Jussi Parikka and I collaborated on a three-part project. A Media Archaeology of Ingenious Designs exhibit served as the reference point to a seminar and a workshop as part of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, “Are We Human?” in November 2016.
Our speculative design workshop, SPECULATIVE DESIGN, BAGHDAD 800 – ISTANBUL 2048, invited artists and designers to engage with questions on alternative pasts and futures and design fictions in relation to the Islamic and Middle-East legacies of technology and design. As a point of reference, the workshop used “A Media Archaeology of Ingenious Designs exhibition that featured technical objects reflecting the legacy of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, technology and automata in the Middle East.
In connection with the workshop and the exhibit, Laura Marks, Jussi Parikka, Azadeh Emadi, and I engaged with the histories and speculative possibilities of the Middle-East. From artistic and design ideas to alternative histories and imaginary worlds, the talks in this seminar reached out to engage with the idea of a media archaeology of Middle-East technology and science.
Since September 2013, I have been participating in a research network funded by (e-COST) European Cooperation in Science and Technology on Dynamics of Virtual Work. Here is a short description of this action: “ICTs have had a major impact on the content and location of work. Digitisation of information has transformed labour processes whilst telecommunications have enabled jobs to be relocated globally. But ICTs have also enabled the creation of entirely new types of ‘digital’ or ‘virtual’ labour, both paid and unpaid, shifting the borderline between ‘play’ and ‘work’ and creating new types of unpaid labour connected with consumption and co-creation of services. This affects private life as well as transforming the nature of work. Because of the gender division of labour, this affects women and men differently. The changing geography of virtual work and the emergence of new value-generating virtual activities have major implications for economic development, skills and innovation policies. However these are poorly understood because they have been studied in a highly fragmentary way by isolated researchers.”
AgoraXchange is an online community for designing a massive multi-player global game challenging the violence and inequality of our present order. Phase I was launched as a commission for the Tate Online on 15 March 2004 and Phase II contains a database of ideas for the rules, game environment, and site look-and-feel.
Transliteracies is a University of California multi-campus research project led by Professor Alan Liu, established to study online reading from historical, technological, social, and cultural perspectives. The project facilitates collaborations across disciplines including scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering.