The Darmstadt Delegation: back to the castle!

The Darmstadt Delegation* is meeting this time in Stuttgart to participate on the symposium »(Re-)Constructing Authorship« (22-24 Oct.) at the Schloss Solitude:

Modes of Production after the Computational Turn 

>> Let's first get things done!

During particular historical junctures, characterised by crisis, deepening exploitation and popular revolt, hegemonic hierarchies are simultaneously challenged and reinvented, and in the process of their reconfiguration in due course subtly reproduced. During such 'sneaky moments', the shared authorship of collective action is split between those engaged in struggles of social justice and those struggling for just technologies.

The paradoxical consequences of this divide have been baffling: (radical) activists organize and sustain themselves using 'free' technical services provided by Fortune 500 companies. At the same time, 'alternative tech practices', like the Free Software Community, are sustained by a select few, some of which propose crypto with 9-lives as the minimum infrastructure for any political undertaking, and refute the rest as naive or unsophisticated  in their technical practices. Even when there is a great desire to bridge the gap, the way in which delegation of technological matters to the 'progressive techies' is organised, reconfirms hegemonic divisions of labor and can be as pertinent as political and philosophical differences. Conversely, if our tools inform our practices  and our practices inform our tools, then we will have to reconfigure the divisions of labour between 'activists' and 'techies.

How can we re-tell narratives of social justice activism and struggling for just technologies in a way that they converge rather than divide? What stories of collective authorship can we produce in those 'sneaky moments'? The workshop is an occasion to discuss design artefacts, computational tools and language devices available in moments of crisis.

*The Darmstadt Delegation is an ongoing collaboration following from a workshop based on anecdotes that took place as part of the Thinking Together Symposium (http://www.osthang-project.org/projekte/thinking-together/?lang=en) in 2014 at the Osthang Architecture Summer School, Darmstadt, Germany. It is the assignment of the delegation to explore the techno-political and socio-emotional relationships between activist practice and tools. Currently active delegates are: Miriyam Aouragh (University of Westminister, UK), Seda Guerses (Princeton, US), Jara Rocha (GREDITS/Objetologías, Bau School of Design, ES) and Femke Snelting (Constant, BE).

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