Report from the Collective Care Transmission Forms track at Relearn

The CCTF was organised during the relearn summerschool this last week of august in Rotterdam. @kymberleyward brought to us the great material that @karisa gathered for her thesis researching on line care communities*.
When I arrived at the end of the second day the group had overlooked a series of online communities previously studied by Karisa The group had decided to focus on the open apps project, a group of diabetic people who developed a DiY tool for automating insulin distribution by sending the blood measure to their smartphone app.

This group seemed to materialize many of the questions we ask ourselves about electronic harware and the body, information sharing, privacy and the cloud/the relation to corporations, and more…
I also know this group because each time people critic self quantification, there is always someone to say no, this can be done to the benefit of good , “look at open apps” people were saying… So I was indeed super happy to take a look at open apps and understand it.

However it was difficult for the group to get to any proximity with the topic, even if there was a lot of material to look at, none of us suffer from type1 diabetes, we even felt a little voyeuristic lurking at their twitters feeds and other widely available instagrams pics… We spent some time looking to different ways that could allow us to address this going back to issues we are concerned with, such as community or care or the physical relation to technology…

At some point with @sakasama we started asking ourselves why did the oppen apps group (only ~300 people) had so much visibility (in the press for example) and @sakasama formulated the question “to whom does this benefit” and we started answering (line 67).

It appeared clearly that this group was emblematic of liberal thinking (that often characterizes open source projects) and that this was a contradiction to the principle of caring as indeed they would abandon a large part of their community (essentially the ones that had less financial means) by benefiting corporation while more fundamental needs that do not benefit corporations are not addressed, such as for example the cost of insulin (there is no generic insulin).

The material work that should come from this reflection still has to be formulated, and we decided to move on to subjects that are closer to us and continue to envision the relation between the body and the technological apparatuses of our networked societies. I continue more than ever to think that this cannot be separated from social concerns and while techno-optimism continues to hold the main stream, and dystopic scenarios are built in the critical scene, I really look forward to a care community that takes in account those issues and provides a different aesthetics appealing to the diversity of our knowledges and our fragility in the world.

*more info on Karisa’s and Kym’s blog:

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Some notes from Dan Mc Quiilan algorythmic paranoïa and the convivial alterantive that might be of use here:

“Steve Mann and collaborators use the term ‘veillance’ to describe this matrix of observation, from the French verb “veiller” which means “to watch” (Mann, 2013). Mann’s original motivation was the
exploration of alternatives under the banner of ‘souveillance’, as in ‘sous’ (from below) rather that’sur’ (from above). With an engineering background, he realised the possibility of creating wearable devices that could watch back, using them as probes to unsettle the asymmetric nature of institutional and commercial video surveillance. In Mann’s picture the contestation is between the oversight of the institution and the undersight of the community; a struggle between social formations conducted through mediated vectors of watching (Mann and Ferenbok, 2013).” 310815468_Algorithmic_paranoia_and_the_convivial_alternative

you might enjoy this talk by Simone Browne: Dark Souveillance

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Thanks indeed Karisa for referring to this very interesting presentation, its a very interesting path to unveil a relation between historical surveillance of blackness in slavery and contemporary profiling in digital surveillance technologies.
The way I understand Simone Brown’s presentation is that she encourages us to learn from the experience of black people, and bind with them in rejecting and fleeing from these surveillance technologies.
When listening to Simone’s Brown presentation I can’t help but thinking on my recent fascination on the book "Fugitif ou cours tu? by Dénètem Touam Bona unfortunately only in French but check it out:
'‘Fuguer, ce n’est pas être mis en fuite, mais au contraire faire fuir le réel, y opérer des variations sans fin pour déjouer toute saisie. La fugue est fougue créatrice.’ (To become run away is not being constrained to escape, quite the contrary, it is getting reality to flee by operating an infinity of variations in it, in order to thwart any seizure. The run away gesture is a creative ardor. ) (:::…;;; ). It feels that surveillance studies and body politics should be addressed with similar views, studying them as value of resistance built throughout years, strengthening our communities, and our imaginaries.

@karisa @kymberleyward @FoolSparadise @ksenia @supergeante @sakasama
All in this group I would like to propose you Queering Control as a research topic about surveillance body politics and technologies, and I would like to start the process by discussing some selected work and online communities who unite in this perspective, caring for eachother and developing new forms new tools critical view.

It would be amazing to build a group on this platform that exposes care in the feminist hackers community, understanding those the way that Sophie Toupin puts it: “Becoming a feminist hacker, maker or geek is not only about learning how to code, how to administer systems, it is also about being curious on how things are made, and learning to challenge and question how technology works and how technology impacts our lives and the lives of others.”

As a starting point in the context of critical self quantification I propose to look at the astounding video work of Lu Yang and particularly her/his last video piece called Delusional Mandala that that explores body imagery, spliced body, measured body etc…

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