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I’m pleased to be on the organizing committee of Strategic Narratives of Technology and Africa, a conference taking place in Funchal, Madeira, September 1 & 2.

The conference brings scholars, technologists, and cultural producers together on the island of Madeira: a European territory off the coast of Africa, a historical site of mutual entanglement between the Atlantic continents, and a point of departure for European expansion. Here we’ll strategize ways to revisit, reframe, and recode the future of technology on and for both continents.

What can African theorists, technologists, and cultural producers do to generate alternatives to the influx of neocolonial narratives of tech entrepreneurship? What are key epistemologies and ways of being which are endemic in Africa that should be offered to the world through new systems and processes? How can an African information economy avoid the dynamics of the resource curse, where connectivity is extractive and exercised upon African citizens rather than by and through them? What can Western technologists do differently, and what are the spaces for collaboration?

This conference aims to reinvestigate these relationships and more in order to engender dialog between African and Western audiences and participants, who should leave Madeira equipped with new strategies and new collaborative partnerships.

Keynotes include Achille Mbembe, Nanjira Sambuli, Ntone Edjabe and Sarah Nuttall.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Hot off the press #fff #futurefluxfestival @madeiraiti

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Future Flux Festival is a new festival in the historic submarine wharf of Rotterdam. This spacious and atmospheric venue has a rich industrial history and is rapidly evolving into a prominent site where industry, creativity and innovation converge. The festival is a platform for new developments in the fields of technology, art and innovation. I’m excited to be involved with the festival as curator of the Playground.

In the Playground we invite you to make, hack, and create, led by our international group of artists and makers. Unlike a regular art exhibition or industry trade show, you will be confronted with many opportunities to get your hands dirty and participate. You can make a loudspeaker, a fake bomb detector, mobile phone noise music, and learn how to protect yourself from data leaks. We’re hosting the European premiere of Garnet Hertz’s new zine, Disobedient Electronics, and you can bring your own records to be played by James Auger’s turntable powered only by gravity. We’re also proud to debut brand new work by Georgina Voss, as well as exhibit the Osmo dome by Loop, and Parallel Suspended, a robot which makes large-scale drawings with sand by Gijs van Bon.

There’s also a day devoted to industry with some great keynotes such as Scott Smith and Maria Yablonina, and the FabCity programme where you can explore sustainability and food in the urban context, a music programme, and much more — see you at the Festival!

Playground artists: Georgina Voss, Gijs van Bon, Loop, Darsha Hewitt, Debbie Ding, Garnet Hertz, Peter Flemming, Dries Depoorter, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef, Leanne Wijnsma, James Auger

 

 

I recently was commissioned to write an essay for this year’s GOGBOT Festival. The festival theme was Post-Singularity, and my piece, entitled Ushering in the Era of Beneficial Intelligence, explored Stephen Hawking’s idea of “beneficial intelligence”, the Golem, our inherent biases, nuclear waste storage, the Anthropocene, and much more.

 

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