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The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs

The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs

Within the larger discourse around digital cultures, much attention is given to care. Care infrastructure includes physical infrastructure of access to remote spaces, regulatory and policy environments to control the digital spaces, redesigned geographies to house the new populations created by the ICT industries, and is discussed in disciplines as varied as Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change. Care Technologies find obvious resonances with the Foucaultian idea of ‘Technologies of the Self’, reminding us of the normative nature of measurement, cognition, discipline and punishment that is an inherent part of care.

The responses to Care Technologies and the Labor of Caring are not uniform. Some clearly identify the emergence of Care Technologies as a new form of alienation of labour, leading to discrimination and inequity. Others celebrate the ways in which the penetrative nature of the digital – from deep space probes to the sub-molecular conception of the human – allow us to imagine social interactions and our relationships with our own bodies in new ways.

In all the discourse around Care, there is silence about its form, function and nature. While attention is given to infrastructure, labour, politics, production and the intelligibility of care practices, we haven’t yet tried to fathom the conditions and generation of care, relegating it to the realm of the private and the subjective. Combining practice and theory, in different parts of the Global South, and inspired by gender and sexuality studies, this panel looks at Care as a Habit. We focus on the ‘care of technologies’, showing how the forced separation of care and technology needs to be revisited to look at conditions of being human, being social and being political. Working through diverse geographical and political contexts, the panel illustrates the tensions in understanding and engaging with Care and why there is a need to find new vocabularies and relationships to deal with this area.

The speakers in this panel specifically focus on the following themes:

Care, Affect and Nationalism (Nishant Shah)

Labor and Care (Yeonju Oh)

Care, Spirit and Memory (Kara Andrade)

Care and the Globalizing of “Subaltern” Labor through the politics of Micro and the production and circulation of affect (Radhika Gajjala)

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The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs

  2. 2. Panelists Chair: Dr. N'Dri Assie-Lumumba, Professor Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University Speakers: Dr. Radhika Gajjala, Professor School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University radhik@bgsu.edu Dr. Nishant Shah, co-founder and Research Director Centre for Internet and Society nishant@cis-india.org Tuesday, October 15, 13
  3. 3. Panelists Dr. Yeon Ju Oh, Research Associate Multi-plAtform Game innovation Centre (MAGIC) at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore oyeonj@ntu.edu.sg Kara Andrade, Journalist and Entrepreneur kara@hablacentro.com Tuesday, October 15, 13
  4. 4. Care and Globalizing (Chair) Care, Affect and Nationalism (Nishant Shah) Labor & Care (Yeonju Oh) Care, Spirit & Memory (Kara Andrade) Care & the Globalizing of “Subaltern” Labor (Radhika Gajjala) Tuesday, October 15, 13
  5. 5. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  6. 6. Dr. Nishant Shah Dr. Nishant Shah is the co-founder and Research Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India. He is an International Tandem Partner at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Germany and a Knowledge Partner with the Hivos Knowledge Programme, The Netherlands. He was the principle researcher for a research programme that produced the four-volume anthology ‘Digital AlterNatives With a Cause?’, examining the ways in which young people’s relationship with digital technologies produces changes in their immediate environments. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  7. 7. Taking Care of Things Habits, Technologies, Affect and Governance Nishant Shah @latelyontime Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore Tuesday, October 15, 13
  8. 8. Human Technology Relationships Tuesday, October 15, 13
  9. 9. Technology as Infrastructure Tuesday, October 15, 13
  10. 10. Positive Images of Growth Tuesday, October 15, 13
  11. 11. Anti-Technology Stances Tuesday, October 15, 13
  12. 12. Technology As Discrete, Human As Sacred Tuesday, October 15, 13
  13. 13. Affect of Technology Tuesday, October 15, 13
  14. 14. Affect of Technology Tuesday, October 15, 13
  15. 15. Affect & Affectation Tuesday, October 15, 13
  16. 16. The Charkha Technology of reconstructing the moral and the material Tuesday, October 15, 13
  17. 17. I do regard the spinning-wheel as a gateway to my spiritual salvation, but I recommend it to others only as a powerful weapon for the attainment of swaraj and the amelioration of the economic condition of the country. – M.K. Gandhi Tuesday, October 15, 13
  18. 18. TECHNOLOGY Tuesday, October 15, 13
  19. 19. Tagore: Demonic Machine Tuesday, October 15, 13
  20. 20. The discussion, so far, has proceeded on the assumption that the largescale production of homespun thread and cloth will result in the alleviation of the country's poverty. My complaint is that by the promulgation of this confusion between swaraj and charkha, the mind of the country is being distracted from swaraj. – Rabindranath Tagore Tuesday, October 15, 13
  21. 21. Value in the Usage Tuesday, October 15, 13
  22. 22. Affect of Technology is Care Tuesday, October 15, 13
  23. 23. The State Cares for Technology Individuals use technologies to care. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  24. 24. Intimate Technologies Tuesday, October 15, 13
  25. 25. Hamara Bajaj Tuesday, October 15, 13
  26. 26. Sumeet Mixer Grinder Technologies we care for. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  27. 27. Technology – Human – Care Tuesday, October 15, 13
  28. 28. Yeon Ju Oh Bio Yeonju Oh is research associate at Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre at Nanyang Technological University. She is currently working on development of video games to promote civic engagement, an interdisciplinary research project funded by Media Development Authority, Singapore. She co-edited Cyberfeminism 2.0 and has been researching women in technology, the relationship between gender and new media technologies, and feminist knowledge production. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  29. 29. My Nanny is a Robot Yeon Ju Oh Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Tuesday, October 15, 13
  30. 30. Gender Social Status Positionality Age Tuesday, October 15, 13 Locatio n
  31. 31. 1998 AIBO Tuesday, October 15, 13 2007 Kittybat In Development Family Nanny
  32. 32. • Deceived Relationship • Emotional/Psychological Damage. Sharkey & Sharkey (2010) • Social/ethical issues as a integral part of new technologies • Voluntary efforts to minimize risks • Robot nanny as augmentation of care Tuesday, October 15, 13
  33. 33. The cared-for Tuesday, October 15, 13 The one caring
  34. 34. Ethics of Care The cared-for Tuesday, October 15, 13 The one caring
  35. 35. What Does a Robot Nanny Mean To Women? • Robotic care vs. Minimal care • Segmentation & quantification of care • Expansion of the scope of care work Tuesday, October 15, 13
  36. 36. Who Decides the Criteria? Tuesday, October 15, 13
  37. 37. “South Korea has had remarkably high incidence and prevalence rates of physical violence against children, yet the problem has received only limited public and professional attention until very recently.” - Sharkey and Sharkey Tuesday, October 15, 13
  38. 38. Care work by middle-class Tuesday, October 15, 13 Migration of women from developing Women with lower economic status in developing
  39. 39. Global Chain of Care Work Tuesday, October 15, 13
  40. 40. Family Planning Tuesday, October 15, 13
  41. 41. Family Planning Tuesday, October 15, 13
  42. 42. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  43. 43. What we do as academics Who we are & what we think Tuesday, October 15, 13
  44. 44. Kara Andrade Kara Andrade is an Ashoka fellow working in Central America. She is cofounder of HablaCentro LLC and Not For Profit which develops curriculum to help people in Latin America become more digitally literate and civically engaged; conducts trainings in the use of digital tools to create more informed citizens; and connects collaborators to opportunities so they can sustain themselves economically through informed global citizenship and storytelling. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  45. 45. Healthy Living Tuesday, October 15, 13
  46. 46. Trends Individual Spiritual Needs => Networked spirituality To practice online (sometimes practices you do individually) To share a spiritual experience online Tuesday, October 15, 13
  47. 47. Faith in Second life (2007) Tuesday, October 15, 13
  48. 48. World Religion Day January 20, 2013 Interfaith Panel on “Religion as a Source of Social Change” Place: UUtopia Library of World Religions, Second Life. The panel had 5 or 6 reps of different religious and interfaith groups in Second Life, chosen in an effort to achieve balance and diversity of viewpoints. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  49. 49. Livestreaming of Mecca Pilgrimmage Tuesday, October 15, 13
  50. 50. San Francisco Zen Center Tuesday, October 15, 13
  51. 51. Christian Bloggers Tuesday, October 15, 13
  52. 52. Radhika Gajjala Radhika Gajjala (PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1998) is Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. She has published books on Cyberculture and the Subaltern (2012), has co-edited collections on Cyberfeminism 2.0 (2012), Global Media Culture and Identity (2011), South Asian Technospaces (2008) and Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice (2008). Currently, she is working on research on microfinance online, digital financialization to P2P lending and borrowing based in social media and neoliberal entreprenuership with a focus on “women’s work”, value and tacit practices/contributions in transitioning economic times through an (auto)ethnographic focus on craft communities (book in-progress as of 2012 Fall). She is also a member of the Fembot Collective and FemTechnet and is co-editor of “ADA: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.” For more information: www.cyberdiva.org Tuesday, October 15, 13
  53. 53. Care and Globalizing (Radhika) “Subaltern” Labor through politics of micro and the production and the circulation of affect. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  54. 54. Care and Globalizing (Radhika) Richard Sennet (2006) talks about the fragmenting of people’s lives in response to the fragment of big institutions. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  55. 55. Care and Globalizing (Radhika) Resulting Care concerns: “How to manage short-term relationships, and oneself, while migrating from task to task, job to job, place to place.” Prof. Richard Sennett. The Culture of the New Capitalism (Kindle Locations 34-35). Kindle Edition. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  56. 56. Care and Globalizing (Radhika) Resulting Care concerns: “how to develop new skills, how to mine potential abilities, as reality's demands shift.” “How to let go of the past….past service in particular earns no employee a guaranteed place.” Tuesday, October 15, 13
  57. 57. Sennet (2006) “This trait of personality resembles more the consumer ever avid for new things, discarding old if perfectly serviceable goods, rather than the owner who jealousy guards what he or she already possesses.” Prof. Richard Sennett. The Culture of the New Capitalism (Kindle Locations 42-44). Kindle Edition. Tuesday, October 15, 13
  58. 58. Pinch and Swedberg (2008) “Exchange is entered into not only because of a desire to consume, but also to make a profit.” “Exchange is also a form of distribution that tends to mobilize both parties to a transaction.” Tuesday, October 15, 13
  59. 59. Care as Transaction: Care Exchange • Coding affect into market exchange and reciprocity • What does this mean for Care work? • Care systems need efficient, replicable machinic care providers (Gajjala, inpress, Introduction to Special issue of Television and New Media) Tuesday, October 15, 13
  60. 60. Machinic Subjectivity - Kalindi Vora “Technologies of virtual surveillance and the constant threat [of mobility and abandonment] ..not only create a stressful work environment but also produce a “machinic subjectivity” where workers must reorganize themselves as subjects to protect their personalities …” Tuesday, October 15, 13
  61. 61. Machinic Subjectivity – Caring Tuesday, October 15, 13
  62. 62. Yunus and MLK will save the world Online Microfinance rescues developed world youth from fears and anxieties about “the poor.” www.kiva.org Tuesday, October 15, 13
  63. 63. Yunus and MLK will save the world Tuesday, October 15, 13
  64. 64. Yunus and MLK will save the world Samasource www.samasource.org/company/the-blog/microwork/ Tuesday, October 15, 13
  65. 65. Take Home Points We each need to include one take home point: 1. Care, Affect and Indian Nationalism (Nishant Shah) 2. Labor, Care and Robots (Yeonju Oh) 3. Care, Spirit and Memory (Kara Andrade) 4. Care and the Globalizing of “Subaltern” Labor through the politics of Micro and the production and circulation of affect (Radhika Gajjala) Tuesday, October 15, 13
  66. 66. Interactive Session (30 minutes) Roundtable and Q&A or Q&A and separate groups by theme Use Twitter hashtags for questions: #wssf2013care Kara will transcribe audience questions Tuesday, October 15, 13