Upon opening the black box…

Our next kitchen session will address a methodological problem that was articulated during our discussion with Louise Amoore, namely the problem of black boxes. Louise has argued that in the era of algorithms opening black boxes – the default methodological strategy in STS – will no longer do: many research objects in the field are not boxes, they are not black, and opening them is not necessarily the best way of engaging with them. So, what do we do?

The problem seems new, but versions of it have already been addressed in STS. In our next session, we’ll discuss a classic text: ‘Upon opening the black box and finding it empty‘ by Langdon Winner. The session will take place at the usual place (PEG 3G 204) at the usual time (18.00-20.00) on the 8th December.

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Distributive Numbers

Many of us are still recovering from the recent US presidential election campaign. Arguably, the election results mark not only the crisis of American politics, but an entire epistemo-political paradigm that includes politicians, journalists, and opinion polling companies alike. It is in this context that we’ll discuss Adrian Mackenzie‘s chapter in Modes of Knowing: Resources from the Baroque titled ‘Distributive Numbers: A Post-demographic Perspective on Probability’. The meeting will take place on the 24th November, at the usual time and place (18.00, PEG 3G 204). Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

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Baroque and digital dis/orders

On the 4th November we’ll continue our collective exploration of baroque modes of knowing by going on a field trip to Mannheim, to theNur schöner schein? exhibition.

Between the 17th and the 19th November we’ll then perform a digital switch and attend the Digital <dis>Orders conference at the Normative Orders cluster. Before the conference starts, we’ll have a kitchen meeting with Louise Amoore – we’ll be discussing her recent paper on Cloud Geographies. (The meeting will take place in Sturm & Drang at 11am – please let Till know in advance if you’re coming.) 

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Modes of Knowing

The semester start seems far away, but perhaps it makes sense to already arrange our next kitchen meeting. In order to reduce (or at least not to increase) the craziness of the first few weeks of the winter term, I suggest that we meet at 6pm on the 13th October, in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 204). If you agree, we could use the session to discuss the introductory chapter of John Law and Evelyn Ruppert’s Modes of Knowing: Resources from the Baroque (the whole book is available online for free at https://www.matteringpress.org/books/modes-of-knowing). This chapter might be a good starting point for a series of discussions about styles of knowing and doing research.

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Kitchen visit to Karlsruhe

On June the 17th we’ll collectively visit Bruno Latour et al.’s exhibition ‘Reset Modernity’ at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. If you feel like joining us, please meet us at the head of Platform 6 at Frankfurt Hbf at 9.50am. We’ll take the 10.05am train to Karlsruhe (ICE towards Chur).

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The temporal politics of carbon

Our next session with take place at 18.00 on the 9th June in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G. 204). Our special guest will be Ingmar Lippert from the ITU in Copenhagen, who will bring a draft paper titled ‘Environment as placeholder: on the temporal politics of carbon’ as a contribution to our ongoing discussion about multiple temporalities. (Please email for a copy of the paper.)

See many of you there & then!

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Frozen in time: the politics of latency

Our next session will take place at 18.00 on the 12th May, in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 204). We’ll continue the ‘multiple temporalities’ theme by discussing the concept of latency. We’ll do this with the help of Joanna Radin’s 2013 paper titled ‘Latent life: Concepts and practices of human tissue preservation in the International Biological Program’ – please find the article here. (Do let Endre know, if you can’t access the PDF.)

See you soon!

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Universities in neoliberal times

The first session of the summer semester will be a public lecture by Cris Shore at the Cultural Anthropology department. The talk will draw on Cris and his colleagues’ recent ethnographic research on the transformation of universities in the global knowledge economy (more here: http://kaee.uni-frankfurt.de/?p=1647). Related to our ‘multiple temporalities theme’, perhaps this will also be a good occasion to reflect on what it means to talk about neoliberal times…

The public lecture is at 18.00 on the 28th April in Seminar House 5.101

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The biology of history

The last Kitchen STS meeting of the Winter term will be held on the 11th February, at 6pm in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G.204).

This time, our special guest will be Uli Beisel, who will use this session as an opportunity to test some of her ideas for future research. As preparation, Uli has asked us to read Hannah Landecker’s ‘Antibiotic Resistance and the Biology of History‘ in Body & Society.

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Rhythm, tempo, and historical time

Happy New Year to you all! The first kitchen meeting of 2016 will take place on the 14th January, at the usual time and place. We’ll continue our discussion of multiple temporalities with the help of Michael Herzfeld’s ‘Rhythm, tempo, and historical time: experiencing temporality in the neoliberal age’. You should be able to download the paper from this page – please ask Endre for a PDF if you can’t access it.

See you next week!

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