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Digital Activism

Ideally, the internet offers a democratic space open to everyone for limited resources. In reality, access, collaboration, circulation, and infrastructures are often standardized and regulated by corporate platforms, who leave little room for negotiation. This goes for a diverse set of domains and practices such as the production and distribution of music and literature, social media practices, and even the research practices by which we study these. SHAPE Digital Activism inquires and communicates ways to create such negotiations and engages with the need for more open and diversifying approaches to the use, production and teaching of technology.

Our outset is in critical studies of software (software studies) which is build on the observation that politics (the governance of cultural preferences, labor, ideologies, etc.) is inscribed into the design of IT. Critical analysis of software allows us, conversely, to understand how social relations, in/exclusions, the production of value/values, etc. take place in our everyday. Combining theoretical, analytical, and practice-based approaches, we study code, algorithms, data, software infrastructures, and user interfaces, and focus on diverse domains, such as search engines, data feeds, print/digital publishing, and more. However, we specifically emphasize software production that negotiates, or in other ways bring the politics of production to the fore, as found in media art and internet activism.

PI

Co-PI

Winnie Soon

Associate Professor

Pablo Velasco

Associate Professor

Postdoc