Digital Network Infrastructure
Taught By: Charlie Muller
While digital objects are often imagined to exist in an immaterial or virtual cyberspace, code and data actually exist in material forms and places in the physical world: data centers, routers, wired and wireless data flows, and physical computers in our homes, pockets, and public spaces. This hybrid theory/practice seminar will take these physical infrastructures of the digital as our primary objects of inquiry, developing both critical analysis and hands-on techniques to test, build, and intervene in these networks and data circulations. We will ask political economic questions such as: who owns and operates this apparatus, who governs its use, and who extracts the value that it generates? We will consider questions of social justice and the so-called digital divide – the inequity of access that exists along the lines of race, class, and gender – and study projects that directly work to redress these disparities. Texts will be included from a diverse array of scholars including Grace Lee Boggs, Alex Galloway, Lewis Mumford, and Simone Browne in fields including network studies, cultural studies, and science and technology studies (STS). We will explore themes such as the decentralization of communication networks, community activism, critical design, and mutual care. We will examine objects such as mesh networks, offline networks, sneakernets, wireless routers, and portable network kits. This course will include project work experimenting with various techniques in network hardware and protocols. No prior experience with these technologies is required.
College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)
Department: Eugene Lang (LANG)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 18
Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* Status information is updated every few 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: 4:06pm 8/19/2022 EDT