Computational Culture

a journal of software studies

CFPs & Events

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Critical Approaches to Computational Law
Special issue of Computational Culture, a Journal of Software Studies
Edited by Simon Yuill

Outline

There is a long-standing relationship between the development of modern computing and legal theory and the application of computer systems to legal practice that can be followed through the modelling of legal problems in terms of Game Theory, the creation of AI based legal expert systems, in ideas of cyberspace as a distinct legal realm and the legal framing of cyber warfare. In recent years several new developments have raised significant questions as to how law is practised and what constitutes legal ‘thinking’ in the 21st Century. These include the delegation of aspects of legal reasoning and process to algorithms in areas such as automated vehicle and robotic combat devices, automated contractualism in high-velocity trading and new digital currency systems, the use of machine learning and large scale data sets (Big Data) in gathering evidence and identifying behavioural and normative patterns that may be subject to legal scrutiny, and the use of physical and agent-based simulation in developing new legal regimes and frameworks. Whilst there has been substantial critical writing on the application of law to the use of computing, as in issues such as copyright and IP, there has been less analysis of how law and computing may be changed by the integration of legal and computational systems into one another. What questions do these developments raise and what critical and theoretical approaches are required to address them?

This special issue of Computational Culture welcomes proposals from researchers and practitioners within law and computing, legal and computational cultural studies, and others from across different disciplines interested in the topic of computational law. Documentation and analysis of artistic and activist responses and interventions are also encouraged. We specifically seek articles and projects that focus on critical, theoretical and methodological questions rather than on ‘black letter’ law or primarily practical evaluations of the applications of technology and law in this context.

Topics or projects might include:

. The relations between computing and law as forms of applied ‘logic’, what logic might be and how it is situated/performed/constructed within each area.

. How the use of computational systems within law such as machine learning, agent-based simulation or computational dialectics might change how law is practised and what legal ‘thought’ might be.

. How approaches to law such as, but not restricted to, critical law theory, feminist law theory and critical race theory may be developed in analyses of computational cultures and law.

. How different critical approaches to law, software and computing may relate to and learn from one another.

. How automated and algorithmic forms of legal practice relate to debates on formalist versus hermeneutic approaches to law.

. The relation between protocols and contracts in regard to issues of social structure, control and governance.

. How computational law systems potentially alter the relation between the law, the state and the citizen.

. The delegation of legal process onto algorithms, i.e. automated contracts.

. The delegation of legal reasoning to algorithms, i.e. forms of automated risk assessment or verification, identifying valid targets in robotic warfare.

. The algorithm as a form of legal ‘thinking’ or genre of legal writing.

. What the limits of computational law might be, how do law and computation fail one another?

750 word abstracts should be emailed to sos01sy (at) gold.ac.uk by 31st August 2016.
Any queries can be addressed to Simon Yuill at sos01sy (at) gold.ac.uk.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Computational Culture Editorial Board and the special issue editor. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 30th September 2016 and invited to submit full manuscripts by 1st March 2017. These manuscripts are subject to full blind peer review according to Computational Culture’s policies. The issue will be published in May 2017.

Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.
http://computationalculture.net/

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CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Computing the Corporeal
Special issue of Computational Culture, a Journal of Software Studies
Edited by Nicolas Salazar Sutil, Sita Popat and Scott deLahunta

Outline

Intersections between human movement, computer science and motion-tracking/sensing technologies have led to novel ways of transferring body data from physical to digital contexts. From a practical perspective, this integration requires engagement across key disciplines, including movement studies, kinesiology, kinematics, biomechanics, biomedical science and health studies, dance science, sports science, and computer science. This development has also provoked theoretical and critical discourse that has tried to preserve, based on its grounding on bodily and kinetic practice, the differentiation of lived-in and body-specific knowledge. Here is a mode of datarization perhaps closer to what Deleuze (1988) called “immediate datum”: i.e. information stemming not from an abstract and re-moved conceptualization, but from real-world experience of movement, and the immediate perception or capture of kinetic information through physical or sensorial means. Within the field of software studies, advancing a sense of digital materialism has raised concerns for the materiality of technological media, for instance by focusing on the physical constraints of data storage, or the material dimension of computing. But what about “immediation”, i.e. immediate computation of bodily movement by machines for immediate expression, representation or enactment in digital contexts? And what of the representability of such immediation? How can we describe movement and preserve its datum of difference within a scriptable or graphicable computer language without falling into a universal sameness, a movement without bodies?

Whilst the idea that immediate data may demand a “bodying forth” (Thrift 2008), a traffic of bodiliness from biological to technological contexts, it is necessary to de-homogenise the ‘body’ category. Perhaps what is needed is an understanding of “corporeality” that assume multidimensional and relativistic realities of bodies instead, opening up nuanced discourses based on specific body-related ontologies (corpuscles, builds, anatomies, skeletons, muscle systems) all making up a non-singular sense of the bodily real. As such, this collection poses the problem of criteria. Our question is this: how and to what effect does the research community adopt arbitrary criteria in order to compute the body and bodily movement? Can we define narratives emerging from this body-computing arbitration to provoke a critique?

There is a possible tension between “bodying forth”— the idea of a single body operative across both biological and computational contexts—and corporeal relations. We would like to focus this critical edition on the relations between differentiated anatomical or bodily systems (skeletal, muscular, nerve, etc.), and different modes of computation, as well as different theoretical discourses stemming from this experiential basis. If we recognize the problem of relationality we must assume that more than one complex set of co-relations meet when the machine computes the moving human body. How do we start the process of computer-generated learning in terms of selecting body parts, functions, organs, processes, on the one hand, and key languages, code, or indeed technological tools for capture on the other? To what extent does corporeal computing contribute to certain bodily systems (or perhaps even body types) becoming the key agents of action, and indeed learning, in such contexts? How do we respond critically to privileged systems (the skeletal, the muscular), and body types (so called ‘normal bodies’)? To what extent are computational paradigms still dominated by spatial, extensive and quantitative determinations (i.e. the tracking of skeleton, body geometry, kinematic shapes, etc.) that hide other, more intensive, modes of corporeality? And finally, how do we reintegrate the multiplicity of the corporeal in a computational synthesis? For instance, how can we understand the quantitative and qualitative (dynamics, effort, tone, intensity, etc.) as overlapping data priorities?

Topics or projects might include:
· Computable relations between bodies and digital avatars, digital dance representations, digital sports representations, digital health representations, digital animation— digital bodies in general.
· Computable relations between biological bodies and robotic systems.
· Computing relations between physical movement and abstract thought, automated thought (AI) or machine learning.
· Computing mobility studies (i.e. relations between body and automobile, body and assisted mobility machines, body and prosthetics).
· Computing sociokinetic material (i.e. computing the movement of groups of bodies).
· Affective corporeal computing— the capacity to process psychophysical and cognitive processes within corporeal movement (e.g. computing effort, dynamics, tonicity, emotion).
· Integration of quantitative and qualitative body datasets.
· Metabody theory and notions of meta-anatomy, meta-strata in the ontological literature (i.e. movement of digital ghosts, sprites, techno-animism, etc.)

750 word abstracts should be emailed to n.salazar(at)leeds.ac.uk by April 17th.
Any queries can be addressed to Nicolas Salazar Sutil at n.salazar(at)leeds.ac.uk, or Sita Popat at s.popat(at)leeds.ac.uk, or Scott deLahunta at scott(at)motionbank.org.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Computational Culture Editorial Board and the special issue editors. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by April 24th and invited to submit full manuscripts by September 26th. These manuscripts are subject to full blind peer review according to Computational Culture’s policies. The issue will be published in January 2017.

Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.
http://computationalculture.net/

  • Computational Culture – ISSN 2047-2390

    Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.
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