::fibreculture:: Data, Memory, Territory - International Symposium and Masterclasses

Ned Rossiter ned at nedrossiter.org
Mon Nov 19 23:41:22 CET 2012

[Please find below the announcement for this event. There are a few places available in the masterclass program (and the symposium - registration links below). The site is now live, though without the design  – it's  still under construction. But you will find a link for the pdf of the program and position papers. Ned Rossiter, Anna Reading and the org.team]

International Symposium and Postgraduate Masterclasses
Digital Media Research
School of Humanities and Communication Arts
University of Western Sydney
26-28 November 2012
Data, Memory, Territory
From inside the human body to the geospatial mapping of the globe, digitisation is transforming the dynamics of memory across and within territories. How can we develop new concepts to explain the mobilisations and (in)securities of data in relation to memory and territory? What methods and forms of analysis are being developed by researchers in the field of digtial media studies? This invited international symposium will provide a fora for researchers in this area, including training and workshops for postgraduate students on the 26 November.
Data is everywhere. Data is invisible. Data is mediated. Data is mined. How to build datasets for research purposes is key to the practice and politics of method. Disciplinary borders govern the territory of data. Unlike scientists, mathematicians, economists and computer programmers, researchers in communication arts and humanities are relative newcomers to the analytical language of data. The increasing incorporation of computational methods into arts and humanities research has led to a multiplication of data accompanied by new practices of knowledge production. What are some of the models and methods for undertaking research that involves the identification and capture of data? What are the implications for archiving, storage and access to say nothing of analytical techniques? How can the implications of the currents and flows of data be understood in relation to memory and territory?
Memory long ago departed the cognitive limits of the body. Wax tablets, phonographs, X-rays, museums, newspapers, novels and cinema are among the many technologies that extend the contours of memory in highly material and culturally specific ways. Digital memory, especially  mobile and social technologies provide yet new methods of capturing, sharing and assembling memories of the self and of societies. What might computer programmers have to say about the trace of memory within the grammar of code? What is the status of memory within techno-cultures of speed and the economy of updates? How are data records of the identities of citizens tracked across borders and boundaries? How is memory related to data and ideas of territory when it is dynamic and travelling within a globalised and digitized cultural field? What are the implications of connective and mobile memories for social transformations, for political engagements and public justice?
Territory concerns the organization of power across spatial scales and technical systems. Territories exert control over the movement of bodies and brains, communication and code. Territory is infused with variational temporalities that complicate and upset presumed notions of space as homogenous national imaginations of ‘empty time’. Territory is constituted through the logic of rule exerted by sovereign powers. Territories also provide space for escape, refusal and occupation as witnessed across the planet over the past year with the Arab Spring, European Austerity Protests and Occupy-Encampments. How is data produced for and by medical, state and corporate organizations changing the territories  and mobilities of the body?What sort of memories galvanize the territory of political action and how might these be mobilized beyond the time and space of the event?
This symposia and posgraduate masterclasses will seek to address the relationships, trajectories,  intersections and points of contact between research in these areas.
Postgraduate Masterclasses
UWS Masterclass 1: Researching Media and Memory with Dr Emily Keightley and Professor Michael Pickering

UWS Masterclass 2: The Interaction between Technology and Rhetoric in Framing Public Understandings of War and Violence with Dr Holger Pötzsch

UWS Masterclass 3: Transcultural Translations: Emerging Netcultures in Pan-African Perspectivewith Dr Soenke Zehle 

DAY 1, 27th November, 9.30am to 5.30pm
Registration: http://datamemoryterritory1.eventbrite.com.au/
Post-graduate student registration: http://datamemoryterritory2.eventbrite.com.au/
DAY 2, 28th November, 9.30am to 6.00pm
Registration: http://datamemoryterritory3.eventbrite.com.au/
Post-graduate student registration: http://datamemoryterritory4.eventbrite.com.au/
Please note we will provide lunch at this event. If you have any dietary requirements, or you will not be joining us for lunch,please email us to let me know (Tanya Notley: t.notley at uws.edu.au). Please also email us if you find you are unable to attend after registeringsince there are limited places being offered.
Monday 26 November
Postgraduate Masterclasses
Female Orphan School, Parramatta Campus
10am-12pm Masterclass 1
Michael Pickering and Emily Keightley,‘Researching Media and Memory’
The aims of this Masterclass are twofold. First, we shall provide participants with an overview of research methods and analysis techniques in the study of mediated memory. A particular concern will be the ways in which research methodologies open up the possibility of doing research on mediated memory on the basis of its scales of operation, ranging from intimate autobiographical remembering to public cultures of commemoration. By way of example, the second part of the class will illustrate questions of scale by focusing on the relationship between memory and personal photography. This section of the class will be more participatory, and will be broken up into small groups. In order to take part in group discussion we would like you to come to the class having selected one photograph from your personal or family collection, one that is for whatever reason highly significant to you in how it ‘speaks of’ the past. We would like you to bring this to the class and be prepared to talk about it to other members of your group, and also for you to ask questions of the other members’ key photographs. The overall intention is for you to reflect on how, through memory work colloquy, we can begin to develop our understanding of how personal memory is mediated by the visual records which photography provides, and how personal photographs operate in the sphere of cultural memory. The final part of the class will pool the main considerations arising from each of the group discussions.
1-3pm Masterclass 2
Holger Pötszch, ‘The Interaction between Technology and Rhetoric in Framing Public Understandings of War and Violence’
Have new digital media platforms and technologies changed the way we commemorate war? Drawing mainly on examplesfrom contemporary American and British war films, the Masterclass approaches ways through which technology and rhetoric interact to frame public understandings of historical incidents of war and violence.The Masterclass will consist of a short introductory lecture that will be followed by practical analysis of video clips and a discussion on the basis of the previous lecture and demonstration.
3-5pm Masterclass 3
Soenke Zehle, ‘Transcultural Translations: Emerging Netcultures in Pan-African Perspective’
Following an introductory overview of current xm:lab projects across Africa, the Masterclass offers an opportunity to work/rework the concept of ‘transcultural media studies’ in relation to specific sites / situations. Emphasis will be placed on the intersections of media and sustainability.Participants are invited to chose a site / situation that demonstrates or illustrates how questions of digital media and sustainability intersect. In the workshop, participants will be invited to develop a concrete approach / project to address / reflect on specific modalities of conceptual / political engagement.
Tuesday 27 November
Female Orphan School, Parramatta Campus
9-9.30 – tea/coffee
9.30-10am – Introduction by Anna Reading and Ned Rossiter
10-12pm Session 1: Image and Materiality
Emily Keightley and Michael Pickering, ‘Digital Remembering and Everyday Photographic Practices’
Anna Reading and Colin Harvey, ‘The Digital Skin and the Upturned Planet: Memory as (De)Territorialised Material and Energetic Political Economies of Data’
12-1pm – Lunch
1-3pm Session 2: Gesture and Aesthesia
Soenke Zehle, ‘Common Gestures: On Putting Once’s Life at Play’
Anna Munster, ‘Data Unhinged: Metastructure and Relation in Database Aesthesia’

3-3.30pm – Tea/coffee
3.30-5.30pm Session 3: Labour and Life
Brett Neilson, ‘Data, Zone, Territory’
Melissa Gregg, ‘Measuring Productivity through GTD and Life-Hacking: The Territory of the Post-Professional’
Wednesday 28 November
Female Orphan School, Parramatta Campus
9.30-10pm – tea/coffee
10-12pm Session 1: Archives and Memory
Holger Pötszch, ‘War’s New Clothes: Digital Media, Memory Politics and Norway’s Military Engagement in Afghanistan’
Esther Milne, ‘The Archive: Informality and Intellectual Property’
12-1pm – Lunch and Screening of Hart Cohen’s Poland Journey: Broken Memory
1-3pm Session 2: Design and Systems
Kaye Shumack, Abby Lopes and Craig Bremner
‘Positioning Design: Data = preservation of “as is” / Memory = production of “as was” / Territory = projection of “as if”’
3-3.30pm – Tea/coffee
3.30-5.30pm Session 3: Mediation and Performance
Timon Beyes, ‘Mediating Atmospheres: Apprehending the Intersections of Data, Memory and Space’
Maria Angel and Anna Gibbs, ‘Memory as Performance and the Ontology of Gesture in Writing’
5.30-6pm Closing round table

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