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reading session, research center

Monday Readings Encoding and compression

26 February 2018 / a.pass, 3rd floor

Monday Readings

compression artifact
“Codecs perform encoding and decoding on a data stream or signal, usually in the interest of compressing video, speech, or music. […] Software such as codecs poses several analytical problems. Firstly they are monstrously complicated. […] Second, at a phenomenological level, they deeply influence the very texture, flow and materiality of sounds and images. […] Third from the perspective of political economy, codecs structure contemporary media economies and culture in important ways. […] Despite or perhaps because of their convoluted obscurity, codecs catalyze new relations between people, things, spaces and times in events and forms.” Adrian Mckenzie, “Codecs” in: Matthew Fuller (eds), Software Studies, a lexicon (2008)
 
 
The third Monday Reading starts with poking holes in different image and video-files. From there we will try put the vocabulary of encoding and compression (Codec, Container, Compression, Interpolation, Interlacing, Artifact, Bitstream, Sampling, Conversion, …) together with some of the key terms in the work of the philosopher Gilbert Simondon (Allagmatics, Transduction, Analogy, Individuation, Cybernetics, …). How do structures make operations appear, and vice versa?

The Monday Readings are five one day sessions that bring habitual tool-situations in conversation with theoretical and political thinking. They are intimate collective situations on the articulation of technique and the performance of boundaries, reading across technical tools and theoretical devices. The Mondays attempt to develop further connections between artistic research and techno-political practices such as software-as-a-critique, active archives and techno-galactic software observation.

Each session starts with an exploration of day-to-day tools and technologies: text processing, file compression, on-line communication, security or digital archiving. This tool-reading is followed by a discussion and collective reading of one or two related texts.

Reading materials: https://pad.constantvzw.org/p/apass.mondayreadings

Schedule

10:00-13:00: Reading tools
14:00-17:00: Reading texts

If possible, bring a laptop. Sessions take place in a.pass on the 3rd floor. Participation is free.





recent past, research center

Boundaries do not sit still

1 January-30 April 2018

Research centre 18/I curated by Femke Snelting

nasa-20_o_o

In Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter, feminist theorist Karen Barad examines how apparatuses stabilize and destabilize boundaries. “Apparatuses are dynamic (re)configurings of the world, specific agential practices/intra-actions/performances through which specific exclusionary boundaries are enacted.” she writes.

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reading session, research center

Monday Readings

15 January-16 April 2018

Reading across technical tools and theoretical devices

Keyboard

In cultural institutions like a.pass, digital tools are used for communication, archiving, administration and production. These computational infrastructures depend more often than not on the services of tech giants and are put to use without too much space for reflection on how they actually work. If we want to bring technology within reach of interrogation and critique, how to break the spell of those paralysing regimes? How to shift the relationship from efficiency to curiosity; from scarcity to multiplicity and from solution to possibility?

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reading session, research center

Monday Readings Text processing

15 January 2018 / a.pass, 3rd floor

characters, language and code

FORMAT

This first Monday Reading will be dedicated to text processing. We will discuss concepts such as What You See Is What You Get (WISYWYG), the virtues of ascii, what the differences are between writing, language, code, formatting and markup, and how our keyboards perform.

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reading session, research center

Monday Readings Local server

5 February 2018 / a.pass, 3rd floor

Servers and hosts

IMG_7910

In the lexicon of networks, any computer connected to the Internet is called a host. This means that all computers have the ability to host content. But in the current paradigm of the Internet, some hosts are designated to be serving (servers), and other hosts are to be served (clients).

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reading session, research center

Monday Readings Keycards

19 March 2018 / a.pass, 3rd floor

Movement, security, smartness

P3060071

For this Monday Reading we will follow the path of the keycard system that opens the outside doors at a.pass. What does it mean when opening a door becomes part of a data-flow?

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reading session, research center

Monday Readings Databases

16 April 2018 / a.pass, 3rd floor

Stickyness, stopping points, consistency, routines, mnemosyne

mark_manders_hammer_15d.640x0

This Monday Reading prepared with Sina Seifee will be dedicated to the intricate structures of the ubiquitous database. Browsing the tables and rows of this very website, we will try to graps the affordances and limits of organising the world as a collection of digital data.

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conversation, recent past, research center

Close Encounters series Conditions for the work

5-5 May 2018 / a.pass, 4th floor

Sofia Caesar / Femke Snelting

times_to_reflect_on_16_670
For this episode of Close encounters, Sofia Caesar and Femke Snelting have invited each other for an afternoon of conversation about contracts as propositions and elements as conditions. Both are involved in related but very different practices that they will present and bring into discussion with each other and the public.
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archive, reading session, research center

Monday Readings Streaming media

16 June 2018 / Szenne Artlab, Anneessensstraat 2

on demand, content-delivery, broadcast

dennenprocessierups

This extra edition of the Monday reading actually takes place on a Saturday in Szenne artlab. In the context of Parallel-parasite, a residency of the a.pass Research Center, we will focus on the shape-shifting nature of streaming media. After sessions on text processing, local servers and key cards, we will continue with an exploration of streaming, a coverall term for the dominant way that audio and visual content is being delivered on the Internet today. We will read into the different technical protocols that are regulating those flows, and the diverging economies that software like Torrent trackers and companies like Youtube, Netflix construct. By considering how the continuous experience of streaming relies on various politics of separation, re-ordering discrete elements on delivery, we will observe how the production, sharing and consumption of media is radically changing. Session organised with Martino Morandi.

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