Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University



Network Theory Zip of panel (1h 37m · 11mb)

Wendy Chun
(7min · 844kb)
Wendy Chun of the Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown University, and an organizer of the symposium, introduces the Network Theory panel.
Paul Edwards
(26min · 3mb)
Paul Edwards from University of Michigan talks about “epistemologies of infrastructure” and uses the global weather monitoring system and global intelligence gathering as case studies.
Charles Perrow
(21min · 2.4mb)
Charles Perrow from Yale University tells a cautionary tale of networked interdependency versus dependency. He then offers some suggestions on how we might reduce networked dependency, often the cause of catastrophic system failures.
Saskia Sassen
(27min · 3mb)
Saskia Sassen from University of Chicago asks important questions about network technologies, and questions our assumptions about what counts as networked knowledge.
(17min · 2mb)
The panelists answer questions from the audience.

Multi-Media Networks Zip of panel (1h 40m · 11.4mb)

Mary Ann Doane
(4min · 484kb)
Mary Ann Doane of the Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown University introduces the Multi-Media Networks panel.
Geert Lovink
(31min · 3.5mb)
Geert Lovink from University of Amsterdam (UvA/HvA) ponders the state of media activism and questions the politics behind trust networks (rather than open networks).
Warren Sack
(22min · 2.5mb)
Warren Sack from the University of California at Santa Cruz questions the assumptions at the foundation of current information and network technologies, and posits that these assumptions produce communication technologies that are inherently pathological. The talk ultimately deepens our understanding of what we think of as ‘information’ and ‘communication.’
Steven Shaviro
(27min · 3.1mb)
Steven Shaviro from University of Washington draws from contemporary speculative fiction as a breeding ground for cutting-edge social theory, and asks us to consider the role of the lowly parasite in both biological and technological systems. Rather than being somehow foreign bodies that corrupt an otherwise ideal system, are parasites instead not only integral but constitutional of biological and technological systems? Shaviro entertainingly argues for the latter.
(16min · 1.8mb)
The panelists answer questions from the audience.

Digital Art Networks Zip of panel (1h 26m · 5mb)

Franziska Nori
(10min · 2mb)
Franziska Nori of introduces the Digital Art Networks panel.
Florian Cramer
(10min · 2mb)
Florian Cramer of the Piet Zwart Institute in Netherlands provides a fascinating geneology of the poetics of ‘code work,’ beginning with a algorithmic prayer from the 17th century and ending with the work of
Jennifer Gonzalez
(10min · 2mb)
What is the history of the contemporary art practice of recursiveness? Jennifer Gonzales of the University of California at Santa Cruz gives a brief history. Her talk ends with several contemporary art projects that use recursiveness to examine the political economics of race, including a man selling his Blackness on eBay.
Tad Hirsch
(10min · 2mb)
Tad Hirsch from the MIT Media Lab brings us a case study of TxtMob, his latest project that allows users of mobile phones to subscribe to txt “email lists.” TxtMob was used extensively by protesters during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions to coordinate action and track police movement.
(17min · 2mb)
The panelists answer questions from the audience.

Global Networks Zip of panel (1h 26m · 9.7mb)

James Der Derian
(4min · 468kb)
James Der Derian from the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and an organizer of the symposium, introduces the Global Networks panel.
Hayward Alker
(25min · 2.8mb)
Hayward Alker from the University of Southern California invirulates the work of Karl Deutsch on global communications networks and governmental organization into the history of Cold War cybernetics. Many specific historical factoids paint a rich history of our current assumptions and theories about networks and communication.
Ron Deibert
(23min · 2.7mb)
How much do we really know about how governments are monitoring, censoring, and redirecting information on the internet? Ron Deibert from the CitizenLab at University of Toronto gives an illuminating, sometimes comical, sometimes disturbing account of current censorship practices, and the Lab’s work to create more open global networks.
Dinah PoKempner
(25min · 2.8mb)
Dinah PoKempner from Human Rights Watch talks about the Abu Graib torture perpetrated by United States troops, and the conflicting narratives that frame the story’s proliferation and recirculation.
(7min · 860kb)
The panelists answer questions from the audience.
(2min · 200kb)
James Der Derian, an organizer of the symposium, offers some closing thoughts.