::fibreculture:: Anne Galloway/'Counting Sheep'/Thurs 26 Aug, 2-4pm

Gerard Goggin g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
Mon Aug 9 05:10:01 CEST 2010

[apologies for x-posting]

Counting Sheep: New Zealand Merino Wool in an Internet of Things
Dr. Anne Galloway, Victoria University of Wellington

Thurs 26 Aug 2010, 2-4pm

hosted by Journalism and Media Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney
1-3 Eurimbla Avenue, Randwick (corner High St)

Abstract. Pervasive computing brings together wireless, networked and context-aware technologies, including Global Positioning System (GPS), environmental sensors and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), to embed computational capacities in the objects and environments that surround us. The "Internet of Things" is a related vision for future computing that proposes a shift from a network of interconnected computers to a network of interconnected objects. By virtue of their status as highly regulated and globally traded commodities, livestock animals and animal products have long been tracked and are primed to be amongst the first non-humans in such a network. Specifically, RFID-enabled livestock traceability programmes are increasingly being mandated by governments and agricultural industries worldwide to better support management of disease outbreaks and maintain access to high-value export markets. In these technologically determinist traceability scenarios, animals are largely envisioned as manageable and saleable information and farmers are more often positioned as technicians and data collectors than as animal caregivers. This project investigates the role that cultural studies and design can play in presenting both producers and consumers with alternate visions for the future of human-animal relations. Through a juxtaposition of technological livestock management programmes and non-technological wool industry products and services, this presentation will critically question the social and cultural implications of emergent technologies and existing traceability efforts. Particular attention will be given to articulating research practices and stakeholder relations that can significantly engage relevant issues and avoid the pitfalls of both dystopian and utopian futurism.

About Dr Anne Galloway: Anne recently relocated from Canada (a.k.a. The Great White North) to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Design Research at the School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Drawing on a background in sociology and anthropology, her research focusses on emergent technologies in their visual, discursive, material and practical manifestations. Anne really likes animals and technology, and you can learn more about her and the world's best catTM on the web at plsj.org or on twitter @annegalloway

About the Journalism and Media Centre: The Journalism and Media Research Centre is an initiative of the Faculty
of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales. JMRC undertakes research of high quality and
impact across the fields of journalism, communication, and media and makes a
significant contribution to public debate and policy. It offers
rigorous, relevant and excellent education for postgraduate coursework and
research students. More information at http://jmrc.arts.unsw.edu.au/

Gerard Goggin
Professor of Digital Communication
& Deputy Director
Journalism and Media Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052 NSW Australia
e: g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
w: +61 2 9385 8532
f: +61 2 9385 8528
m: +61 428 66 88 24
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