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[Nettime-nl] Software as a Critique [14/02/LAG/Am*dam]
martino on Wed, 3 Feb 2016 23:03:19 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] Software as a Critique [14/02/LAG/Am*dam]

*Software as a Critique*


Sunday 14th of February, 14:00-18.00 at LAG.
1e Schinkelstraat 14-16, 1075 TX Amsterdam


A discussion introduced by software cases like Pattern for Python,
Faircoin Wallet, MakeHuman, The Unicode Standards.
With: Kym Ward, Aymeric Mansoux, Jara Rocha, Roel Roscam Abbing, Femke
Snelting, Dick Reckard.

Due to the importance and ubiquity of software in our lives, it is
urgent to recognise and deal with the political and social elements that
are translated into the technical domain and vice versa. Looking from
the technical side, code often replicates existing social constructions,
reinforcing existing hegemonies or mirroring cultural patterns of
inclusion and exclusion. Conversely, technological elements have their
own political agency, beyond conventional parliamentary politics, aiming
for example towards efficiency, quantification, transparency.

In this afternoon meeting, we will start by looking at the interactions
between technical and non-technical aspects of specific pieces of
software that raise political or ethical issues. We’ll be looking at
questions like: What happens when you translate a body into a 3D mesh?
What variety of people are involved in crypto-currencies, and how do
their different political views transfer into decentralised banking
systems? Who decides how we get to choose our gender from drop-down
menus, and who benefits from a multiplicity of options? What is at stake
in the challenge of a machine that writes poetry?

After considering how such questions translate in potential and existing
software practices, we’d like to discuss whether they could inform a
kind of critique that is not confined to the spaces of artistic or
academic discourse. Can these approaches and methodologies create a
space of critique inside software-centered communities that is not
segregated from its productive practices?
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