Hacking Digital Universalism: Networked Memory, Data Wipes & the Deep Present


“Channeling the promise global interconnection, and framed as the mark of contemporary optimization, “the digital” has come to represent the path towards the future for diverse nations, economies, and populations alike. In the midst of its accelerating pursuits across distinct global spaces, however, little has been made of the “universalist” underpinnings that mobilize digitality’s global spread, or of the distinct imaginaries around digital culture and global connection that emerge outside the given centers of techno-culture. This paper will attend to experiments in innovation spaces from the periphery, including the development of rural hack lab spaces in Peru, that distinctly engage local histories and memory of knowledge work around nature, technology, and information to disrupt the dominant logics of innovation and reorient ICT for Development (ICT4D) frameworks. By fostering collaborations between Latin American free software activists across a range of rural and urban site, and between transnational media producers and indigenous communities, such networks press a cosmopolitcal urging to “think with the unknown,” and open up possibilities for uncovering distinct collective futures through an interfacing with multiple local pasts.” -Anita Say Chan

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