Session Submission Summary

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Reimagining the Digital: Queer and Trans Digital Reformulations

Sat, November 9, 2:00 to 3:45pm, Hawai'i Convention Center, Mtg Rm 319 A

Session Submission Type: Non-Paper Session: Dialogue Format


This interactive dialogue brings together scholars/artist/activists whose work interrogates the relationship of digital media and structural violence. Together we ask, how do the configurations of digital media (from algorithms, terms and conditions, uses of augmented reality, etc) reinforce the settler state, racial gendering, the dominance of humans over the environment, and enable the reproduction of multiple, existing social oppressions. Together we will examine the design, systems, and practices that comprise the uses and limitations of digital media technology, and also elucidate where we see possibilities for the recuperation of these same technologies for justice. Each participant will engage the audience in a short presentation, followed by a dialogue with the audience, catalyzed by a transfeminist speculative design activity. Lauren S. Berliner will discuss her research on how queer and trans campaigners use sites like GoFundMe for medical crowdfunding, and the ways in which algorithms and terms of service have black-boxed data that could actually be used to alleviate existing health inequities, engaged users in longstading forms of identity management to obtain medical attention and forms of social support, and promoted forms of self-marketing that encourage potential donors to infer the “deservingness” of campaigners. micha cárdenas will argue that we can build decolonial algorithms in the fight for multispecies ecojustice. Algorithms are rituals, and they are used by queer and trans artists to work for sustainable decolonial futures. She will demonstrate her augmented reality game Sin Sol, as well as discuss artwork by Morehshin Allahyari, Storme Webber and Caitlin Berrigan. Jian Neo Chen will explore the racial gender histories that underpin the rise of the digital and technological as concepts, instruments, and practices that mobilize renewed forms of the US white settler state and society by the late twentieth century. They will discuss the different Oceanic and South/Northeast Asian contexts for U.S. colonial and imperial expansion through military, state, corporate, and cultural networks. Their presentation will engage with the critical scholarship, activism, and art of Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, Zavé Martohardjono, Kale Fajardo, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, and Rey Chow. Sasha Costanza-Chock will facilitate a transfeminist speculative design game that they developed together with hacker feminist Joana Varon, directrix of, a Brazil­-based women-­run organization that works to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and its application, particularly those which reinforce gender and North/South inequalities. In the game, participants employ a set of divination cards that help us foresee a better future where AIs are co-designed with people who are too often excluded from or targeted by technology in today's world.

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