During the current times, Varia's Read & Repair days are continuing in a trans-local mode. We are trying to find the right balance between having different modes of togetherness through collective reading and sharing, while joining either through an online channel or by being present in the space in Charlois.
Varia is hosting a special edition of Read & Repair that will be split into two(!) collective reading and conversation sessions. One will be online and one will be in our physical space, as a series of events to discuss matters of abolitionist technology & community-driven systems of accountability, while generating anonymous, consensual debris for stone throw, a temporary online work to share our resources and reflections. We sought texts that are talking about what we want to learn with and about, now.
For our first session we will read from Ruha Benjamin's Race After Technology, choosing chapter 5 Retooling Solidarity, Reimagining Justice to read together. In this chapter, Benjamin examines how practitioners, scholars, activists, artists, and students are working to resist and challenge the New Jim Code (a term Benjamin uses to connect discriminatory technology with past segregationist laws in the Southern states). This chapter also offers suggestions on how to contribute to an approach to technology that moves beyond accessing new products, to advocating for justice-oriented design practices.
During the second session, we will be reading: Letters to Angela Y. Davis from within her book If They Come in the Morning ... Voices of Resistance, Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police by Mariame Kaba and make use of some workshop scenarios from Critical Resistance*, a national, member-based grassroots organization that works to build a mass movement to dismantle the prison-industrial complex.
Through these texts, we aim to educate ourselves on the subject of police abolition, and learn from communities who have already imagined alternative practices of accountability.
We acknowledge that these sessions are north american-centric, but want to discuss them in the context of europe. Also, it is mostly north-american companies that own, maintain and fuel the most pervasive technologies which ultimately support police work and warfare.
stone throw is a pedagogical work. A collection of short essays and references presented in an online space, that will be programmed to erode over time. The writing will sit together with a sound work and scanned images that present debris from our collective reading. The visual components will only be temporarily available as they are digitally eroded and corrupted. The (our) textual material is reactive; the more it is viewed (exposed) the faster it fades away.
This work responds to a conversation, on youtube, between Seda Gürses and Florian Cramer (Crisis Education Critical Education, Artez). "How do we hack digital infrastructure to create meaningful learning environments?" stone throw is an agitation towards online infrastructures. Aware of its hypocritical position, being online, stone throw counters this by eroding itself.
It will mimic geological processes that gnaw away at rocks and physical scanning/photocopying that degrades ownership by making and discarding copies. Treating digital as natural is an attempt to challenge how our devices, as Cramer says, “control our imagination for what this media can be”.
stone throw was initiated by Amy Pickles who worked with Cristina Cochior & Julie Boschat Thorez to select the reading material for these pedagogical events. This project is made possible wth CBK PPR funds.
For more information on our reading material see here:
Thursday 23rd July 2020 w/ Ruha Benjamin's book, Race After Technology
16:00 - 18:00 online
We will be meeting, discussing and collecting our notes on this pad.
Sunday 26th July 2020 w/ texts by Angela Y. Davis, Mariame Kaba and Critical Resistance
14:00 - 16:00 in varia
This session will take place in Varia.
We are looking forward to practice careful conviviality together again! Physical presences will be protected as much as possible by adopting some security measures: max 12 people are allowed in the space with 1.5 meter distance between them. Hand gel and masks are available.