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reading session, research center

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.





research center

Possible Bodies

tomography

Possible Bodies is a disobedient action-research project that Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting have been developing since 2015. The project works with the concrete and at the same time complex and fictional entities that ‘bodies’ are, in the context of technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D tracking, modeling and scanning. This collective research becomes especially urgent because through those performative and representational practices, intersecting issues of race, gender, class, species, age and ability resurface.

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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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