Synthetic Emotions

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Barbara Rauch

This research project maps emotions and visualises the virtual emergence of emotions. Rauch uses 3D-surface capturing devices to scan facial expressions in animals (taxidermy) and humans to then sculpt with the Phantom Arm/ SensAble FreeForm device in 3D virtual space. When working with the haptic sculpting tool one receives a physical feedback on the hand and arm; the experience of touching and sculpting digital data in cyberspace is still awkward, as if the virtual data was not quite real data.

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Werewolves, Magnetic Fields and Fingerprints of a Technological Imaginary

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Ted Hiebert

Ted Hiebert’s talk is an exploration of the technological imaginary, with a particular focus on the area of overlap between digital culture and artistic practice. Bringing together Roland Barthes’ theory of technology as an extension of theatre and Nicolas Bourriaud’s formulation of relational art, the talk examines spaces where technology might be understood as relational, deeply embedded in discourses of aesthetics and performance, but equally invested in maintaining the creative possibilities of social living. Situated amidst questions of theatre, technology and art, this talk is also as a series of reflections on the possibilities of posthuman living. Using three art projects as catalysts for the discussion, a theory born of photographic practice will be expanded, as a visualization of technology and of the aesthetics of posthuman possibility.

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Technology and Politics in Tunisia and Iran: Deep Packet Surveillance

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Christopher Parsons

Faced with growing unrest that is (at least in part) facilitated by digital communications, repressive nation-states have integrated powerful new surveillance systems into the depths of their nations’ communications infrastructures. In this presentation, Christopher Parsons first discusses the capabilities of a technology, deep packet inspection, which is used to survey, analyze, and modify communications in real-time. He then discusses the composition of the Iranian and Tunisian telecommunications infrastructure, outlining how deep packet inspection is used to monitor, block, and subvert encrypted and private communications. The presentation concludes with a brief reflection on how this same technology is deployed in the West, with a focus on how we might identify key actors, motivations, and drivers of the technology in our own network ecologies.

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Technologies of Conveyance

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Meagan Timney

In this talk, Meagan Timney draws on McLuhan’s notions of the medium and the message to question how our interaction with the world around us changes through the use of the technologies that facilitate information transfer. Using examples from both past and present, she discusses how these technologies extend the human self through the creation of a virtual avatar.

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Androids: A Remarkable Approximation to the Organic

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Aya Walraven

This talk walks through a brief history of androids in the past and present. Citing Japan as a special case, Aya Walraven explores how androids, cyborgs, and humans alike fit into society with a growing need for robotic assistance and enhancement, and touches upon the cultural roots and psychology that affects how we receive our mechanical partners.
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Acting in an Uncertain World: Thinking Techno-Ecologically?

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Anita Girvan

Borrowing the title from an essay by Michael Callon and his colleagues working at the intersection of science and technology studies and politics, this presentation, “Acting in an Uncertain World”, attempts to think through questions of environment and technology in a time of proliferating ecological crises. These crises, no longer conceived of as ‘natural’ disasters, or ‘human’ problems but deep entanglements, suggest new forms of technologically enabled democracy, where both slowness (slowing down to institutionalize deliberative processes) and speed (especially in communicating to inform an engaged citizenry) may interact in novel ways.
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Atmospheric Alienation, Carbon Tracking and Geo-Techno Agency

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Anita Girvan

Anita Girvan is an interdisciplinary PhD student with a concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought. Her PhD project focuses on the mediating role of the metaphor of the ‘carbon footprint’ in responses to climate change, and her broader interests are in the cultural and geo-material loops of language, narrative and ecology. She is also a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Fellow at the University of Victoria.
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AR Futurology

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Aya Walraven

Aya Walraven is a digital media and internet enthusiast who primarily works in video and web. She is an editorial assistant at CTheory and head of PACTAC’s Software Analysis Lab. A self-appointed internet-culture historian and archivist she observes and documents online behavior, particularly in Japanese youth and anonymous communities.

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Digital Resisto(e)rs: Information, Affect and Control

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William Bogard

William Bogard is Deburgh Chair of Social Sciences at Whitman College and the author of The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1996). His writings on digital media theorize its potentials for embodied control and resistance. His recent work explores the relation of information and affect within the context of control societies, and the machinic integration of electronic and political resistance in circuits of networked capital. He is currently writing a paper about control surfaces.

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‘Because None of Us Are As Cruel As All of Us’: Anonymity and Subjectivation

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Liam Mitchell

Liam Mitchell is a PhD candidate in Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Victoria. His research concerns social media and boredom. He is the editor of a new graduate journal in political theory called Peninsula: A Journal of Relational Politics.
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