response in the directory named week_3_assignment/) On Art Activism by Boris Groys
- Upload your presentations to student_presentations/
- Art Activism and politics: Ideology, Confrontation and Political Self-Awareness By Adrian Piper
The Transversal and the Invisible: How do you really make a work of art that is not a work of art? - Presentation by Fernando
Disobedient Objects by Catherine Flood, Gavin Grindon - Presentation by April
Abolish Borders as Revolutionary Futurity By Carlos Jackson - Presentation by Ying Quan Tan [slides]
Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves - Click "Download pdf" link
Week 4 - Poetry, language, and memory
Tuesday, October 3, 10am
Writing Assignmnet Due: Future Proof (See here for Instruction)
- Readings Due (You don't need to post a response for this reading. Instead see above for writing instructuon for this week's assignment)
Digital culture, memory, South America Presentation by Guillermo Montecinos
What is Media Archeology? by Jussi Parikka- Chapter 6 and 7 - Presentation by Stacy
- The Right to be forgotten AND Remembered- Presentation by Colin
Week 5- Other Futurisms (Cyberfeminism, Aforfuturism, Gulf-Futurism/Ethnifuturisms)
Tuesday, October 10, 10am
- Assignment Due (Building a Library Together). See more here and please put your materia in your own folder created for you here.
Guest Speaker: Salome Asega
Salome Asega is an artist and researcher. She is the co-host of speculative talk show Hyperopia: 20/30 Vision on bel-air radio and the Assistant Director of POWRPLNT, a digital art collaboratory. Salome has participated in residencies and fellowships at Eyebeam, New Museum, and the Laundromat Project, and has given presentations at New Inc, Performa, Eyeo, and Gather Festival. Salome teaches in the MFA Design and Technology program at Parsons at The New School and is a Technology Fellow at the Ford Foundation.
Suggested Material from Salome Asega
Ann (feminism) A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway
Week 6 - Privacy and Surveillance
Tuesday, October 17, 10am
Please post a short reading response from one of the below readings (post one in the directory named week_6_assignment/)
Guest Speaker: Sarah Aoun Bio: Sarah is a data activist, operational security trainer, and programmer. Her work lies at the intersection of tech, human rights, and transformative justice. She’s collaborated with activists, journalists, grassroots social movements, and NGOs in the US and MENA region on digital security, ethical data & privacy, and data-driven storytelling. Sarah grew up in Lebanon and holds a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University.
Suggested Material from Sarah Aoun
I - History, Colonialism, Empire
chapt 2, page 42
II - Algorithms, Surveillance
III - Additional Reading
Diego Choose a topic from [here] or/and one of the above readings suggested by Sarah above (https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/research)
Kaitlin Choose this Gendering Surveillance. or/and one of the above readings suggested by Sarah above
Week 7 - Digital Colonialism
Tuesday, October 24, 10am
Readings Due (You don't need to post a response for this reading. But still read it? Yeah?)
Morehshin Intro on Digital Coloniasm + 3D Scanning + Cultural Heritage
- Heather Moore
Linear Time + History
- Matt Jacobson
Week 8: Manifestos for the Internet Age
Tuesday, November 1, 10am
Week 9 - Podcast Audio-Finalizing Session
Tuesday, November 7, 10am
In class session for Editing the audio for the podcast. Finalizing ideas for Listening Room installation.
Week 10 - Final Class
Tuesday, November 14, 10am