SloMoCo Art Lounge #2: Living Code & Sharing Abundance - SloMoCo
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SloMoCo Art Lounge #2: Living Code & Sharing Abundance

Chair: Megan Young

Advances in human-computer interaction (HCI) are hard earned whether achieved by research institutions, corporations, or through independent practice. They require significant investments of time, funding, space, specialized equipment, expertise, collaboration, management, and testing. As such, researchers must continually navigate within an environment of doing-more-with-less.

“Our robots are too specialized, too impoverished in their sensing, too uncooperative and too unsafe to be productive at scale.”

This excerpt from a 2020 grant proposal by Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze & co-researchers funded through the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council provides a humorous and insightful glimpse into the capacity challenges for the movement and computing field. We see that even high profile projects must compete for research dollars. Major funders include the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and corporate players including Google, Apple, and IBM. What expectations are tied to those investments? Further, how is the sense of scarcity perpetuated by their competitive funding models influencing outcomes?

The question of resources is further complicated by the need for algorithmic justice. Artists and developers must consider issues of privacy, safety, security, bias, cultural competency, community disruption, and contributor credits. Beyond developing new theory and practice, it is imperative to consider the ownership and application of that research. It may even be necessary to support new regulations around their use. Research communities must also find ways to increase representation and leadership from within the communities these new advances are meant to serve.

We approach these topics from an abundance mindset by championing what is working and what is possible. Arts and science teams share how they navigate group dynamics within interdisciplinary teams. Representatives detail how research centers and funders thoughtfully support creatives. Those embracing distributed power structures offer guidance for institutions looking to adapt similar changes. Individuals are encouraged to bring and share resource lists, links, and collective opportunities. This is a gathering in the spirit of mutual aid, fostering emergent strategies.

 

Selected Sources

Benjamin, R. (2019). Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life. Duke University Press.

Costanza-Chock, S. (2020). Design Justice: Community-led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Davis, J., Hirschl, T. A., & Stack, M. (2017). Cutting Edge: Technology, Information Capitalism and Social Revolution. Verso.

Biggs, M. and Karlsson, H. (2010). The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. London: Routledge.

Kaziunas, E., Lindtner, S., Ackerman, M. S., & Lee, J. M. (2017). Lived Data: Tinkering With Bodies, Code, and Care Work. Human–Computer Interaction, 33(1), 49–92.

Kyong, C. W. H. (2021). Discriminating Data: Correlation, Neighborhoods, and the New Politics of Recognition. The MIT Press.

National Research Council (2003). Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.