Document Decontamination: Mitigating Malice in the Archive open workshop

Document Decontamination: Mitigating Malice in the Archive open workshop.

When? Friday, September 23 2016, 13.15-14.00

Where? The communal 5th floor study space in Niagara (Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö).

What? An all-too-often overlooked threat to the archive is that of content watermarking–an injection of covert and/or overt unique fingerprints or serial numbers into a given body of work (be that body an electronic journal article or a photograph or a song or an ebook or a film or something altogether more meaty) that performs the function of mobilizing said object from being a conduit for cultural dissemination into becoming a tool of oppression and surveillance. Which is to say, an act of, for instance document retrieval, forcibly positions one into a state of vulnerability, of an on-going becoming surveilled. Dividuality, in other words, is predicated upon a liminal barrage of micro-states of surveillability, grafted into a diffuse yet hierarchically-enforced, techno-legal virtuality via pervasive content watermarking.

This workshop will thus aim to interrogate how a watermarking function may be read, and in turn troubled, as a clandestine contaminant serving to poison the practice of open, guerrilla data promulgation via manifold manifestations of malice: both in its multifaceted operant technological machinations and so too via the underlying violence not merely legitimized but enacted by accompanying invocations of ‘intellectual property’ ideology.

Not being content with a disempowering mono-directional account of susceptibility, however, the workshop will, in turn, further strive to examine the potentiality of theriac synthesis via cyber-ethnographic engagement with on-going guerrilla intensive care unit encampments dedicated to document decontamination.

Pineapple juice–rich in the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain–will be provided, though attendees would need to bring their own epidermal basal alteration apparatus, should a visceral, corporeal reaction to the ad locum discussion of watermarking practice invoke either desire or need for affective narrative interjection via the self-regulation of the fingerprinting of one’s own body (of work).

Everyone both inside, outside, and in-between the university is quite welcome to attend.

Update: the workshop slides are now available here.

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