In this course, we will consider together the surveillance of Blackness and the positioning of white as neutral within interfaces as forms of violence perpetrated by high technology. We will discuss how we all can use computational systems to create change while holding them accountable for their origins and biases. For this course, we will be reading Simone Browne and other critical theorists to understand how these structures are compromised so that we can begin to imagine what an outside to them might look like. We will also use the practices of artists critiquing (and expanding the imaginary within) technology as examples of how radical imagination can be evoked through artistic practice.
The readings are mandatory. The class will be most useful if you read the texts completely and come prepared with questions.
Come ready to support others. We will learn the most if everyone contributes to class discussion. If you find yourself talking more than others, feel comfortable to step back so that others may speak.
Be open to questioning things we take for granted as normal. How can we destabilize and decenter power structures considered normal to everyday life?
This class mainly focuses on the lived experience of African-Americans under state surveillance technologies. If that does not reflect your lived experience consider how you may contribute to systemic anti-blackness.
Final Project - Each student will contribute a written or visual project to a zine that we will publish and produce together. The zine will be made available to visitors at the showcase. Students are encouraged to practice critical writing and to get experience having artwork or writing published.
Guiding Questions - You do not need to respond to all of these. Have them in mind when reading and consider them after reading the text, see what comes to mind.
- The Silicon Valley of Dreams - Oct. 8
- Software as Ideology
- Black Gooey Universe
- Intro to Blackness and Surveillance
- Biometric Surveillance of Blackness
- Intro to Carceral Capitalism
- Algorithmic Policing