SP Seminar Series

David J. Phillips
"Mobile worker management systems and the infrastructure of visibility",
Wednesday, January 31st,
12:30 - 2:00 PM,
Mac-Corry Hall,
Room D-411.

David J. Phillips
Associate Professor
Faculty of Information Studies
University of Toronto

Heterogeneous networks of law, ideology, economics, and technique facilitate and constrain surveillance practice. Every stage of the construction of these networks, these infrastructures, is open to contestation. Within this contest lie the possibilities of many different outcomes for institutionalized practices of identity and knowledge production. Some of these might produce knowledges that are not domineering, but instead may be deployed by the known population itself, in order to make sense of the world from alternative perspectives, to create and maintain sub-cultural identities and to articulate those identities with the larger social order.

In this presentation Phillips calls on queer theory, gay and lesbian cultural studies, and performance theory to imagine the sorts of practices that must be supported in such an infrastructure. He explores the possibilities of institutionalizing those desired practices and relationships, in part, through a review of developments in mobile worker management systems. Though this review, he notes the actors, interests, tensions, and resources at play in this instance of infrastructure development, and suggests opportunities for intervention.

Everyone welcome!