Digital Humanities Initiative

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FW: Code Ecologies — School for Poetic Computing

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    Matthew K. Gold

    December 15, 2018. 1~6pm
    School for Poetic Computation, 155 Bank St, NYC
    Free Registration, Limited seating
    ASL interpretation, Real Time Captioning, disability and access needs will
    be supported
    A portion of the event will be live-streamed

    Code Ecologies is an open forum to explore the environmental impact of
    computation. This public event is organized by a group of faculty and
    alumni from the School for Poetic Computation who are passionate about
    environmental justice. Through presentations and discussions, we will
    explore the negative influence of computational technologies and network
    infrastructure on the natural environment, and the precarious conditions
    they create for the habitat we share among various species.

    “Digital” is falsely seen as virtual or non physical, when in fact “cloud
    computing” doesn’t happen in the clouds – there are massive data centers,
    cooling facilities, fiber optic cables, mineral extraction, electronic
    waste, and other physical infrastructures. On the other side of the arms
    race for smarter and faster AI, there’s a lack of understanding and
    accountability – individual or organizational – for how our use of machine
    learning, blockchain or ‘whatever new’ impacts the Earth. Tech companies
    offer forgiveness and even encouragement for misusing and abusing
    electronic devices, for example on Black Friday. Online services and apps
    create an illusion of seamless interaction between computational devices
    and data which evaporate into thin air after their life cycles. None of
    this make-believe is true. We need to challenge the disparity between the
    conveniences of smart devices, and our complicity with destructive
    technology, as users and creators.

    At the School for Poetic Computation, we approach code from artistic,
    poetic, critical and philosophical perspectives. Considering how poetry
    explores the transformative qualities of the language and computation
    enables transfer of information at scale, we hope to bring together
    activists, poets, scientists, artists and community members to discuss
    “What should we do about it?”

    Co-organized by Taeyoon Choi, Nabil Hassein and Sonia Boller.

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