How do we cultivate infrastructures of solidarity with each other, especially under conditions of crisis, protest, and systemic inequity? Beyond corporate data clouds and monopolistic service providers, this class offer critical space to reframe technology from a grassroots perspective in relation to other components of day-to-day societal infrastructure. We will explore concepts like the slow web, organic Internet, right-to-repair, data sovereignty, minimal computing and anti-computing, in context of the intersectional Just Transition movement. Get to know how community tech and cultural organizing go hand-in-hand through real-world case studies. Learn about the creative applications and underlying ideologies of various open source tools and network topologies. Tune into signals of radical communication beyond colonialist legibility. Along the way, we aim to challenge the technocapitalist worldview, breaking the dichotomy of "high" and "low" tech in favor of a needs-based approach that centers collectivist values and the Earth. Over the course of the class, participants will develop technical skills for running a situated server practice and learn from each others' experiences. Each participant is encouraged to apply the idea of "computing in place" to their own locale through a creative project which may range from a small poetic experiment, to archiving personal and familial stories, to collaborating with the neighborhood library, community garden, elderly home, or mutual aid coalition. As creative practitioners, we will direct our imaginative power toward experimenting with refusal, repair, responsibility, and reconnection in order to dream into practice the relational infrastructures we need.
Images courtesy of teachers.
Participants can expect to spend no more than 2 hours outside of class each week on class readings and assignments. Each participant is invited to develop a situated infrastructural intervention over the course of the class, with the option to apply technical skills for server hosting that we will learn together. This requires being proactive with researching the needs of a community that is specific to you, and establishing or deepening relations with collaborators.
Any technical experience is welcome but not required.
Together we will develop:
This class may be for you if:
This class may NOT be for you if:
Alice Yuan Zhang 张元 is a Chinese-American media artist, researcher, and cultural organizer based in Los Angeles. Her transdisciplinary practice operates on cyclical and intergenerational time. Along the peripheries of colonialist imagination, she works to bring technology down to earth by devising collective experiments in ancestral remembering, interspecies pedagogy, and networked solidarity.
she/her · website · twitter · instagram
Rooted in Kerala, Inspired by Oakland, Born, Raised, and Residing in Atlanta, GA, Meghna Mahadevan is a community technologist, in the terms of technology as a range of tools for human progress. They experiment with building programs, initiatives, relationships, and creations as a way to make meaning of the world around them and as a practice of hope for the future. Meghna’s projects range from organizing for larger movements of technology justice, multimedia storytelling via sound and photography, gathering people together, collective building, djing QTBIPOC+ parties in the South, and investigating autonomous technology infrastructure outside the US. Meghna has co-founded two collectives, intent on relational based methods to organizing, synthesizing, and visioning. Their work has been featured in protocol, NPR, Balamii Radio, Lower Grand Radio, LA Times, and more. Meghna has a degree in industrial engineering from georgia tech with a focus on computer science. They enjoy spending time with friends, exploring hinduism through a queer abolitionist lens, and dancing at all times of the day and night.
they/them · twitter · instagram
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