Weeknotes 10: Exams, Data, Solstice!

  • Heavy couple of days of MA exams this week… all done now.
  • Brilliant talk by Olga Goriunova on Wednesday on the Ideal and Data Analytics dealing with the production of data selves as subjects. A take away was that users become not only what they are but also a set of predictions on what they might do (buy) and how they might go onto behave. Some interesting thoughts around speculation and its uses in mapping out and shaping futures (reminded me of Uncertain Commons work). My understanding was that Olga’s notion of the ideal was to do with the shaping of the ‘ideal’ subject that are a set of personal traits which can infer future patterns. But that these are distill people into poor representation that toe the lines of normativity. An unarticulated thought I had on this was that there is also a performativity to the ways these ideal subjects play out, whereby they are also shaping new subjects. I.e. the construction of the digital subject is to do with calculations to create categories and shape others into them.
  • Then an interesting few talks from the Drawing Research Network‘s series on more-than-human drawing practices. Some interesting ideas on the ways drawing could be considered not only a human activity but one conducted by snails, seas and insects. Some interesting ideas but I think I always hit up against categorisation issues with this kind of argument, where if drawing can be anything it becomes less useful (meaningful?) as a way to understand the world.
  • We celebrated solstice with friends around a fire last night (two days after actual solstice but that’s the way here, how else would you know it was solstice other than after the fact?). Dreamy times.

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