25.07.2023

Packing and unpacking Care

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Packing and unpacking Care and Love as a framework for building collective tools and infrastructure.

In recent years, a feminist understanding of care has been widely discussed as a potential ethical and political framework against exclusionary and discriminatory mechanisms in design and making processes. According to Joan Tronto, the discussion about care is a reflection about power(1). We use this as a starting point to discuss power structures inscribed in socio-technical infrastructures and as the question on how a relational and interdependent understanding of making can help us collectively build caring infrastructures. Bringing together making and thinking, we are going to experiment with and build a small local off-grid communication mechanism for collective discourse and cohesion, and simultaneously engage in short readings on care and love ethics by Joan Tronto, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa and bell hooks to explore the potential of care regarding building collective infrastructures.

(1) Joan C. Tronto (2013): Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality, and Justice, NYU Press

Number of Participants: Open! If we are a bigger group, we can organize group work.

Access

  • A standard workshop, but might be some standing/walking involved. We would go over the workshop step by step during introduction, inviting participants to let us know how we can make it more comfortable, so we can accomodate them (We are "Jef Vdb" on zulip!). We could do this up front if there is a place to put that information.

Technology/tools

  • We are aiming to, as a conversation piece, provide the technological means to hide a community in plain sight. This should end up as a device which lets people in the vicinity to communicate by passing on messages and small bits of data. Based on this activity the question around caring infrastrcuture will be explored, on the one hand through collectively building the communication network and on the other by using the discussed reading material as a source for conceptualizing such a network.
  • The device itself would be based on a common "ESP32" board, which are tiny Arduino-ish programmable devices which have wifi and bluetooth, they look like this and can be acquired for under 10€.

Bio

Meike is a designer, music and dance lover and recently started a PhD researching collective design practice as democratic inquiry for social justice and equality in the field of artificial intelligence.

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