activities

Workshop Re-Figuration of Cyberspace – SFB 1265, Berlin

This workshop, organized by the project B02 „Control/Space“ at the Collaborative Research Center 1265 at TU Berlin, explores different spatial changes and dynamics of the Internet infrastructure using the notion of refiguration, which presents a concept of tensions between four key spatial figures and spatial logics: the place, the territory, the network, and the route. These tensions allow for the explanation of key conflicts in contemporary modernity. Conference book with full programme available.

Maxigas (critical infrastructure lab): Media ecologies, infrastructures and environments: Infrastructure walk as a methodological approach

Or, things we learned from infrastructure walks.

The critical infrastructure lab held a series of “infrastructure walks” in
Amsterdam and Berlin, exploring the visibility of digital infrastructures
deployed in public spaces. I situate the methodological approach in
relation to other practices addressing key conflicts in contemporary urban
life that immerse observers within the spatial figures and spatial logics
of urban radioscapes. Subsequently, I highlight the methodological
advantages of the infrastructural walk compared to similar approaches.
Then, I report on the empirical and theoretical results obtained from the
walks. In short, the infrastructure walk experience is a good basis for
rethinking the key concepts of media infrastructures, media environments
and media ecologies.

Industrial standards can be mobilised as an analytical grid to structure
the urban experience of radioscapes. The insights thus generated
correspond to counter-mapping the spatial control exercised over and
through the electromagnetic spectrum in urban spaces. Such work exposes
the reconfiguration of power relationships in the city through emerging
technologies and legacy protocols. Infrastructure walks address the
question of what media technologies may mean “after all”, that is in the
context of the life world, lived experiences and action possibilities of
end users as embodied citizens.

Slides download

activities

Digital Materialities and Infrastructural Futures in Smart Cities: hands-on research day

Hands-on research day about smart cities with Maxigas from the critical infrastructure lab for qualitative and quantitative researchers. Featuring datasets on programmable infrastructures such as 5G and its implementation in the OpenRAN software/hardware project. Discuss and analyse how infrastructural ideologies materialise in code bases, critique and propose alternative infrastructural futures!

Feel free to drop by any time.

friday 24 november 2023, 12:00 – 16:00

deakin downtown, melbourne, australia

activities

Common Sovereigns: amidst digital infrastructures

Keynote at symposium organised by Deakin University’s Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces research group in Melbourne, Australia. Take a closer look at how our interactions with digital technologies are shaped by the common ‘sovereigns’ that construct the infrastructures of daily life!

“Featuring a keynote by Maxigas of the Critical Infrastructure Lab, and bringing together bright emerging voices researching the social and political implications of contemporary digital technologies, this symposium will examine what matters across diverse topics such as the platformisation of music culture, new ways of understanding digital territories, hearing technologies driving health and wellbeing economies, and the feminist technoscience of humanitarian labour.”

View the program

Wednesday 22 November 2023, 09:00 – 14:00

Deakin Downtown, Melbourne, Australia

activities

Do labs have politics?

Join Maxigas in discussing the role of academic labs in bringing about desired futures. The “science shop” movement pioneered in the Netherlands directly linked academic institutions with social movements to counterbalance techniques of management tied to capital. These moves have reverberated through the growth of ‘labs’ of science technology and society with normative goals. The Citizens Lab (U of T), Critical Infrastructures Lab, and in some ways ADM+S, reflect modes of thinking through ways to affect wider cultural, political, technological changes, with the limited capacities and budgets of public academic modes of engagement. We ask what do the examples of working in an academic setting with an institutionalised mandate for social change map to, feel like, and what can we learn from them? If you’d like join discussion and reflection on the continuing evolution of ‘labs’ please mail Luke.h@Deakin.edu.au .

Monday 20 November 2023, 12:00 – 13:30

Deakin Downtown, Melbourne, Australia

https://www.admscentre.org.au/event/do-labs-have-politics/

activities

Open panel “Overcoming Sociotechnical Imaginaries: Infrastructural ideologies and materialities?” at 4S conference, Hawaii

Open panel at the annual meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, the professional society of Science and Technology scholars.

The concept of sociotechnical imaginaries is very popular in STS research, yet we suggest that has reached the limits of its explanatory powers. Sociotechnical imaginaries insufficiently account for power imbalances in the design, standardisation, production, and maintenance of infrastructures and their governing institutions. To overcome this problem, we invite contributions that foreground power and technological materiality, and do not solely, or mainly, take identities, opinions, and visions as a starting point for arguments. Technological materialities are not merely a reflection of aligned interests, expertises, or identities. Material affordances of technology can subvert the influence of actors. Such a process is not necessarily intentional, but can emerge in the use and maintenance of a technology. The concept of ideology can explain who exerts power, how such power is exerted and subverted, and what is at stake in social conflicts around material configurations. We build on Althusser and Humphrey in saying that ideology is not simply a linguistic phenomenon; it also appears in material structures, discourses, institutions, and practices. We want to further explore what this notion can do to explain how social conflicts are articulated through struggles over shaping materiality, often under the guise of a (co-)production process. We call for contributions from researchers who are interested in exploring conceptual frameworks that can better account for the role of materiality and power in the social conflicts around technological innovation, standardisation, deployment, and maintenance, including but not limited to renewed interest in ideology as a conceptual framework.