Living with Algorithms workshop

Mike Duggan and I have convened a workshop which will take place in London tomorrow (9th June 2016) on the subject of Living with Algorithms. A couple of people have been unable to make it at short notice, which is a huge shame, but it now gives me the opportunity to present and get feedback on a new project I’ve been working on called {poem}.py.

I will blog about it more after the workshop… I don’t want to spoil the surprise! Outline and final program is as follows – it looks like it will be a really good day…

The Living with Algorithms workshop is sponsored by the RHUL Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security (CDT) and the Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC)

Workshop outline
It is clear that the spatial practices and experiences of the everyday are increasingly produced as configurations in which algorithms play a major part (Pasquale, 2015). Algorithms now permeate our daily lives in a huge variety of ways; from how we move, socialise, exchange money and goods, to how we engage politically, and even how we experience the world from the position of our embodied and corporeal selves. Amongst scholars from across the disciplines, Geographers have paid particular attention to the co-constitution of digital technologies and spatial practice (see Kitchin & Dodge, 2011; Leszczynski, 2015; Thrift & French, 2002) through detailing how algorithms, code and software increasingly come together to produce the spaces of everyday life. Yet there has been a lack of empirical attention to how this nexus is lived or experienced from the perspective of those living with it. As this field continues to develop we suggest that much more needs to be done here.
This workshop aims to bring together a series of short, provocative and critical papers of 5-10 minutes, which explore how everyday life, and the experiences of it, have been affected by the algorithms which increasingly come to produce them. In essence, we wish to use empirical examples to question:
–       What it means to live with algorithms in the context of everyday life?
–       In which ways do algorithms produce our daily practices?
–       What the pressing concerns of algorithmic living are? And why are they important now?
–       What is it specifically about algorithms that do work in the world, and how does this differ from the work of code, software and data?
In bringing together experts and doctoral students in this field for a round table discussion we seek to develop the notion that culture and technology are co-constituted in everyday practice by focusing specifically on the roles that algorithms play in everyday cultural practices. In the format of a day-long roundtable workshop based around a series of themes, we hope to begin to answer some of these questions.

Session One
Introduction from Mike Duggan
Pip Thornton, {poem}.py : A critique of linguistic capitalism
Sam Kinsley, An algorithmic imaginary: anticipation and stupidity
Philip Garnett, Vectorising the human
Andreas Haggman, In defence of imperfection

Session Two
Kui Kihoro Mackay, Black Twitter and Becky with the good
Olga Goriunova, The algorithmic production of the visual common
Carl Anthony Bonner-Thompson, No camp, no fem: masculinities,
sexualities and embodiment across Grindr
Lee Mackinnon, Emotion, emoticon, calculability
Andrew Dwyer, The kiss of death: an algorithmic curse

Session Three
James Ash, Digital interfaces and debt: algorithms and mobile
Clancy Wilmott, From coordinates to code: algorithms in everyday
mobile mapping practices
John Morris, Are my savings safer under the mattress? what do
algorithms tell me about the health of my bank?
Nat O’Grady, Technologising techniques of emergency governance
Sam Hind, Crypto-cartography and the pragmatics of forgetting


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