POM Berlin 2021

Overview

Politics of the Machines
Rogue Research

The 3rd POM Conference
September 14-17, 2021

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 as a digital conference on the 14-17 of September 2021, hosted hosted by the chair for Open Science at the Technische Universität Berlin (Einstein Center Digital Future) and the Berlin University of the Arts (Weizenbaum Institute) in Berlin.

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.

 

Registration
(Registrations are closed)

Digital Conference

POM Berlin 2021 
Rogue Research
14.09.2021-17.09.2021

The POM Berlin digital conference is entirely free of charge, but participants are asked to please register. Registered participants will receive the detailed program with links via their provided email. All times are indicated in Central European Summer Time (CEST).

Program 2021

Overview

DAY 1 / TUESDAY 14.09.2021

17:00 – 17:30
Opening + Welcome

Laura Beloff (Aalto University)
Morten Søndergaard (Aalborg University)
Michelle Christensen (TU Berlin / UdK Berlin)
Florian Conradi (TU Berlin / UdK Berlin)
Hassan Choubassi (The International
University of Beirut)

17:30 – 19:00
Intervention: Emotional Machine

Hege Tapio (OsloMet, NO) / Marco Donnarumma (Independent researcher, DE) / Florence Razoux (Independent researcher, DE/FR)

DAY 2 / WEDNESDAY 15.09.2021

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Open Track – Rogue Research / #1

Track Chairs: Michelle Christensen (TU Berlin / UdK Berlin, DE), Florian Conradi (TU Berlin / UdK Berlin, DE), Laura Beloff (Aalto University, FI), Hassan Choubassi (International University of Beirut, LB)

SF perspectives on coevolution, the hybrid bacterial-AI organisms of Codex Virtualis / Alfredo Lozano, Mariana Perez-Bobadilla, Interspecifics, Mexico

Botanycaring: Rethinking human-plants relationship through caring sensory interfaces / Diana Sanchez, Rhode Island School of Design, United States

Existence Beyond Transhumanism / Peter Friess, Belgium

About Becoming a Cybernetic Organism: Approach From the Sound Perception / Diana Martinez Muñoz, Universidad Nacional de Columbia, Colombia

13:00 Break

14:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Decolonizing the Machine / #1

Track Chairs: Christina Shoux Casey (Aalborg University, DK) / Grisha Coleman (Arizona State University, US) / Marco Donnarumma (Academy for Theatre and Digitality, DE) /Elizabeth Jochum (Aalborg University, DK)

Racial Data in Identity Construction of Intelligent Agents: Examining Conversations with BINA48 (2014) and Mythiccbeing (2018) / Suhun Lee, Media Arts Cultures EMJMD Program, Denmark

Neltokoni in cuícatl / Moisés Horta Valenzuela, Mexico

Connecting Resonances: On Pre-modern Indigenous (Sound) Technologies / Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Leiden University, Netherlands

15:30 Break

16:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Decolonizing the Machine / #2

Ethics of Digitizing Public Heritage / Najam-Ul Assar, Lahore Digital Arts Festival, Pakistan

Techno-Neoliberalism’s Body: Dance(r) Labor in Computing Research and Race as Always Already Additive / Jessica Rajko, Wayne State University, United States

Black Quantum Oracle / Clareese Hill, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, UK

17:30 Break

19:00 INTERVENTION / ROOM A

Intervention: Making Intimate Tech (M.I.T.)

M.I.T. community represented by Kadin Herring (independent researcher, US) / Dani Nikitenko (Design Farm Berlin, DE) / Catherine Wieczorek-Berkes (Penn State University, State College, US) / Alice Stewart (Touchy Feely Tech, GB) / Marie Dietze (University of the Arts Berlin, DE), Giulia Tomasello (ALMA, Berlin, DE)

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Interferences of the Multitude / #1

Track Chairs: Patrícia J. Reis (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT) / Taguhi Torosyan (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT) / Stefanie Wuschitz (TU Berlin, DE)

Modulating Matters of Computation, Modeling and Hyper-separations / Selena Savic, IXDM FHNW, Switzerland, Shintaro Miyazaki, Humboldt University, Germany

Collectively Reimagining Technology /Majken Overgaard + Julie Østengaard, Center for Art and Technology, Elsinore Municipality, Denmark; Kirsti Reitan Andersen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Irina Shklovski + Mirabelle Jones, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Exploring Do-It-With-Others communities in the realm of SexTech / Marie Dietze, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany, Alice Stewart, Touchy Feely Tech, UK

13:00 Break

15:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

(Micro)biocontrol & Ethics of Care / #1

Track Chairs: Mariana Perez Bobadilla (Waag Society, NL) / Clio Flego (University of Genoa, IT) / Marta de Menezes (Cultivamos Cultura, PT) / Joel Ong (York University, CA)

From data to matter: Anti-systematic interventions and explorations of the (micro)biopolitical self / Marisa Satsia, Kit Kuksenok, Cyprus

Defining LGBTQ+ Publics Through Consumer Genomics / Sandra Nelson, Kate O’Riordan, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Imposed Gender Bias: Double-oppression on Female Silkworms in Sericulture
Feixuan Xu, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

16:30 Break

17:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

(Micro)biocontrol & Ethics of Care / #2

Microbial Cosmologies
 / Anastasiia Raina, Rhode Island School Of Design, United States

(R)EVOLUTION: Optogenetics and Interspecies Microperformance
 / Lyndsey Walsh, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Semi-Permeabilty: On the Interplay of Affect and Encounter 
/ Jacco Borggreve, Black Brick Gallery, Netherlands

18:30 Break

21:00 INTERVENTION / ROOM B

Intervention: Beyond Classification – The Machinic Sublime

Robert Twomey (Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, UNL, US) / Eunsu Kang (Artist, Founder Women Art AI, US) / Joel Ong (Computational Arts, York University, CA)

DAY 3 / THURSDAY 16.09.2021

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Open Track – Rogue Research / #2

Mattifying the Artificial Face through AI Art / Cristina Voto, Università di Torino, Italy

AI-based Artistic Representation of Emotions from EEG Signals: A Discussion on Fairness, Inclusion, and Aesthetics / Piera Riccio, Politecnico di Torino, Italy / Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway; Kristin Bergaust, Boel Christensen-Scheel, Stefano Nichele, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway; Juan Carlos De Martin, Politecnico di Torino, Italy; Maria A. Zuluaga, Eurecom, France

Finding Pictures in the Sky: Machinic Visions of Cloudscapes / Lila Lee-Morrison, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Capitalism and the Space of Identity / Ellena Basada, Oregon Institute for Creative Research, United States

13:00 Break

14:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Digging Earth / #1

Track Chairs: Catherine Bernard (State University of New York, US) / Matt Garcia (Colorado State University Pueblo / Desert ArtLAB, US)

Infrastructural Unrest / Jamie Allen, Critical Media Lab, Basel, Switzerland

Deep Time, Deep Futures and the Politic of Scales / 
Erich Berger, Finland

Ruins Across the Atlantic: Speculations on the Colonial and Material Genealogies of the Internet’s Submarine Infrastructure / Juan Pablo Pacheco Bejarano, Colombia

15:30 Break

16:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Digging Earth / #2

Can we still remember those mountains? Breaking the world into pieces: art and mining landscapes in Minas Gerais, Brazil / André Mintz, Carlos Henrique Rezende Falci, Gabriel Aragão, Lohuama Lisboa, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil 

Connecting the Dots for a Just Transition / Will Wilson, Santa Fe Community College, United States 

Desert ArtLAB / Matt Garcia, Colorado State University Pueblo, United States

18:00 Break

19:00 INTERVENTION / ROOM A

Intervention: Training to Deal with Otherness

Laura Popplow (Code & Context, TH Köln, DE)
 / Christian Faubel (Code & Context, TH Köln, DE)
 / Lasse Scherffig (KISD, TH Köln, DE) / 
Andreas Muxel (Faculty of Design, HS Augsburg, DE) and students of all three programs

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Interferences of the Multitude / #2

Sensing Interdependency, Experiencing Embeddedness, Extending the Frame while Zooming in / Karin Reisinger, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, Petra Lilja, Konstfack, Sweden

Rethinking Artistic Productivity with Water / Dorota Walentynowicz, Karolina Majewska-Güde, pisze/mówi/robi collective, Poland

Become a tomato – A computational performance / Leon Lapa Pereira + Jacco Borggeve, Interfaculty, the Netherlands

13:00 Break

15:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Spaces – Encounters, Subjectivities + Environments / #1

Track Chairs: Ingrid Cogne (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT) / María Antonia González Valerio (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, MX)

Skin and Scales: Two Thoughts in Ecological Times / Donovan Stewart, Leiden Centre for Continental Philosophy, Leiden University, Netherlands


Data Hearing, Data Smelling. Uncertain and unnecessary measurements in art and science collaborations / Janina Hoth, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Andscapes: As the Bug Crawls / Elizabeth McTernan, Germany

16:30 Break

17:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Spaces – Encounters, Subjectivities + Environments / #2

Love Me to Death / Mari Keski-Korsu, Aalto university, Finland

Sympoietic soundscapes: Listening empathically to a-signifying semiotics / Matías G. Rodríguez-Mouriño, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Fish Architecture – A framework to create interspecies spaces / Anja Wegner, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Germany, Rasmus Nielsen, Superflex, Denmark

18:30 Break

19:00 INTERVENTION / ROOM B

Intervention: The Quantum Biology of Politics

Clarissa Ribeiro (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, USA/BR)
 / Mick Lorusso (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, USA)

DAY 4 / FRIDAY 17.09.2021

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Open Track – Rogue Research / #3

Content Aware / Egor Kraft, Ekaterina Kormilitsyna, Strelka Institute, Russia

Rogue Things, Biotechnical Thresholds, and Post-cybernetic Museums. A Critique. / Morten Søndergaard, Aalborg University, Denmark

‘No Culture No Future’: Virtuality and Its Discontents Reinvented / Jurij Dobriakov, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania

Artists at the Digital Border / Christoffer Horlitz, Humboldt University, Germany; Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, The New School, United States; Ella Hillström, The New School, United States

13:00 Break

14:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Open Science, Critical Spaces / #1

Track Chairs: Gameli Adzaho (Global Lab Network, GH) / Thomas Mboa (Mboalab, CM)/ Khadidiatou Sall (SeeSD, SN)

Democracy, science and development: the nexus in the East African Community / Karl Raymond Kaddu Ssentongo, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Uganda

Experiencability Meets Transformation: Circular Approaches for the Anthropocene / Katharina Schmidt, Ines Weigand, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

Coded Feminisms / Stefanie Wuschitz, TU Berlin, Germany / Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria

15:30 Break

16:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM A

Open Science, Culture Spaces / #2

Novel Images, or? – Image creation with/in science and technology protocols / Laura Beloff, Aalto University, Finland

Deepfakes and Imposter Syndrome: The Risks of Deepfake Therapy / Lars van der Miesen, Black Brick, Netherlands

Open Science in the Field: Snapshots of Experiences / Thomas Mboa, Mboalab, Cameroon, Khadidiatou Sall, SeeSD, Senegal, Gameli Adzaho, Global Lab Network, Ghana

17:30 CONFERENCE ROUNDUP / ROOM A

11:00 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Interferences of the Multitude / #3

Scavenging Lost Worlds: The Aesthetics, and Creative Possibilities, of Internet Decay / Mariana Marangoni, London College of Communication, United Kingdom

We Called It Earth: A framework for collective-based participatory art / Jessica Renfro, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Netherlands

Brief Manifestos for Future Platforms: Creative-Critical-Code Writing Toward Intersectional Systems / Sarah Ciston, University of Southern California, United States

transcendence – trance ‘n dance (performance) / Pamela Varela, Mexico

13:00 Break

15:30 TRACK PANELS / ROOM B

Spaces – Encounters, Subjectivities + Environments / #3

Spectral Choreographies / Yanai Toister, Nimrod Astarhan, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, Israel

Sensing places through more-than-human encounters in augmented cityscapes / Karin Ryding, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Zugzwang* or the compulsion to find a common baseline in sound / Christina Gruber, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria; Natalia Domínguez Rangel, Colombia; Emil Flatø, University of Oslo, Norway; Samuel Hertz, United States

Duelling Epistemologies. How Artists Hack Laboratories and Alter the Futures of Science / Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz, Art Laboratory Berlin, Germany

Tracks

Based on a call for topics

Track 01

Decolonizing the Machine

Track 02

Spaces – Encounters, Subjectivities + Environments

Track 03

(Micro)biocontrol and Ethics of Care

Track 04

Digging Earth

Track 05

Open Science/Critical Spaces

Track 06

Interferences of the Multitude

Track 01

Decolonizing the Machine

Track Chairs
Christina Shoux Casey (Aalborg University, DK)
Grisha Coleman (Arizona State University, US)
Marco Donnarumma (Academy for Theatre and Digitality, DE)
Elizabeth Jochum (Aalborg University, DK)
This track explores black feminist critiques of posthumanism in and through artistic practice and performance research that utilize robots, machine learning, and computation. While robots and cyborgs have potential to figure posthuman forms of subjectivations, in algorithmic societies they often reinforce human-machine, self-other, or abled-disabled binaries, and gloss over the racist and dehumanizing exclusions that uphold neoliberal forms of power and Western conceptions of the human. This track is designed to cultivate and expand upon recent critical race and disability scholarship to uncover how hierarchies are encoded through biased digital technologies that systematically harm persons of colour and elide people with disabilities.

We invite contributions that critically inquire issues of race, gender and disability as they relate to performing machines/technological bodies. We aim at diverse and inclusive scholarship and practice that emphasise decolonial thinking/making. In coordination with the POM theme ‘Rogue Research’, we encourage theory and research involving critical and experimental approaches.

Such inquiry might address topics such as:
– Race/gender/disability bias in robotic/cyborg art
– Algorithmic oppression in robotic/cyborg art, computational racialization
– Critical phenomenology and histories of race and technology in robotic/cyborg art
– Indigenous technologies/epistemologies in art and performance
– Black feminist theory, critical race studies, critical feminism, critical embodiment studies, disability studies, cybertheory, somatechnics, critical posthumanism

Track 02

Spaces – Encounters, Subjectivities + Environments

Track Chairs
Ingrid Cogne (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT)
María Antonia González Valerio (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, MX)
This call aims at re-mapping space of co-agency among living organisms, and invites papers and artistic research projects that observe, question or speculate on a plurality of perspectives that condition or are conditioned by being ‘in’. Being – as we, I, they — ‘in’ something. Being – as everything that there is: Plants, animals, bacteria, sound, light, the planets – are ‘in’ something. The ‘in’ is constantly being modified. There is no ‘in’ as an identity to itself that can contain everything that there is and everything that we are; that can contain everything that there was, as well as everything that we were and wanted to be. The reciprocity among organisms and environments, and the idea that the structural and functional details of organisms are not completely coded by the genome, is explored from a point of view that considers space understood in a broad sense – as a fundamental factor that is intra-active, in continuous formation and in entangled relations of becoming, conditioned – and at the same time – that conditions the becoming of organisms and their behaviour.

Space is something constructed and negotiated with and through many agents and agencies. Space hosts both physical and perceptive navigation and occupation. The question is ‘How’ to enter a physical-material space that proposes possible entangled modes of being in, becoming, constituting, as well as accepting the invisible and perceiving the immaterial ‘in’ spaces.

Inquiries might address topics such as:
– Translating spaces
– Voices, wordings and non/humans
– Conversing with immaterial and invisible presences
– Reading bodies: Navigations – occupations – relationalities
– Organisms and environments

Track 03

(Micro)biocontrol and Ethics of Care

Track Chairs
Mariana Perez Bobadilla (Waag Society, NL)
Clio Flego (University of Genoa, IT)
Marta de Menezes (Cultivamos Cultura, PT)
Joel Ong (York University, CA)

Among our commitment to practices that bend the hierarchies of power, biotechnologies and the biopolitical logics they are managed by, cannot stay out of the discussion. The bio/zoe track for POM Berlin invites proposals critical to biocontrol and biosurveillance. It implies new logics on the distribution of life, death and pain (Braidotti 2013) by questioning human exceptionalism and transforming the relationship with non-humans and connected macro-systems. We are asking for ways of expanding our senses and understanding identity through biotech ventures and experimentations that explore the ramifications of the self. How biotechnological mediated bodies are transformed and what are the implications in terms of temporalities of care. Carol Gilligan (1982) introduces the notion of ethics of care as a form of interdependence valuing relationship, the importance of everyone being listened to carefully. Care is also fundamental to Anna Tsing’s (2017) ‘arts of living on a damaged planet’ and Donna Haraway’s (2016) stitching together of improbable collaborations without worrying over much about conventional ontological kind. This track invites proposals reflecting on or working with living matter from transdisciplinary methodological approaches where art and the life sciences, function as material research into alternatives to deal with the challenges of the present.

Inquiries might address topics such as:
– Making kin and the ethics of care
– Challenging the structures of biocontrol and biosurveillance
– Adaptive strategies, including feminist making approaches to working with living organisms
– Composite/distributed identity and forms of non-human perception
– Integrated self and applied microperformativity

Track 04

Digging Earth

Track Chairs
Catherine Bernard (State University of New York, US)
Matt Garcia (Colorado State University Pueblo / Desert ArtLAB, US)

From the myth of the El Dorado and the colonial exploitation of earth resources on indigenous lands, to the twenty-first century development of renewable sources of energy, new technologies and the demand for rare minerals, the extraction of earth resources has been strategized to meet the demands of heavily industrialized countries. Deep sea mining is the next frontier for the extraction of rare earth elements, while a lucrative space industry is developing plans for asteroid mining.

Relayed by a number of grassroots and activist groups, artists and collectives in various world communities are mounting a growing opposition to the disregard of the extractive industries for ecological destruction and the disempowerment of local communities.

Inquiries might address topics such as:
– Politics of the extractive industries, geo-politics, land appropriation, the commons, exploitative mining on indigenous lands
– The impact of extractive industries on local and indigenous economies and livelihoods
– Gender roles in the exploitation of earth and natural resources, feminist justice strategies for the sharing of natural resources
– Complex interdependencies between renewable energies and the extraction of minerals
– Electronics and military sector dependencies on rare earth elements and the environmental impact of their extraction

Track 05

Open Science/Critical Spaces

Track Chairs
Gameli Adzaho (Global Lab Network, GH)
Thomas Mboa (Mboalab, CM)
Khadidiatou Sall (SeeSD, SN)

The movement of open science is rapidly expanding, bringing into being critical spaces that challenge established hierarchies of power. Giving communities the power to redefine their relationship to knowledge and production, labs across the globe are bringing together professional scientists, DIY practitioners, hackers, critical makers and activists to make new artefacts, conduct experiments, produce and analyse data, and to incite social and political change. Connecting open science to sustainable development means instigating bottom-up civic-driven approaches to issues such as education, health, gender, environmental sustainability and urban development. As local knowledge meets open technologies, a possibility to take issue with an unfolding ‘technocoloniality’ emerges – with the logics of coloniality driven by technology, neocapitalist practices, coloniality of knowledge and a rhetoric of techno-utopia. How do these communities assemble and prototype alternative visions, produce knowledge and initiate practices? What issues are being addressed and what potential do they hold? What are the opportunities and challenges of open science for sustainable development?

Inquiries might address topics such as:
– Democratizing science and development
– DIY tech: open source software, hardware and wetware for development
– DIY biology, biotechnology, bioeconomy, open education and environmental activism
– Making in response to crisis
– Spaces and practices of techno-decoloniality

Track 06

Interferences of the Multitude

Track Chairs
Patrícia J. Reis (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT)
Taguhi Torosyan (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT)
Stefanie Wuschitz (TU Berlin, DE)
In an era of ongoing crises made visible and sensible in the recent global turmoil, the question of ‘normality’ is increasingly under scrutiny. One can no longer be sure what ‘matters’ the most, as the normal was the problem in the first place. ‘There can be no return to normal’ has become the new social and political mantra – we might rather need to give attention to the experimental conditions of our observations. To accomplish this task, artists and researchers search for methods and tools to intra-act with and care for what matters in the realms of a potential future. We take this call as a chance to feel those who question established disorders – an invitation for people from diverse fields working in theory and/or empirical methodologies and practices for critical (art) making.

Inquiries might address topics such as:
– Transfeminist hacking – towards a (new*) method
– Feminist economies vs gendered commodity chains
– Eco-feminism and its discontents, de-growth ecologies and possible futures – zero cost, zero waste, zero harm
– Ethical hardware – tools of the redistribution of the sensible
– Empirical methodologies and practices for critical (art) making

Interventions

Intervention 01

The Quantum Biology of Politics

Intervention 02

Training to Deal with Otherness

Intervention 03

Beyond Classification: The Machinic Sublime

Intervention 04

Emotional Machine

Intervention 05

Making Intimate Tech (M.I.T.)

Intervention 01

The Quantum Biology of Politics

Clarissa Ribeiro (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, USA/BR)
Mick Lorusso (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, USA)

“The quantum mechanics of politics, then, demands from us an understanding that flux is neither good nor bad but inevitable” (Flora Lewis, November 6, 1983, Foreign Affairs’ column for The New York Times)

We invite artists and researchers to jump collectively with us from one space of possibility – where quantum mechanics asserts, we “don’t know” and “can’t know”; to the next – in which experimental techniques such as time-resolved microscopy, ultrafast spectroscopy, single molecule spectroscopy, or even single particle imaging enable us the precision of observing and measuring infinitesimal dynamics at very small length and time scales. What does quantum biology offer us as multiplicities and alternative realities when considering the attempt to subvert and confront absolute order, stability, and control in the socio-political sphere? We offer the POM audience an immersion in live video performances speculating on quantum effects in living systems, using DIY microscopy, data visualization, machine learning, and other media art techniques.

Part 1: Clarissa Ribeiro (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US/BR) / Mick Lorusso (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US) / Karina Lopez (Los Angeles, US/MX)

Part 2:
 Victoria Vesna (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US) / Jim Gimzewski
(Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US)

Part 3: Claudia Jacques (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US) / John Bardakos (GR/FR/CN)

Part 4: Kaitlyn Bryson (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US) / Matea Friend (Los Angeles, US) / Submercence Collective (Los Angeles, US)

Part 5: Ivana Dama, (Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US) / Clinton Van Arnam
(Art|Sci Collective, UCLA, US)

Intervention 02

Training to Deal with Otherness

Laura Popplow (Code & Context, TH Köln, DE)
Christian Faubel (Code & Context, TH Köln, DE)
Lasse Scherffig (KISD, TH Köln, DE)
Andreas Muxel (Faculty of Design, HS Augsburg, DE)
and students of all three programs

Artificial intelligence and machine learning promise machines that learn from us. The myth of the machine that meets us as an equal has been with us since, at least, Licklider’s ‘Man-computer Symbiosis’. It is found in the idea of human-centered design, smart interfaces, and intelligent agents. In contrast, human-computer interaction has always been about how to perform commands and embody interfaces – about learning how to act like a machine. Acknowledging this, we assume that interaction occurs where technology eludes our expectations, where it needs to be repaired, kept running and performed, or where it develops behavior that is unexpected and unpredictable. When machines behave in ways that are contrary to our expectations, our relationship to them will be challenged – and it might become apparent how many different actors are involved in their functioning. In these moments, machines become Others with whom we have to find a way of dealing.


The intervention brings together designers of future machine systems: Practitioners and students from three programs dealing with design and/of technology and the complex entanglement of teaching machines and being taught by them. Together with the participating public, the intervention will stage three practices in human-machine relations: TRAINING is the key activity when working with machine learning systems, an activity that needs time and timing, in which there is a fragile balance between needing more training or over-training a neural network. REHEARSING specific gestures that create relations between humans and machines, we will stage a shared embodied experience in the Zoom session, exploring and inviting reflection about how machines are both trained by us and training us. Through MAINTENANCE and enactment of these collective and individual gestures, we will experience how much daily and everyday performance work is needed to deal with the Otherness of human-machine relations.

Intervention 03

Beyond Classification: The Machinic Sublime

Robert Twomey (Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, UNL, US)
Eunsu Kang (Artist, Founder Women Art AI, US)
Joel Ong (Computational Arts, York University, CA)

The gap between current technological development in AI and the complex and mysterious process of human intelligence remind us of the very intersections of the mundane and the sublime in our history. The journey towards machinic sublime might feel long and disoriented yet be a place to find the most important questions of today where hyperobjects of technoscience – such as the internal distribution of the brain or cognitive functioning in multi-species, the networked consciousnesses over social media, ecosystemic developments in mixed reality, edge sensing and smart homes – recast life in general as protean, plastic and ever in potentia.

This intervention is an experimental theatric conversation/performance via webconferencing, a new kind of Turing Test. In a multi-agent roundtable, human interlocutors and machinic partners argue the possibility of a machinic sublime. Together, these interlinked discussions become an emergent system. In this roundtable format, audience interventions are welcome.

Intervention 04

Emotional Machine

Hege Tapio (OsloMet, NO)
Marco Donnarumma (Independent researcher, DE)
Florence Razoux (Independent researcher, DE/FR)

What kind of relationships can emerge from “emotional” machines interacting with biological beings, human and non-human? This panel questions the current cultural and technological path towards machines’ emotion technology. Emotion technology seeks to interpret, mimic and use the language of emotions to engage humans. In this field, machines are imbued with emotion recognition and processing algorithms so that they can be modeled and customized with personalities that may emotionally support a user. But what if these perspectives were tilted?


Research into Emotion technology is conducted by various actors in different fields – artists, scientists, designers, philosophers, psychologists and activists. Some of them experiment with the possibilities of these technologies, others seek to critique these developments by arguing that emotions are not something to be registered, monetized and engineered. In this panel three artists/researchers shape some perspectives on the possibilities and the impossibilities of a convergence between emotions and machines. Following concise presentations by the panel members, the conversation will be open to the audience aiming to collaboratively answer some urgent questions on the topic.

Intervention 05

Making Intimate Tech (M.I.T.)

M.I.T. community represented by:
Kadin Herring (Independent researcher, US)
Marie Dietze (University of the Arts Berlin, DE)
Dani Nikitenko (Design Farm Berlin, DE)
Alice Stewart (Touchy Feely Tech, GB)
Giulia Tomasello (ALMA, Berlin, DE)
Catherine Wieczorek-Berkes (Penn State University, State College, US)

The M.I.T. (Making Intimate Tech) is an international group of practitioners who are excited about and engaged with the realm of intimacy, technology and self-actualisation. This is a community of feminist practitioners working with stigmatised or tabooed topics, including but not limited to: politics, sex, money, physical/mental health and interpersonal communication.

Within this intervention, together with POM conference attendees, the M.I.T. aims to step forward and collectively explore and compile a framework for how to develop more empathic, emotional, and authentic relationships with technology in order to improve the well-being of all bodies.

Important Dates
Submission

15.03.2021 Submissions of Abstracts
01.06.2021 Notifications of Acceptance
30.08.2021 Full Paper Submission
20.10.2021 Final Paper Submission

Conference

14.09.2021-17.09.2021
POM Berlin – Rogue Research /
Digital Conference

For Authors and Reviewers

Applicants are invited to submit a 500-word abstract under one of the six conference tracks by 15.03.2021. Submissions without a track selection will be assigned to an appropriate track by the conference organizers.

Following acceptance of the abstract, authors are requested to submit their full paper (max. 4000 words including references) by 30.08.2021.

All submissions will undergo double blind peer-review and accepted papers will be presented in the conference programme and published in the open access conference proceedings.

All participation in POM Berlin will be free of charge, however, please keep in mind that we cannot provide financial support.

Venue


Technische Universität Berlin
(Einstein Center Digital Future) +

Berlin University of the Arts
(Weizenbaum Institute)

Following Copenhagen (2018) and Beirut (2019), the third POM conference will take place on 14.-17. of September 2021 based in Berlin. The conference is hosted by the chair for Open Science at the Technische Universität Berlin (Einstein Center Digital Future) and the research group ‘Critical Maker Culture’ at the Berlin University of the Arts (Weizenbaum Institute) in Berlin.

The POM Berlin conference is a collaboration between the Technische Universität Berlin, the Berlin Uiversity of the Arts, Aalto University, Aalborg University and the International University of Beirut.

The conference will take place over four days, comprising a series of tracks, interventions and a student exhibition. Due to pandemic circumstances, the conference will take place as a digital conference, accompanied by a small live viewing site in Berlin. The contributions will form the foundations for planned publication.

Committee
POM Berlin 2021

Dr. Michelle Christensen
Visiting Professor for Open Science / Critical Culture
Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future, Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Institute

Dr. Florian Conradi
Visiting Professor for Open Science / Critical Design
Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future, Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Institute

Dr. Laura Beloff
Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Artistic Practices – Aalto University

Dr. Morten Søndergaard
Associate Professor / MediaAC Academic Director
School of Communication, Music, Art & Technology – Aalborg University
Dr. Hassan Choubassi
Associate Professor/Director
Institute of Visual Communication
The International University of Beirut
Mr. Joe Elias
Associate Director
Institute of Visual Communication
The International University of Beirut
Dr. Dehlia Hannah
Mads Øvlisen Fellow, Art and Natural Science
Aalborg University-Copenhagen
Affiliated Fellow, Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin

Organisational Team:
Michelle Christensen, Florian Conradi, Marie Dietze, Katharina Bellinger, Lukas Wirsching, Pablo Torres, Berkay Soykan