Technoscience Salon

2020-21 :: Gathering Online

The magic of Zoom calls and Skype meetings are created by a global digital technologies industry that is entangled in the history and presence of slavery, colonialism, global mining, financial speculation, and other techniques of the corporation. How do we locate ourselves in the worlds of plasma screens, wires and binary code? Moving beyond individualized and neoliberal concerns of censorship, privacy and data security that often shape public discussions about the politics and ethics of digital gathering, we want to contend with the way that Big Tech assembles itself in everyday practice. How are Big Tech and infrastructures appropriating and manipulating lands and bodies in order to produce open and fair digital paradises for networking and play? What are our complicities? This year’s Salon builds on critical approaches to media ecology/archaeology, digital labour, and decolonization to not only track the corporate, privatized forces that are fabricating digital worlds through neocolonial expansion, but to imagine and practice alternatives as we partake responsibly in those movements that are building other worlds within these zones of extraction.

We invite you to read more about this year’s Salon, attend our upcoming events and join our working group. Led by Fan Wu and Lucy Wowk, the opening workshop for the Technoscience Salon, “Attuning to our Digital Practices,” considers how our political responsibilities and commitments shape our engagement with digital technologies, starting from a place of attunement to ourselves and to one another across language and space. Follow the links below for further details.

Fan Wu and Lucy Wowk: Attuning to our Digital Practices
Friday 29 January 2021, 3:30pm –5:00pm EST
Zoom Event, register via Eventbrite

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rush towards digital gathering, engagement, and output across all disciplines and sectors, “Gathering Online” will bring together faculty, graduate students, and community researchers to:

  • Research the economies of extraction and investment that we entangle ourselves within by relying on various digital practices of collaboration;
  • Gather information about alternative methods and forms of collaboration; 
  • Experiment with new approaches to distanced and virtual collaboration through our upcoming activities; and
  • Partake responsibly in decolonial world-building practices around the globe that honour the inseparability of lands and bodies.

This salon series has been co-organized by Vanbasten de Araujo, Sophie Jaworski, Lindsay LeBlanc, Sajdeep Soomal, and Dawn Walker, with support by Kristen Bos and Michelle Murphy.


Attuning to our Digital Practices - Eventbrite Image

Attuning to our Digital Practices 

When :: Friday 29 January 2021, 3:30pm –5:00pm EST
Where :: Zoom Meeting, register through Eventbrite
Workshop Facilitators :: Fan Wu and Lucy Wowk

Collective work towards the future begins in spaces of translation: how do we make sense of one another’s silences, intonations, and vernaculars when we gather online across difference? How can we understand the patterns and rhythms of language, while still listening for the fundamental differences of another’s voice? Please join us for this workshop that takes translation as its starting point to assemble diverse knowledge about gathering in the virtual while working through our multivalent responsibilities and response-abilities.

We have invited Fan Wu and Lucy Wowk to guide us through a workshop to delve into the topic of this year’s Technoscience Salon series: Gathering Online. They will be guiding us through exercises that work towards new forms of collectivity, generating shared language in the form of experimental writing around our intuitions on the theme of “gathering online”. We can consider how our political responsibilities and commitments shape our engagement with digital technologies, starting from a place of attunement to ourselves and to one another across language and space. We are pleased to extend this invitation to our community at large to collectively think about the virtual and its discontents.

We are happy to offer food for participants through local delivery services (if available)! Spots are limited and available on a first-come basis. If you are interested in joining the workshop, please register through Eventbrite by Thursday 28 January 2021 at 5pm and we will send further details including the event link on Friday morning.

Fan Wu is a performer, writer, protean acolyte of Dionysus, and community organizer. His main practice concerns the gathering of collectives, and the curation of spaces that potentiate intimacy and spontaneity between strangers; he is a co-founder of The Toronto Experimental Translation Collective, and has hosted critical reading/creative writing workshops at Art Metropole, Trinity Square Video, and Mercer Union. You can read his work online at MICE Magazine, Aisle 4, and Shrapnel Magazine.

Lucy Wowk is interested in moments of encounter between ethics and aesthetics. Lucy is currently completing an M.A. in Communication in Culture at Ryerson University and York University, conducting experimental translations as a mode of inquiry. Their research interests include theories of affect, translation, and auto-fictional expressions of philosophical concepts.

Presented by :: Technoscience Research Unit, McLuhan Centre for Culture and TechnologyDigital Research Ethics Collaboratory.