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Message posted on 10/01/2022

EASST Panel #57 "Datafication Goes Material: Digital Capitalism and the Material Conditions of Existence"

+++ apologies for cross-posting +++

Dear colleagues,

We kindly invite you to submit abstracts to our panel at the 2022 EASST = conference in Madrid, Spain (July 6-9, = 2022):=20

57.=C2=A0Datafication Goes Material: Digital Capitalism and the Material = Conditions of Existence = =20 Panel organizers: Yana Boeva, Kathrin Braun, Mascha Gugganig & Cordula = Kropp

Datafication has been identified as a defining feature of contemporary = capitalism. Scholarship in critical data studies, STS, social theory and = political economy has interrogated the dynamics of datafication = processes in light of a larger sociotechnical and techno-economic = reconfiguration of capitalism, captured by concepts such as = platformisation, financialisation and assetisation (Birch and Muniesa = 2020; Burrell and Fourcade 2021; Fourcade and Healy 2017; Sadowski 2019; = Srnicek 2017). =46rom a perspective of digital capitalism, the =E2=80=9Cda= ta imperative=E2=80=9D (Fourcade and Healy 2017), datafication and the = according data-driven forms of re-organising social life are based on = forms of data extraction that amount to new forms of appropriation and = dispossession through digital enclosure (Cohen 2019; Sadowski 2019) or = data colonialism (Couldry and Mejias 2019). The first analyses on these = matters primarily focused on digital service platforms that generate = revenue from different personal and interaction data that enables = monitoring, assessing, predicting and manipulating social actions. In = short, the discussion has focused on data about social life and = resulting questions of privacy, confidentiality, bias and data = sovereignty.

More recently, however, the logic of capitalist datafication or datafied = capitalism is expanding beyond the realm of services and behavioural = data. Datafication increasingly permeates and enrols the material = world=E2=80=94the world of things, of physical matter, or, in Marxian = terms, the modes of production of material life and the material = conditions of existence. We can see this expansion already in the fields = of agriculture, forestry, medicine, and building construction (Braun et = al. under review; Gabrys 2020; Gugganig and Bronson forthcoming; Kuch et = al. 2020), others are likely to follow. The increasing integration of = technologies (such as sensors, cloud computing, virtual reality, AI and = robotics) enables systems for data gathering, data-generating and = data-processing directed at the re-production, transformation and = incorporation of not only human behaviour, but also buildings, cities, = streets, plants, forests, and bodies in a very material sense. = Buildings, streets, plants and bodies simultaneously become data and the = product of data deployed to increase efficiency and control. = Concurrently, the material preconditions of datafication =E2=80=93 the = need for rare earth minerals, energy resources, telecommunication = infrastructures, but also cheap labour =E2=80=93 demand closer attention = (Cobby 2020). These datafied modes of production raise new questions:

=E2=80=A2 What are the material preconditions of datafication processes, = and do they differ between classic services and more material worlds? =E2=80=A2 Who or what owns and controls these means of production? Who = owns this kind of data? And who is probably dispossessed? =E2=80=A2 What are the institutional frameworks and infrastructures = shaping this transformation? =E2=80=A2 What would be forms of resistance and collective action? =E2=80=A2 Can we conceive of material data-based modes of production = that are not owned and controlled by states or corporations? =E2=80=A2 What do appropriation, colonialism or dispossession mean in = this context? Who are the actors? =E2=80=A2 How does it affect the planetary material conditions of = existence? How does it transform what is being built, what is being = grown, what medical treatment is, how does it affect our lives and = living conditions materially?

We welcome submissions addressing these questions but are not limited to = them.

Key words: datafication, materialities, capitalism

Deadline: February 1st, 2021.

Best wishes, Yana Boeva

Yana Boeva, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Stuttgart Institute for Social Sciences | Cluster of Excellence "Integrative = Computational=C2=A0Design and Construction for Architecture = =E2=80=9D | =

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