Representational Materialities in the Digital

7 May 2015
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Paul Dourish
Professor of Informatics, University of California, Irvine

It’s a simple and mechanical procedure for us to multiply 2631 by 732 on a piece of paper. No similarly simple procedure allows us to do the same with their roman numeral equivalents: MMDCXXXI x DCCXXXII leaves us scratching our heads. The representational systems at work shape the nature and limits on the forms of manipulation and transformation in which we can engage with the numbers.

Turns towards materiality in STS and allied domains has emphasized the significance of the material manifestations of technoscience, and in the realm of the digital, this has particularly focused on the infrastructures of the digital society – servers and cables, air conditioning and power, rare earth metals and electromagnetic waves. In my current project, I want to examine the materialities of digital information itself. Drawing on examples from databases and network protocols, this work explores the consequences of representational materialities in the domain of digital information.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Berkeley Institute for Data Sciences

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