Data Artifacts, Infrastructures, Landscapes

New School for Social Research: Anthropology

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)


Spring 2020

Taught By: Shannon Mattern

Section: A

CRN: 7142

Credits: 3

Data fuel our economies and political systems, but they also shape our cultural and material worlds, inscribing themselves into our apps and architectures, our labor practices and logistical systems. We can observe how data logics, politics, and epistemologies are designed into -- made manifest at -- sites like factory farms and fulfilment centers, prisons and hospitals, archives and ports, borders and mines, smart cities and Whole Foods. In this course we’ll select a few test sites where we can explore how “datalogical designs” scale up and down, from software interfaces to master plans -- and we’ll propose methodologies for reverse-engineering “black boxed” algorithmic logics through these material artifacts and architectures. Our work will be informed by a widely interdisciplinary body of literature, spanning from anthropology to geography to information and media studies. Depending upon the luck of course-planning, we might take a few field trips and/or conduct collaborative, short-term fieldwork at a single test site. Students will be able to develop mini-ethnographies of artifacts and landscapes of their choice. Instructor permission is required to register for this course.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Anthropology (GANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: February 3, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: May 13, 2020 (Wednesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:51am 5/29/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 704

Date Range: 1/21/2020 - 5/5/2020