IMAGINATIONS: Introducing Location and Dislocation: Global Geographies of Digital Data (with Alix Johnson)

 

 

INTRODUCING LOCATION AND DISLOCATION: GLOBAL GEOGRAPHIES OF DIGITAL DATA

Alix Johnson | UCSC

Mél Hogan | University of Calgary

INTRODUCING LOCATION AND DISLOCATION: GLOBAL GEOGRAPHIES OF DIGITAL DATA

The contributions to this issue of Imaginations address the relationship between digital data and physical place. How is the economy of data storage organized in and across communities, regions, nations, and states? How does the industry reprise old relationships and forge new ones? How are boundaries and borders inscribed and encountered by users and creators along the way? How is information technology (IT) infrastructure built into environments, shifting social and natural terrain? By foregrounding spatial relations and infrastructures, these essays draw connections between globalized geographies of media distribution and localized impacts of IT on the ground.

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5 Designing Media Ecology, issue 6 – The Anthropocene and Our Post-natural Futures

Rather than a consilient concept, the Anthropocene is a well debated set of narratives that speaks to myriad views about the growing tensions between Human and Nature. Scholars, activists, and artists alike are decrying the abuses of our current geological era that are leaving the planet in an increasingly disturbed state. The dual question of perpetration and perpetuation is at the heart of where we currently find ourselves in the Anthropocene: Who or what exactly is to blame for it? What are its origin stories? What roles do capitalism and imperialism play in climate change and global warming? Whose voices matter in environmental and economic policy? What, if anything, is to be salvaged of our ever expanding media ecologies? And finally, how does risk become the currency of progress?

 

CFP: LOCATION AND DISLOCATION: MAPPING GEOGRAPHIES OF GLOBAL DATA

LOCATION AND DISLOCATION:
MAPPING GEOGRAPHIES OF GLOBAL DATA

Information infrastructures are often described as immediate and immaterial – imaginations encoded in familiar metaphors like “wirelessness” and “the cloud.”  The advent of cloud computing, which makes it possible to process and store data at great distance from its source, would seem to epitomize these ideals. But as critical media scholars have demonstrated, distributed computing does not do away with, but only shifts sociotechnical arrangements: data centers and fiber-optic cables; capital, corporations, and environmental impacts. As some places emerge as “hubs” for computational resources, data’s physical footprint is felt in local labor practices, land usage, energy politics, and the presence of so-called “server farms.”  Thus while cloud computing has been said to make IT infrastructure invisible, for some it is brought ever more sharply into focus as natural, social, and political landscapes are rearranged.

In this  special issue of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies we invite papers and visual representations that engage this relationship between digital data and physical space.  In doing so we aim to make such networks freshly visible: their felt presence, analytical purchase, and physical form.  By investigating computation as it is emplaced and embodied, we hope to explore and illuminate connections between globalized geographies of new media distribution and localized impacts of IT on the ground.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • IT’s ecological entanglements, including environmental impacts
  • Aesthetics and design of data storage
  • Topologies and ideologies of data movement
  • IT infrastructure’s strategic in/visibility
  • Colonial, capitalist, and other histories that underpin arrangements of digital data today
  • Place-based labour in the IT industry

Submission guidelines

Imaginations invites several types of contributions on an ongoing basis:

1)  Research articles (3000-6000 words with 2-20 images, or video of no more than 20 minutes in length.) in either English or French. Publication in other languages is also sometimes possible;

2) Feature artist contribution with accompanying interview. (contents of online installation of feature artist’s work vary and are negotiable);

3)  Comparative book review (1500-3000 words with a minimum of 2 quality images);

3) Reviews of art shows, performance pieces, installations, political events, and scholarly books—with visual cultural content (500 words with a minimum of 1 image, taken by the author if necessary). These are not peer-reviewed and are published Elicitations, the reviews section of Imaginations. For more details, contactElicitations editor Tara Milbrandt: Tara Milbrandt <milbrand@ualberta.ca>
If you are interested in conducting a dialogue with a feature artist, writing a comparative book essay/review, or reviewing art installations on topics related to this themed issue, please be in touch with the guest editors as soon as possible, but by October 20th, 2016 at the latest.

To submit a research article, please submit an abstract of 250 words by October 20th, 2016. Full essays will be due February 1st. Publication is tentatively scheduled for fall 2017. With the full essays, please also include a 100 word abstract and a 100 word bio and send images separately (as high quality 300 dpi files), with lesser quality images embedded as placeholders in the submission.

In keeping with Imaginations’ mandate, papers must include visual content that is dealt with as part of the construction of the paper, rather than as a decorative supplement. (This is also important for publication under fair dealing agreements). On the journal website, you can read more about Imaginations’ mandate as an international, SSHRC funded, peer-reviewd journal that adheres to the highest standards in open access publication—free to submit to and free to read: http://imaginations.csj.ualberta.ca/?page_id=6473

 

Abstracts and full submissions should be sent to both guest editors and copied to the journal: Alix Johnson ((University of California, Santa Cruz) albajohn@ucsc.edu Mél Hogan (University of Calgary) mhogan@ucalgary.ca and imaginations@ualberta.ca. Subject line should read “location and dislocation // [submission type].”


LIEUX ET DISLOCATIONS DES LIEUX:
CARTOGRAPHIER LA GÉOGRAPHIE DE L’INFOMATIQUE MONDIALISÉE

Les infrastructures du monde de l’information sont souvent décrites comme immédiates et immatérielles et sont souvent représentées par les images du nuage informatique ou de la connection sans-fil. L’avènement de l’infonuagique semble incarner ces idéaux, qui fait en sorte qu’il est devenu possible de traiter et entreposer des données à distance. Mais comme l’ont démontré les recherches dans le domaine des médias, la désincarnation de l’informatique ne fait que déplacer les configurations socio-techniques comme les centres de données et les câbles à fibres optiques, ainsi que les capitaux, les corporations, et les impacts environnementaux. Certains endroits apparaissent comme des centrales (des hubs) pour les nouvelles ressources informatiques. Par conséquent l’empreinte physique des données se fait ressentir à travers les politiques locales, en terme de consommation d’eau et d’énergie par exemple, ainsi que par la présence de ces constructions immenses et étalées qu’on a surnommées aux États-Unis des server farms. L’infonuagique rend ainsi les infrastructures de communications encore plus visibles. On peut également avancer qu’elle met davantage en relief les impacts politiques, sociaux et environnementaux de l’informatique aujourd’hui.

Ce numéro spécial de Imaginations: Revue d’études interculturelles de l’image a pour objectif de rendre l’invisibilité de ces réseaux visibles dans tous les sens du terme, autant dans l’exposition des imaginaires culturels déficients auxquels ils se rattachent, que dans la critique des discours théoriques qui effacent leurs réalités matérielles en mettant une emphase hyperbolique sur leurs qualités virtuelles. Nous souhaitons recevoir des propositions de contributions savantes et/ou de représentations visuelles qui portent un regard critique sur cette relation entre les données numériques et leurs infrastructures et espaces physiques à notre époque. En étudiant comment l’informatique s’incarne et se concrétise aujourd’hui, nous visons à explorer et à éclairer les connexions entre les géographies mondialisées et la distribution socioculturelle des nouveaux médias.
Nous considérerons les articles ou représentations visuelles qui portent sur la matérialité de l’informatique et ses infrastructures, incluant:

  • Les enchevêtrements écologiques auxquels elles donnent lieu, y compris les impacts environnementaux impliqués.
  • L’esthétique et le design des centres de données.
  • Les topologies de la circulation des données, avec les discours idéologiques qui s’y rattachent.
  • Les stratégies de mise en visibilité / invisibilité des infrastructures informatiques.
  • Le colonialisme, le capitalisme, et autres perspectives politico-historiques qui précèdent et sous-tendent les configurations des données numériques aujourd’hui.
  • Le travail en tant qu’il s’enracine dans l’industrie informatique aujourd’hui.

Consignes aux auteurs :

Imaginations sollicite  la soumission de plusieurs types de travaux:

  1. Articles scientifiques (3000-6000 mots comportant au moins 3  images de qualité);
    2. Œuvres d’un artiste en vedette, accompagnées d’une entrevue. (le contenu de l’installation en ligne de l’artiste peut varier et est négociable);
    3. Critique littéraire comparative (1500-3000 mots accompagnés d’au moins 2 images de qualité);
    4. Critiques d’expositions d’art, de performances artistiques, d’installations, d’évènements politiques et de livres savants comportant un contenu visuel (500 mots contenant au moins une image prise par l’auteur si besoin). Si vous souhaitez soumettre la courte critique  d’un évènement ou d’une publication, veuillez contacter l’éditrice d’Elicitations, Tara Milbrandt: milbrand@ualberta.ca

Suivant le mandat de la revue, peuvent contenir des images. Nous invitons les chercheurs, mais aussi les artistes et commissaires d’exposition à soumettre texte ou intervention. Il est recommandé aux artistes et aux commissaires d’exposition d’accorder leur travail pratique avec les exigences de la recherche académique. De même, les chercheurs universitaires sont invités à inclure du matériel visuel à leurs textes afin d’enrichir leurs analyses.

Veuillez soumettre votre résumé pour le 20 octobre 2016 et votre texte pour le 1 février 2017 à
Alix Johnson ((University of California, Santa Cruz) albajohn@ucsc.edu
Mél Hogan (University of Calgary) mhogan@ucalgary.ca et
Imaginations imaginations@ualberta.ca.

Votre soumission doit accompagnée d’un résumé de 100 mots et d’une notice bio-bibliographique de la même longueur. Veuillez joindre vos images haute résolution (300-dpi) séparément et les inclure dans le texte. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez consulter imaginations.csj.ualberta.ca

CFP: http://imaginations.csj.ualberta.ca/?page_id=8695

Wi: Mobile Trash (Edited by Hogan and Zeffiro)

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Data Flows and Water Woes: An Interview With Media Scholar Mél Hogan

Data Flows and Water Woes: An Interview With Media Scholar Mél Hogan

Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about the nature of the digital surveillance state opened a floodgate of public debate about unwarranted mass surveillance using big data and metadata. Indeed, the very word “metadata,” once the arcane jargon of data jockeys and digital librarians, entered common parlance, thanks to its centrality to arguments over just how meaningful and information-rich such data could be. The subsequent revelations have shown how privacy and freedom are inextricably tethered to discourses of national security which are in turn anchored in large scale, dislocated, material infrastructures. In spite of these close interrelations, such connections frequently remain obscure and hidden away from public view – and understanding.

In this contribution to BD&S, “Data Flows and Water Woes: The Utah Data Center” media scholar Mél Hogan looks specifically at the material infrastructures of the NSA that facilitate such surveillance flows. She argues that these infrastructures monumentalize our priorities, by way of their location, dependence on natural resources and public infrastructures, and impacts on the environment.

In the following paragraphs, digital labour researcher Sarah T. Roberts engages Mél Hogan in a dialogue about the topics raised in her work and discovers why they are so crucial for all of us right now.

http://bigdatasoc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/data-flows-and-water-woes-interview.html

“Queered by the Archive” in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change

“Chapter 5: Queered by the Archive: No More Potlucks and the Activist Potential of Archival Theory” In Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change in collaboration with the DataCenter, Research for Justice. (Ed. Andrew Jolivette.) Zeffiro, Andrea, co-author.

Continue reading ““Queered by the Archive” in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change”