OSLEP 2019

MEDIA, CULTURE, AND UBIQUITOUS TECHNOLOGY
January 2019

How have technological changes changed the ways we think about our world and how we interact with people, data, and objects (and the networks that connect them)? Ten to fifteen years ago, according to novelist William Gibson, cyberspace everted—turned itself inside out, as the network spilled out into the physical world we move through every day. Increasingly ubiquitous technologies—smartphones, the so-called Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, 3D printing, cryptocurrency, and Artificial Intelligence—have colonized the world of everyday experience. In this seminar, we’ll focus on some of the cultural, political, and ethical questions raised by that shift, questions about security, privacy, community, and what it means to be human.
 

Books and readings

Craig Martin, Shipping Container,  Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2016.

Adam Greenfield, Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, Verso Press, 2018

Institute for the Future, An Aura of Familiarity: Visions From the Coming Age of Networked Matter  (2013): http://www.iftf.org/fileadmin/user_upload/downloads/th/IFTF_SR-1590C__AnAuraOfFamiliarity.pdf

Steven E. Jones, “Turning Practice Inside Out: Digital Humanities and the Eversion,” in Routledge Companion to Digital Studies and Digital Humanities (2018): https://works.bepress.com/steven-jones/58/

 

Schedule
WEDNESDAY
AM
Radical Technologies, Intro, chapter 1: Smartphones
Shipping Container (whole book)

PM
Radical Technologies, chapter 2: The Internet of Things
The Aura of Familiarity, “III. Lich-House,”“IV. Water”


THURSDAY
AM
Radical Technologies, chapter 3: Augmented Reality

PM
Radical Technologies, chapter 4 Digital Fabrication
The Aura of Familiarity, “VI. From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter,” “VII. By His Things Will You Know Him”


FRIDAY
AM
Radical Technologies, chapters 5, 6: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
[visit to OU Library’s Innovation@The Edge]

PM
Radical Technologies, chapter 7: Automation
The Aura of Familiarity, “II. Apricot Lane”


SATURDAY
AM
Radical Technologies, chapter 8: Machine Learning

PM
Radical Technologies, chapter 9: Artificial Intelligence
The Aura of Familiarity, “V. Social Services”


SUNDAY
AM
Radical Technologies, chapter 10: Radical technologies
Radical Technologies: Conclusion
Jones, “Turning Practice Inside Out: Digital Humanities and the Eversion”


Supplemental media

Pechakucha
https://www.pechakucha.org

Jones, “Reverse Engineering the First Humanities Computing Center”
http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/12/2/000380/000380.html

WSJ on containers

The American Town Banning Cell Phones

Space Liberation Front/Bruce Sterling talk

Sterling, Shaping Things:
http://wtf.tw/ref/sterling_shaping_things.pdf

Google and the World Brain
https://archive.org/details/GoogleAndTheWorldBrain_201611#

Print the Legend (Netflix)
https://www.netflix.com/title/80005444

Thingiverse
https://www.thingiverse.com

Jentery Sayers, “Kits for Cultural History”
http://hyperrhiz.io/hyperrhiz13/workshops-kits/early-wearables-essay.html

PLAY

Black Mirror 3.1 (“Nosedive”)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosedive_(Black_Mirror)

ABC Australia, “Exposing China’s Digital Systopian Dictatorship”

Zeynep Tuekci, TED Talk: “We’re Building a Dystopia”

 


Pre-seminar assignments

Craig Martin cites the philosopher Michel Serres’ concept of “world object” as a way to understand the shipping container: “Typified by ‘objects’ like telecommunications satellites and the Internet, these have the ability to produce the global age” (61). Compare the shipping container system and the Internet as “world objects” that make globalism possible.

The subtitle of Radical Technologies refers to “everyday life” and the topic of the everyday runs throughout the book. Cite three examples from the book of technology’s effects on the everyday—don’t just name three technologies, but specify the differences they make for everyday lived experience.