RE: Infrastructures

September 20–22, 2019

Toronto, Ontario

Our Networks 2019 explores the collective care and maintenance of alternative networking practices—new protocols, peer-to-peer connections, offline-first computing, or community-based governance and ownership. Building on last year, where we asked how to move beyond solitary practices of do it yourself (DIY), in 2019 we explore what critical and creative practices offer RE: Infrastructures of alternatives.

How can these emerging Infrastructures of provide spaces to imagine radically different futures, resist easy co-option by the forces of late-stage capitalism, and work in solidarity as plural networks seeking emancipatory change? To answer this we draw on insights from organizers, technologists, artists, and scholars to ensure the focus is not only on the technical aspects of infrastructure, but also the social and cultural. Their diverse perspectives suggest ways we can make space for livelihoods, solidarity, and survival; draw on history and place to bring our fullest imaginations to this moment; and open ways to think these questions together as we build transitional forms.

On 2019-02-14 12:41 a.m., someone smarter than us wrote:

>

> "Maybe the real mesh network is the friends we made along the

> way" — Max Veytsman, Our Networks 2018

>

> "Resistance is constructing everything that we need to maintain

> the life of our people" — Zapatista community member quoted in

> Sylvia Federici, Re-enchanting the World, 2018

>

> "On one hand... [we live in] an always-almost-falling-apart world.

> On the other, a world in constant process of fixing and

> reinvention, reconfiguring and reassembling into new combinations

> and new possibilities–a topic of both hope and concern...

> The fulcrum of these two worlds is repair:

> the subtle acts of care by which order and meaning in complex

> sociotechnical systems are maintained and transformed, human

> value is preserved and extended"

> — Steve Jackson, Rethinking Repair, 2014

>

> "The repair or replacement of broken infrastructure is...

> necessary for any form of sociality to extend itself"

> — Laura Berlant, The Commons: Infrastructures for Troubling

> Times, 2016

>

> "values are the facts of the future... Our world was shaped by

> the values that presided over its creation. Technologies are the

> crystallized expression of those values."

> — Andrew Feenberg, Technosystems, 2017

>

> "Being the change you want to see in the world does not imply a

> complete rejection of society, it means to stay in the zone of

> creative tension between the ideal vision and the way the world

> works right now."

> — elavoie, %VrIfAveLw0qsGdy2JXne9lxt7P6vxMCtNLyziqYewA8=.sha256

> on SSB, 2019

>

We are inviting proposals for talks, workshops, discussions, demonstrations, art pieces, and interventions to explore this theme. Topics could include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Practices of reparative networking
  • Remediation practices for communication infrastructures
  • Uncooptable computing reconfigurations
  • Reconstructing technology after refusal
  • Regenerative approaches that resist status quo tech

Format

This year will have a mix of scheduled and open space, as well as room for screenings, a zine library, and an art exhibition. We are inviting proposals to give a talk, lead a discussion, facilitate a workshop, or exhibit artwork that responds to the theme of RE: Infrastructures—we also encourage experimental proposals that don’t fit cleanly into these categories or may use the space in unexpected, or durational ways.

Submission Deadlines

The deadline for proposals is July 1, 2019.

Submissions should follow our template and be submitted as a GitHub issue in our submissions repository. There will be additional opportunities closer to the event to sign up for short talks and to help shape activities, we encourage you to sign up for updates in order to keep in the loop.

Submit Your Proposal

Please note: first time GitHub users will need to create a free account before they can open an issue.

Who Can Submit?

Anyone interested in how we can build better online futures!

Our Networks is excited for sessions that centre the voices of those less often heard at technical events. We encourage BIPOC and LGBTQ2S folks to lead sessions and acknowledge the multiple marginalizations those with intersecting identities face. For 2019 we are also seeking to support people in their preferred language. If you are interested in leading a session in a language other than English please indicate so in your submission.

We want to provide a welcoming space for those speaking for the first time and the co-organizers are happy to help workshop a proposal during an open hour or by email.

Not Sure? Ask Us!

We have four open hours for people to ask questions and workshop potential proposals and discuss the conference. No prior registration needed, just visit: https://meet.jit.si/ournetworks.

Open Hour #1

21 May 2019
4:00pm – 5:00pm EDT

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Open Hour #2

1 June 2019
12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

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Open Hour #3

3 September 2019
8:00pm – 9:00pm EDT

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Open Hour #4

9 September 2019
11:00am – 12:00pm EDT

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If you have any additional questions let us know at orga@ournetworks.ca!


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