The Future of Code Politics
Technologies of Radical Care
Conference Part II
A conference on the relationship between new technologies and radical care.
The care crisis has been much discussed in the pandemic. It is in line with many other social crises and a natural system on the verge of collapse. »Care« has become the buzzword for many socio-political discussions. At the same time, the state of emergency of the health and social welfare systems, of nature and social coexistence, is often met with hope in new technological possibilities. Such technologies are regularly developed with the aim of making people, the environment and society more efficient. Software systems are then used to optimize processes and thereby control society, nature and people. A system of power and dependencies is thereby codified and disguised in software code. But what if we decided to think of our present and future centering the care for people and the environment rather than focusing on technical control and efficiency?
Over three days, THE FUTURE OF CODE POLITICS II - TECHNOLOGIES OF RADICAL CARE invites scholars, activists and artists from around the world to discuss these questions. They will present queerfeminist, decolonial, anti-racist and anti-ableist perspectives on current technologies of care - and suggest how they might look different in the future.
The programme was made in collaboration with J. Khadijah Abdurahman (We Be Imagining), Gracen Brilmyer (Disability Archives Lab), Lucía Egaña (Musea MAMI), Joana Varon (Coding Rights), Lorena Jaume-Palasí (The Ethical Tech Society) and Lena Kollender. It will be moderated by journalist and author of »Radikale Zärtlichkeit« (Radical Tenderness), Şeyda Kurt.
- Download the digital program book with the complete 3-day program HERE.
- All streams can be found next to the respective info texts or as a playlist HERE.
- Biographies of all participants can be found HERE.
Language & Access
- In English or Spanish spoken language with translation into English & German spoken language (only available on site at Kampnagel), live captions in German & English (available on site and in the live stream) and automated translations into Afaan Oromo & Luganda written language (only available in the stream & recordings) & Mixe (only available in the recording).
- The performance on Sunday at 18:00 has an audio description in German spoken language, which is only available on site at Kampnagel
Program Friday, 19.08. / Opening
17:30 Opening & Welcome with Lena Kollender & Şeyda Kurt
18:00 - 19:00 Opening Panel: The Future of Code Politics – Technologies of Radical Care
with J. Khadijah Abdurahman, Gracen Brilmyer, Lucía Egaña, Joana Varon, Lorena Jaume-Palasí & Lena Kollender
Moderation: Şeyda Kurt.
Bodies are restricted by cultural ideas of space and time. These ideas of space and time create the rural, the urban and the digital public spaces. There is more data about people of color in the criminal databases than in the health sector. Databases constructed and used mainly by white experiences and thinking do not represent the experiences and ways of creation of BIPoC communities. For speakers of indigenous languages it is seldom possible to access technologically mediated public spaces in their own languages and with their own rules. Public spaces centered around abled bodies, are full of (technological) fences for disabled people. And who is not seen, is not cared for. But not all the ways in which we document and see are caring.
The opening panel brings together the curation team of this conference in a hybrid setting, using both digital and physical spaces. They open up an asynchronous conversation with recorded video messages and questions, mixed with live reactions and conversations. The session will provide a guiding overview of the themes and questions that will be raised in the course of the 2,5 days of the event. With video messages by surprise guests from around the world.
Program Saturday, 20.08.
11:00 - 12:00 A conversation on Justice, Care and Technology
with Mia Mingus & Lilith Wittmann
Moderation: Şeyda Kurt
Curation: Lena Kollender, Lorena Jaume-Palasí
Author and community educator Mia Mingus and IT security expert and activist Lilith Wittmann will open the second day of the conference with a keynote conversation. During the presidency of Barack Obama, the White House chose Mia Mingus as one of »fifteen Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women as ‘Champions of Change’ who are doing extraordinary work to create a more safe, equal, and prosperous future for their communities and the country.« Her writings on transformative justice have strongly influenced both the theoretical and practical debates on disability justice and inspired alternatives to the punitive justice logic of the carceral state. Lilith Wittmann has been making headlines for her research on security vulnerabilities in the public sector and for the development of digital infrastructure for the public interest. She was sued by the conservative political party CDU for responsibly disclosing security gaps in the software they deployed. The affair fostered an international conversation about the security and care obligations of political parties when using technologies with their voters. With her initiative Bundesstelle für open data (Federal Office for Open Data) she pushed the standards to make government data accessible on a new level. Together they will discuss questions around transformative justice, care and technology in the institutional context.
13:00 - 14:30 Panel: Blackness, African Indigeneity and Computation
with Kalundi Serumaga, Ayantu Tibeso & Romi Morrison
Moderation & curation: J. Khadijah Abdurahman
How do we situate digital technologies in the long duree of settler colonialism and enslavement both within the African continent and the United States or Turtle Island? What is a black sense of place and how does it interrupt normative understandings of race and technology? What sonic archives from the black diaspora can destabilize the way we think about computation? Former radio DJ, journalist and Ugandan scholar Kalundi Serumaga, Oromo archivist Ayantu Tibeso and interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator Romi Morrison will discuss each of these questions drawing from black feminist theory and african indigenous practices. The event will be moderated by J. Khadijah Abdurahman, founder of We Be Imagining, a project at Columbia University applying the black radical tradition to developing public interest technology.
15:30 - 17:00 Performance: Lost in Translation I: Extractivism of bodies and territories
with Paola Ricaurte, Paz Peña, Moira Millán, Mariah Rafaela Silva, Kupalua, Génesis Victoria, Eli Wewentxu and Yela Quim
Moderation & curation: Lucía Egaña and Joana Varon
Mainstream digital technologies operate under the logic of extractivism. Particular territories that have a history of colonial dispossession are being mined to provide resources for building tools used to collect a massive amount of data about our lives and bodies. Pervasive surveillance and user addiction, data colonialism, racism, capacitism, heteronormativity are embedded values in development of these extractivist technologies. But what would it mean to have technologies that care about our bodies, minds and territories? Departing from texts written by the thinkers based in Abya Yala/Latinoamerica, Paz Peña, Moira Millan, Paola Ricaurte and Mariah Rafaela Silva, the musicians and performers Yela Quim, Génesis Victoria, Kupalua and Eli Wewentxu will do an interpretation of their words - in different formats beyond the textual contributions, to sparkle our imagination around how to solve these questions.
18:00- 19:00 Panel: Documenting Care: Archiving Disability Pasts & Futures
with Panteha Abareshi, Walela Nehanda & Jane Shi
Moderation: liú méi-zhì chen Curation: Gracen Brilmyer
How might we foster remembering crip experiences of care for future generations? For disabled people, care can be loving, care can be violent. Care can be weaponized in medical contexts, masking violence against bodyminds under »cure,« »rehabilitation,« and »normalization«. But care within disabled spaces can be magical; care in crip communities can be a radical act of love. This panel addresses the multifaceted nature of crip care by focusing on how we document our experiences. Through visual arts, poetry, oral histories, and other methods, this panel will address how disabled people document their lived experiences of care and how they imagine our collective futures.
Thank you to Alice Wong, who is unable to participate the panel, but who was instrumental in its conception.
Program Sunday, 21.08.
11:00 - 12:00 Keynote: Against capitalism. Technologies of radical care
with Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil
Curation: Lena Kollender, Lorena Jaume-Palasí
A conversation with author Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil on how our thinking shapes the technologies we create. Public narratives about technologies have generally a very specific idea in mind: machines of steel running complex software, so called artificial intelligence, or digital technologies integrated in our cars, cell phones, medical machines and fridges. Technologies that solve problems by optimizing processes. Technologies that are created for the sake of economic development and growth. In this understanding of technology, nature becomes a problem that needs optimization – and people mere users. Nature becomes a disposable good that is collapsing in pandemics, resource scarcity, floods and deforestation. Peoples are organized and managed through the uncaring efficiency logics of software. In this session Yásnaya Aguilar will invite us to broaden our understanding of technology and talk about ways of thinking and making technology beyond capitalism. Yásnaya will introduce us to her concept of Tequiology. Tequiology stems from tequio, a word of Nahuatl origin. It is a social technology and a mode of organization informed by the history of technologies with which first peoples resist oppression, care for the community and protect nature.
In Spanish spoken language with translation into English spoken language & live captions in English and German.
13:00 - 14:30 Performance: Lost in translation II: Decolonizing our imaginaries about Techs
with Denise Alves-Rodrigues, Lu Ain-Zaila, Gabriela Damián, Yela Quim, Kupalua, Génesis Victoria, Eli Wewentxu, Thaina Iná
Moderation & curation: Lucía Egaña and Joana Varon.
This session will recover, rewrite and recognize a diversity of cosmovisions around technology. Therefore it plays with the possibility of thinking about other temporalities, outside of linear progressive time to access ancestral knowledge and imagine decolonial speculative futures. In search of tech imaginaries that run apart from the vision of futures entailed by Silicon Valley and Hollywood, Lu Ain-Zaila, Denise Alves-Rodrigues and Gabriela Damián were invited to contribute stories that bring to the corefront concepts of afrofuturism, non-mechanical and non-heteronormative machines and decolonial science fiction. Those stories will be interpreted live by musicians and performers Yela Quim, Kupalua, Génesis Victoria and Eli Wewentxu.
15:30 - 17:00 Panel: Abolishing the Child Welfare System (and its Algorithms!)
with Victoria Copeland, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez & Dorothy Roberts
Moderation & curation: J. Khadijah Abdurahman
How has the adoption of predictive risk modeling tools augmented the surveillance and separation of families in the US child welfare system? What is the connection between the public sector adoption of automated decision systems and the rapid expansion of so-called »prevention services« which function similarly to parole or probation? Why is the abolition of the child welfare system necessary and how is it possible? Legendary scholar or race, medicine and the child welfare system, Dorothy Roberts and abolitionist social worker, Victoria Copeland will discuss these questions alongside the co-curator of this event, J. Khadijah Abdurahman. Part of what this conversation will address is how child welfare is not simply another site of predictive policing requiring policy to mitigate harm, but a central part of the carceral continuum that offers us an opportunity to evolve our methods in approaching critiques of technology and imagining intergenerational repair.
18:00 - 19:00 Performance: You You You
by NEVE ZiqueBeast (Neve Mazique-Bianco)
Cutarion: Gracen Brilmyer
How does technology embody our romantic desires? How do we love one another from afar? What are we touching when we’re not touching each other? Could we learn to make our digital experiences sensuous, tactile? Of course we can. Romance is not just for lovers anymore. Not when we must live each day on earth like it’s our last. Time is too precious not to take it, the dangers to life are too close not to savor the risk that is loving while alive. Framed through a disability justice framework and resististing heterosexual technological assumptions, this performance is saturated with disabled desires to express care—spanning distance, time, bodies, species, mediums, and relationships. Combining sound, movement, storytelling, and dynamic intimate recordings, YOU YOU YOU is a new terpsichorean prayer at the altar of access intimacy as the goddess of love. With unflinching romance and visceral joy, this work challenges the idea that any bodymind could ever be a burden or a plague, and shows how digital technologies are sensual tools for relationality, solidarity, connection, and cyborgian romance. Small methods of access and care and big distances of love and interdependence produce queer disabled (and Black, Indigenous, trans, sex worker, survivor) kinship like no other. We call this medicine. It saves our world.
With audio description in German and short tactile tour (meeting at 17:45 on the Piazza in front of the entrance to the box office).