Stephanie Boluk – Welcome to Flatland: Money, Metagames, and Valve’s Digital Economy

Monday, April 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

Stephanie Boluk, Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute

Abstract: This talk will describe the concept of metagaming and its relationship to emerging forms of financialization in and around videogames. Focusing specifically on the labor practices of Valve Corporation and its digital distribution marketplace Steam, I will discuss the experimental management structures of Valve, the architecture of its corporate headquarters, and the practices of players, modders, makers, and spectators who contribute to Steam’s digital economies.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan – Aural Contract : The Voice Before the Law

Monday, April 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Artist, PhD Candidate and Lecturer, Forensic Audio Investigator

Co-Sponsored by the Vera List Center for Art & Politics

Abstract: Since 2010 Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Aural Contract has been dedicated to understanding the role of voice in law and the changing nature of testimony in the face of new regimes of border control, algorithmic technologies, medical sciences, and modes of surveillance.

Jim Paradis – Reflections on the Cultural History of Surveillance

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

Jim Paradis, Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing and Comparative Media Studies, MIT; Visiting Researcher, The New School

Abstract: I will offer a broad exploration of some cultural origins of modern surveillance practice as revealed in nineteenth-century urban fiction, journalism, media technologies, and monitorial agencies and institutions.  

Nick Montfort – Computer Programming for Developing a Better Society

Monday, May 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media, MIT; Visiting Researcher and Part-Time Lecturer, The New School

Abstract: Programming is usually thought of in narrow, instrumental ways, as a means of producing commodities in the form of apps and websites. However, it is also used by many to inquire about important questions in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, and can be used to make arguments about and build consensus on the direction of one’s city and world.

Sumita Chakravarty – Media, Multiplicity, Migration

Key Thinkers in the Field: Sumita Chakravarty – Media, Multiplicity, Migration

Monday, October 26, 2015, at 6:00 pm to 7:50 pm

University Center, 63 Fifth Ave, lower level, room L104

Abstract: How do media deal with multiplicity, a phenomenon that is the hallmark of our era of globalization, transnationalism, and migration? What sense can we make of the representational strategies deployed to define these new realities? How might we construct a genealogy of multiple belongings? These are some of the questions I am exploring in my current research project which traces the historical intersections of migration and media.