Professional and methodological competencies: The students
– understand contemporary discourses on digital infrastructures as technical, social, and political entities
– can critically evaluate the effects of existing and imaginary infrastructures
– know how to use command-line interfaces
– understand basics of digital networks and how to navigate them
– can use embedded systems to develop and deploy small applications
Social and self-competencies: The students
– can conceptualize and experiment with small-scale digital infrastructures in a critical way
– have learned different ways to seek help with technical problems and can share their learnings with peers
– have gained experience on (and through) different forms of collectivity
Infrastructures are things that move things. As such they have long been regarded as primarily of technical interest and invisible to most of us. The rise of platform capitalism has shown that platforms as digital infrastructures have a huge impact on how we communicate, act, and remember. Therefore, those underlying foundations are not just technical but also social, political, and aesthetic. Instead of hiding devices such as servers in depersonalized data centers, they could just as well be envisioned as highly relational or “situated technology” as the Feminist Server Manifesto has proclaimed.
The module “Situated Infrastructures” takes a critical as much as a practical look at digital infrastructures, by learning together how to modify, repurpose and even build our own infrastructures. But don’t let this scare you off! – Curiosity to reflect yourself and your work in the mirror of the topic is more important than any kind of prior technological knowledge.
We will use cheap and accessible DIY technologies and experiment with alternative concepts of infrastructures. We will analyze existing systems and discuss current theoretical approaches and art and design projects with like objectives. And we will do so by building collectives with shared questions and aims.
Alexandra Pfammatter, Birk Weiberg, Thomas Knüsel, Valentina Vuksic, guests