November 13, 2013, by ajzeg
An interdisciplinary conference on technology & resistance
University of Nottingham
Thursday 8th May & Friday 9th May, 2014
The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another:
Oxford English Dictionary, 2013
We are now living in a frictionless economy in which money, jobs and products can move around the world in the blink of an eye. And yet we have not moved to a frictionless society. Rather, many of the technologies that support the frictionless economy create various forms of friction in society. Taking a lead from the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Critical Theory’s Technology and Resistance research strand, we are interested in proposals for papers and workshops that explore the concept/metaphor of ‘friction’ as a starting point for exploring the relationship between everyday technologies and resistance; with resistance understood in both a politically empowering and an inhibitory sense. On the one hand, we’re interested in modes of organised resistance: of activist movements making use of, or reacting against, technological developments. However we’re concerned with resistance in a second sense: of technologies resisting their intended function, breaking down, being exploited by hackers or triggering unexpected socio-economic complications.
We invite people to use the concept of ‘friction’ as a route into exploring these themes, with potential topics for discussion including (but not limited to):
- Data and ethics
- Cultural shifts relating to the capture of data
- The vulnerability of software to hacking and surveillance
- Resistance to surveillance and data harvesting
- Activist uses of data, particularly the circulation of leaked material
- The politics of hacking
- The exploitation of ambiguity in software design by hackers
- Activist and everyday contestations of technological developments
- The sociological and cultural factors required for technologies to ‘work’
- Everyday and/or activist reappropriations of technology
- Tensions between new technologies and existing infrastructures
We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers, including academics from Geography, Business, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies and Media & Communications: so we welcome a diverse range of perspectives and approaches to this theme.
Current workshop themes include: evil media; data, digital leaks and political activism; hacklabs and artistic uses of data.
With workshops led by: Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey; University of Leicester Technology Group; Jen Birks and John Downey; and Rachel Jacobs (Active Ingredient).
Further workshops and keynotes to be confirmed
We encourage interactive presentation formats, and will allocate longer time-slots to workshops to accommodate these, but also have space for shorter 20 minute position papers.
Deadline for proposals: 20th January 2014
If you are interested in participating please submit a 250 word proposal for a workshop or paper, along with your name and current email address, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also feel free to contact us with more general enquiries, follow the Centre for Critical Theory’s Twitter account @criticaltheory or keep checking our blog for further updates.