Talk by Dylan Mulvin: 'Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In'
Place: Online & Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have 15, Room DH 2V.88, 2000 Frederiksberg
The talk: Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In
For designers of technology, some bits of the world end up standing in for other bits, standards with which they build and calibrate. These “proxies” carry specific values, even as they disappear from view. Dylan Mulvin explores the ways technologies, standards, and infrastructures inescapably reflect the cultural milieus of their bureaucratic homes. Drawing on archival research, he investigates some of the basic building-blocks of our shared infrastructures. He tells the history of technology through the labor and communal practices of, among others, the people who clean kilograms to make the metric system run, the women who pose as test images, and the actors who embody disease and disability for medical students. Each case maps the ways standards and infrastructure rely on prototypical ideas of whiteness, able-bodiedness, and purity to control and contain the messiness of reality. Standards and infrastructures, Mulvin argues, shape and distort the possibilities of representation, the meaning of difference, and the levers of change and social justice.
The Speaker Series
The AI REUSE research group and the Digital Transformations Platform are hosting a speaker series with selected guests during the fall of 2021. We will discuss questions about the politics and ethics of data and models, algorithmic ethics, public-private partnerships in AI technologies, and AI in the public sector.
We read a text by the guest speaker in advance, which will be distributed upon sign-up. In the seminar, the guest speaker briefly situates the text and then we engage in conversation.
Dylan Mulvin: Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In (MIT 2021, open access)
The talk is a joint event with DIIS and University of Copenhagen