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A&SM#5 presents: MORE-THAN

Due to Covid-19 outbreak, we have postponed this conference. We hope to confirm another date later in 2020 as soon as possible.

Keep well and keep safe!

logoMoreThan

A&SM#5 International Conference and Sensorium Art Show

25-26th June 2020

University of East London, Stratford Venue USS Building.

Registration Now Open

Link to Registration: £20, Concessions £10, free for UEL staff and students:

Programme

Confirmed Keynotes

Carolyn Pedwell

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Carolyn Pedwell is Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Kent. Her research focuses on affect, habit, embodiment, digital culture and social transformation. Carolyn is the author of Transforming Habit: Affect, Assemblage and Social Change in a Minor Key (forthcoming, McGill-Queens UP), Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (2014, Palgrave) and Feminism, Culture and Embodied Practice (2010, Routledge). Her new research project, ‘Digital Media and the Human: The Social Life of Software, AI and Algorithms’, examines the production of the human, non-human and more-than-human in the context of emergent media ecologies.

Tero Karppi

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Tero Karppi is Assistant Professor at the ICCIT & Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. A Finnish-born new media scholar, his book Disconnect: Facebook’s Affective Bonds was published by the University of Minnesota Press in October 2018. In it Karppi contends that platforms like Facebook see disconnection as an existential threat — and have undertaken wide-ranging efforts to eliminate it— Karppi’s focus on the difficulty of disconnection, rather than the ease of connection, reveals how social media has come to dominate human relations.

FULL PROGRAMME

(Select landcape mode if using a moble)

PROGRAMME: A&SM#5 & THE SENSORIUM: MORE-THAN (25-26th June, 2020)

Thurs June 25th

US G17 MAIN LECTURE THEATRE

US 101 HARVARD ROOM

US 1.12

 

10.15-11.15

Introduction to A&SM#5 and the Sensorium

Breakout room for conference attendees
11.15-11.45 BREAK BREAK
11.45-12.45

PANEL1

MORE-THAN INTIMACY 1

Chair: tbc

Video and presentation of Swiping Compressed Filtered Love (et enfin, permettre l’incontrôlable), Marie-Eve Levasseur, Canadian Artist

More-Than-Love: Body, Tinder, and the Ontological Transformations of Swiping, Sandra Moyano, The Graduate Center, CUNY & Ali Lara, University of East London, UK

 

PANEL2

MORE-THAN SUBJECT

Chair: tbc

More-Than Tensions: A Crisis of Consciousness, Jacob Johanssen, St Mary’s University & Fiona Murray, University of Edinburgh, UK

Impossible Twinning in Algorithmic Image Culture, Edward King, University of Bristol, UK

Seeking Own Authenticity in Collective Experiences: “Bottom-up” Algorithms of Social Media Functions: Zagidullina Marina, Chelyabinsk State University, Russia

12.50-13.50

PANEL3

MORE-THAN INTIMACY 2

Chair: tbc

Single Motherhood, Affective Interactions and Digital Intimacy on Online Dating Apps, Irida Ntalla, Middlesex University, UK

More-Than > Human Intimacies: Therapists Collaboratively Fictioning Intimacy from the edges of the Datafied Relational, Melissa Dunlop & Fiona Murray, Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Digital Intimacies: Gay and Bisexual Smartphone Mediated Intimacy During the Post-2016 Conjuncture, Jamie Hakim, University of East Anglia, UK

PANEL4

MORE-THAN DATA

Chair: tbc

More-Than Data Power: on Intensive Facial Production or, the Affective Governing of Subjectivation, Alberto Micali, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy

More Than Transportation, Incarnation: Shifting Experiences of Liveness in Mainstream Social Media, Ludmila Lupinacci, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Wasting Time – Reflections on Contradiction, Processuality, and Post-Sociality, Andreas Schellewald, Goldsmiths, UK

13.50-14.15 BREAK
14.15-15.15

US G17 MAIN LECTURE THEATRE

KEYNOTE ONE

TERO KARPPI

Title: Facebook and the Outside

15.15-16.16

KEYNOTE PANEL ONE (TBC)

Chair: Tony Sampson

Carolyn Pedwell (Kent)

Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths)

Darren Ellis (UEL)

Ian Tucker (UEL)

Amit Rai (Queen Mary)

17.00- 21.30

FOYER & USG 19/20

SENSORIUM, LIVE MUSIC & BOOK LAUNCH SPONSORED BY POLITY PRESS

Friday 26th June

US G17 MAIN LECTURE THEATRE

US G19

US G20

US 1.12

11.30-12.30

PANEL5

MORE-THAN CONTENT

Chair: tbc

More than content: Networked Images as Affective Territories and Data-Intensive Practices, Elena Pilipets, AAU Klagenfurt, Austria

The Trick of Networks, Andreas Ervik, The University of Oslo, Norway

Protest Music Videos 

Circulating in the Anti-Extradition Movement in Hong Kong: 

Sustaining or hindering protest  participation? Jessica Kong, London School of Economics, UK

PANEL6

MORE-THAN NEWS

Chair: tbc

The Tragic Imagination, Andrew Calcutt, University of East London, UK

Shorthand, Simon Miles, University of East London, UK

Reading the News, Staff and students, University of East London, UK

 

PANEL7

MORE-THAN EMOTION

Chair: tbc

More than Emotions, Johanna Margarethe Talbot, University of East London, UK

More Than (User) Failures: Feminist Illustration, Mental Illness, and Affective Practices of Care on Instagram, Fanny Gravel-Patry, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

TO BE CONFIRMED: Through the Looking-Glass: Researching the Online Self, from Autoethnography to Empathic Criticism, Donatella Della Ratta, John Cabot University, Rome

Special Session running throughout the day

MORE THAN > is Reason-able: a fictioning ritual with Melissa Dunlop

 

US G17 MAIN LECTURE THEATRE

US G19

US G20

 

MORE THAN > is Reason-able: a fictioning ritual with Melissa Dunlop

 

12.35-13.25

PANEL8

MORE-THAN CAPITAL

Chair:

The Underlying, Ami Clarke, Artist

Late Capitalist Thoughts, Fidelia Lam, University of Southern California

The Pay No Attention Economy: Sleep Podcasts, Bio-Morality and Surplus Affect, Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, Artist

PANEL9

MORE-THAN EXPERIENCE

Chair:

Repurposing UX Design Decks: The Dark Patterns Elimination Arena, Michael Dieter, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM), Warwick

What is the Sensorium of the Virtual? UHIM (Juan Covelli, Natalia Marin—Universidad El Bosque, Colombia—and Maria Angelica Madero, London Interdisciplinary School)

More-than-human Spatialities, John Wild RCA network

PANEL10

LESS-THAN EMOTION

Chair:

Emotion Machines, Arina Medvedeva, Chelyabinsk State University, Russia

[un]Affected Computing, Darren Ellis, University of East London

Psychology, emotion and embodiment in a digital age, Ian Tucker, University of East London

13.25-14.25 BREAK BREAK
14.25-15.25

US G17 MAIN LECTURE THEATRE

KEYNOTE TWO

CAROYN PEDWELL

Title: ‘Re-mediating the Human: Affect, Habit and Digital Ecologie

15.25-16.25

KEYNOTE PANEL TWO. Chair: Tony Sampson, with Tero Karppi (Toronto), Rebecca Coleman, (Goldsmiths), Darren Ellis (UEL), Ian Tucker (UEL) and Amit Rai (Queen Mary)

16.30 Conferences closes

 

ABOUT The Sensorium

Since the 2nd A&SM conference, the organisers have worked with artists and curators Mikey B Georgeson and Dean Todd on the Sensorium art show. During this time the show has mutated from exhibit to intervention. For example, A&SM#4 opened with a ‘keynote’ by fictioning machine, Professor Kimi Peckpo. We also had a special conference song (Kindness is a Virus) played at the Affect and Social Media book launch.

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Patricia Clough mixes with the Sensorium at A&SM#4

Cover

This year we already have our conference song! Data Streams is a digital film collaboration between Mikey Georgeson, film-maker Cameron Poole and performed by the band David Devant and his Spirit Wife. The work is a speculation in transmitting art’s more-than registers outside of conceptualised models.

 

 

CfP Closed

Archive of call

Please email 200 word abstract to t.d.sampson[at]uel.ac.uk. Be sure to include your name, any affiliations and contact email in the same text.

Details

The call for the 5th international, interdisciplinary Affect and Social Media conference and Sensorium Art Show asks established academics, postgraduate writers, artists and media practitioners to broadly conceive of a more-than social media.

>More-Than Connectivity

The corporate rhetoric of digital enterprise has often couched connectivity in celebratory terms. There can never be too much connectivity! Expanding on the ambitions and tools of Web 1.0, the social technology paradigm promised to (as Tim Berners Lee put it) connect users to everything and everybody. A social media business model swiftly followed that monetized too much connectivity by way of platform architectures designed to persuade users to spend increasingly more time connecting to each other. Users would now produce more and more relational data through linking to friends (more friends than they had offline!), building groups and communities, posting, sharing, and liking, liking, liking!

>More-Than Data Power

Social media is a corporate Empire of Like. It extracts value made from these abundances of connectivity and data. This is an empire that knows no bounds. An empire of excess wherein the endless accumulation and surveillance of all this data seems to be infinite. There can never be too much data. There is so much of the stuff that marketers and consumer researchers often ponder over what exactly to do with it all. What do Facebook really know? Do they know more than we think they know or do they know too much to compute?

>More-Than Information

Counterintuitively perhaps, these information excesses do not equate to user empowerment. The surpluses of connectivity and data have not produced the assumed information fuelled age of enlightenment. This is a dark age of social media in which James Bridle contends, we may well ‘know more and more about the world,’ but at the same time we are ‘less and less able to do anything about it.’

Platform architectures are designed to do more than make more information available. The behavioural data science teams behind the scenes claim to produce predictable user performances. But more than this, social media developers, researchers and marketers want to stir up a profusion of emotion, feelings and mechanical habits. They want impersonal affects to overflow their threshold points and spread contagiously through transmedia communities. These are viral flows and contaminations that produce affective bonds (Karppi, 2018), keeping users engaged in the process of making more and more sharable data. It is indeed these affective bonds of social media which become entangled with a more-than-human user experience (Clough, 2018).

>More-than User Experience

Much attention has been paid to the negative effects social media can have on a user’s emotions and mental health. Social media addictions and potential overdoses are endemic to a discourse of care. Are We All Addicts Now? Systems of withdrawal, detox, and disengagement have been proposed as an antidote. Yet, as personalities and technologies collapse into Clough’s impersonal user experience (and Chun’s YOU), what kinds of care system can ease the pain of identity loss? What happens when the “I” of the user collapses into these impersonal experiences to become a Facebook lookalike audience?

The failure to produce mass disconnection shows the extent to which digital dependencies are produced by a kind of Skinner’s Box. It is the seemingly endless circulation of impersonal affects in these boxes that bring users together in involuntary acts of collective mimicry, and keeps them pecking for more.

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A New Syntax for User Experience by Mikey B Georgeson

>More-Than Design

Should we be surprised? Social media appears to have been predesigned for More-Than. As Vaidhyanathan (2019) argues, Zuckerberg’s original design intentions have been dramatically supervened by unanticipated uses of the original Facebook architecture. The overproduction of online harms, hate speech, rumours, conspiracy and fakery are surplus platform productions that algorithms churn and digital immune systems struggle to frustrate. This is a design that has proven to be the perfect environment for a divisive populist politics with further excesses of hate and online harm.

Zuckerberg thinks the solution to these immunological breaches will be AI. And yes, AI is of course a More-Than production of experience. It produces digital emotions which portray, detect, and manipulate predictable patterns. In the social media behaviourist labs, the psych-corps are able to clandestinely experiment on users as if they were Skinner’s pigeons. Users become caught up in a teleological suspension of ethical research. This is a More Than production of pecking subjectivities.

Peck! Peck! Peck! Peck!

Like! Like! Like! Like!

Peck! Peck! Like! Like!

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Skinner Box Head by Milos Rajkovic aka Sholim

 

>More-Than Atmospheres

But at least this overproduction is kept to online phenomena only. It all seems so clean. The user experiences of social media is a world away from the smog filled streets and bush fires of climate disaster. Up here in the fluffy whiteness of the digital clouds, it would appear that the only waste users have to manage is the limitless waste of time these platforms offer for thumb exercises.

But of course, digital clouds are not fluffy white areas for excess data storage. The cloud is itself a more-than atmosphere. It is an ideological avatar. More precisely, these clouds are not virtual, but are toxic clouds that obscure the actual dirty heat of the corporate social media server centres. What we find, then, in the cloud, is a user experience of time wasting readily aligned to the excesses of digital junk and the toxic sludge of the Anthropocene.

>More-Than Human

But after all this dystopian media theory dirge is expended, could there not be a more promising More Than, yet to come? Can the user experience be wrestled back from the clutches of the dark refrains of corporate social media and poisonous populisms? Or will the finite overproductions; the endless acceleration of more thans, reach a point where perhaps endless accumulation turns in on itself. A point where more thans become other thans or more than more thans, perhaps? Like Deleuze and Guattari’s final affirmative more than in What is Philosphy? is there a new people yet to come. We might already be seeing the start of a new ‘intuitive digital subject’ (Serres, Pedwell) whose habits and addictions are not steered by way of behavioural marketers any longer, but instead delegated and synthesised to digital technologies, opening up cognitive capacities and affective atmospheres in which users might experience ‘intuitive’ modes of being-in-the-world.

Evidently, the list is endless, but here are some other More-Than topics to ponder…

More-than connectivity>More-than data power>More-than information>More-than user experience>More-than democracy>More-than words>More-than feelings>More-than art>More-than design>More-than atmospheres>More-than human>More-than-more-thans>More-thans, yet to come

  • The light and dark ages of social media data excesses
  • Surplus affect
  • Breaching thresholds
  • Frustrating immunological systems
  • Anomalous overproduction
  • Too much harm, too much hate!
  • Designed excess
  • Time/waste management
  • Waste/time management
  • Viral architectures
  • Virality/growth
  • More-than atmospheres
    • Dirty clouds
    • Toxic sludge
  • Psychologies of the more-than-human
  • More-than-human strategies
  • More-than potentialities
  • Other more than, more thans

 

Logo2More than
More Thans by Mikey B Georgeson