[csaa-forum] Digital Infrastructures and Economy, International Symposium & Masterclasses

Ned Rossiter N.Rossiter at westernsydney.edu.au
Tue Oct 27 11:24:07 ACST 2015

Digital Infrastructures and Economy, International Symposium
Digital Life Research Program, Institute for Culture and Society
Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus, 3-5 November 2015

Event organizers: Ned Rossiter, Juan Francisco Salazar and Liam Magee

Digital media technologies of Internet communication and software coupled with supporting infrastructures of storage and transmission have resulted in the production, sharing and distribution of knowledge and culture on scales previously unseen in the history of human life. More recently, the rise of big data analytics associated with sensor technologies and the biometric monitoring of social, urban, industrial and ecological systems has seen the empirical being redefined by algorithmic operations. It is no surprise that finance capital and new economies of exchange are closely tied to many of these developments. Spot rates, for example, are hedged against the delivery times of shipping containers in the maritime industries. Health industries are flourishing with the widespread adoption of consumer self-tracking devices and the scramble for standards designed to subsume life into measures optimised for the sale of medical products. The quantified self has become the exemplary subject around which the design and distribution of a wide array of knowledges across life and labour is organized.

Within this maelstrom of change, knowledge orientates itself across public and private institutions, unbound from the university and its attendant ecologies of knowledge production. But while users have come to play a central role in the reorganization of how knowledge is created, distributed and valorised, their influence on the infrastructures structuring and sustaining these knowledges has been especially limited. At the same time, the infrastructural dimension of digital economies is receiving increasing attention, from the shift to low-latency networks and centralized storage systems to the logistical technologies ensuring the synchronization of networked activities.

Within such contexts, it makes sense to move outward from the user, now situated and redefined as a node of multiple infrastructures. Yet rather than focusing on this networked self, or the urban equivalent of Sassen’s global city, this international symposium maps these overlapping infrastructures that constitute users as a new kind of economic and epistemological subject. Such an undertaking is no longer a matter of making visible the invisible. What needs to happen is an exploration of how the digital economy changes the way we understand and constitute infrastructure. To effectively address such concerns, the need to develop a conceptual idiom capable of comprehending the scope of digital infrastructures and their economies becomes all the more apparent: from anonymous grassroots activists in support of independent media to hackers able to control industrial infrastructures, from the anonymity of high-frequency trading that complicates the analyses of financial crises to the anonymity of users who prefer to cooperate in their exodus from the world of corporate communications infrastructures.

Cutting across sociology, media theory, cultural research, anthropology, science and technology studies, economic geography, computer science, urbanism and design, this two-day international symposium and masterclasses address topics such as the following:
- Media infrastructures
- Cultural infrastructures
- Logistical infrastructures
- Management infrastructures
- Knowledge infrastructures
- Finance infrastructures
- Transactional infrastructures
- Health infrastructures
- Human rights infrastructures
- Polar infrastructures
- Post-planetary infrastructures

Participant numbers for both events are limited, so please be sure to register (details below). Registration is free.

Digital Infrastructures and Economy Masterclasses
3 November 2015
Venue: EB3.17 Parramatta South

10.30-12.30 – Tomás Ariztía, Universidad Diego Portales
‘Researching Knowledge Making Practices in Market Settings: From Creative Spaces to Digital Infrastructures’

Register for this masterclass at:

2-4pm – Akseli Virtanen, Robin Hood, Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative
‘Finance as a Place of Creation: Hacking Finance Capital with Parasitical Algorithms’

Register for this masterclass at:

Digital Infrastructures and Economy International Symposium
4-5 November 2015
Day 1: EZ.G.36, Female Orphan School (Westwing), Parramatta South
Day 2: EB3.17, Parramatta South

Register for the symposium at:

4 November – Symposium Day 1
10am – coffee/tea, registration

10.20-10.30am – Welcome: Professor Paul James, Director, ICS

10.30am – Introductory comments: Ned Rossiter, Liam Magee, Juan Francisco Salazar

10.45-12.15 – Mark Burry, ‘Gaudí, Cerdà and Big Data: Pre and Post Digital Infrastructure Challenges and Opportunities’

12.15-1.15 – lunch

1.15-2pm – Tanya Notley, ‘Satellites as Human Rights Infrastructure’

2-3.30 pm – Justine Humphry, ‘Infrastructures of Survival: New Relations of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Digital Reform of Health and Emergency Services’

3.30-4pm – afternoon tea/coffee

4-5.30pm – Tomás Ariztía, ‘Consumer Databases as Practical Accomplishments’

5 November – Symposium Day 2
10 – coffee

10.15-11.45am – Akseli Virtanen, ‘Social Architecture for Distributed Capital: Robin Hood 2.0’

11.45am-1.15pm – Laura Lotti, ‘There is no Blockchain without Bitcoin: Toward a New Mode of Accounting (for) in Distributed Networked Economies’

1.15-2pm – lunch

2-3.30 – Armin Beverungen, ‘Managed by Machines? Enterprise Software, Corporate Power, Algorithmic Management’

3.30-4pm – afternoon tea/coffee

4-5.30pm – Juan Francisco Salazar, ‘Polar Infrastructures’

5.30-6pm – Closing panel

Ned Rossiter
Professor of Communication
Institute for Culture and Society /
School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Western Sydney University
Parramatta Campus
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751
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