Accepted Paper:

Domestic Disturbances: Big Data, Activist Intelligence, and #blacklivesmatter  

Author:

Beth Coleman (University of Waterloo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at activist engagement of Big Data (social, locative, etc.) toward the making visible of racist bias in recent events in the lives of black Americans that have developed into the collective activist network of #blacklivesmatter.

Paper long abstract:

This paper draws attention to messy aspects of the ubiquitous computing paradigm (Anzelmo, Dourish and Bell, EPoSS), calling on examples of activist reappropriation of informational streams. Specifically, I look at the located engagement of Big Data (social, locative, etc.) toward the making visible of racist bias in recent events in the lives of black Americans that have developed into the collective activist network of #blacklivesmatter. In the this framework, I look at case studies to discus activist interventions in harnessing ubiquitous computing data toward local insurgencies that render legible often hidden inscriptions of white supremacist hegemony. I look at the purported "Ferguson effect" in terms of citizen production of forensic data around police brutality as well as activist use of social media (Fagan). These instances of the reorganization of Big Data tools toward social justice ends mark unexpected, located activisms in places that are not on the imagined map of the techno-utopic futurism of ubiquitous computing. They are domestic disturbances that make themselves visible through the energy of local activisms, framing social justice in terms of FTS issues of race, gender, and other complex phenomena (Reardon).

Panel T100
Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice