In a state of ontological crisis, all boundaries between human and machine, nature and culture, and the organic and inorganic have been severely blurred. These are times of curious contrivances, novel natures, inescapable automation, and posthuman performances – where human and nonhuman find themselves being entwined, meshed, and muddled into new unwitting entanglements. But from biased machine-learning to surveillance capitalism and digital colonisation – what power-structures are implicitly and covertly being embedded into these technologies?
In a demand for more transparency, multiple movements are making a turn toward democratising knowledge and technology. They are exploring the potentials of open data, software, hardware and wetware to battle concealed hierarchies and partisan paradigms – eliciting a practice of counter-coding in a proliferating politics of machines.
Within the Politics of the Machines conference series – following Copenhagen (2018) and Beirut (2019), the third POM conference will take place in Berlin on 13-18 of September 2021, hosted by the chair for Open Science at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Einstein Center Digital Future.
The goal of this edition of POM is to debate and devise concepts and practices that seek to critically question and unravel novel modes of science – what roles do academia, researchers, scientists, artists and designers have to take on in times of crisis, how must we re/position ourselves? What chances or challenges might the democratisation of technology and knowledge elicit, and what potential do practices such as critical making, community science, trans/feminist hacking or citizen forensics hold to bend the hierarchies of power – how can we work with active matter and technical turmoil to re/act?
‘POM Berlin – Rogue Research’ aims to probe new methodological approaches from art, design and civic activism within the framework of academia in order to surface an inter- and transdisciplinary terrain that attempts to exceed the boundaries of theory and practice, academia and activism, and science and civil society.
We plan to carry out this conference as a hybrid online/offline event based in Berlin, should the circumstances of the current pandemic permit. However, notwithstanding the format, the contributions will form the foundations for the planned publication.