The Institute for Technology in The Public Interest @ Page-not-found, The Hague (NL)
Wednesday 3 November, 19:00
Seda Gürses and Femke Snelting from The Institute for Technology in the Public Interest join The Reading Room to read and discuss the introduction to There is no Software, there are just Services by Irina Kaldrick and Martina Leeker. As a rare critical account of radical changes in software production with huge implications, this text written in 2015 lucidly details a transformation long in the making. As became increasingly clear during lockdowns, public institutions such as hospitals, schools, local libraries and cultural institutions have by now almost without exception outsourced their digital infrastructures to a small handful of Big Tech companies. By allowing them to provide the administration, facilitation and optimisation regimes to keep business running “as usual”, they ceded control both over their operations and the possibility for offering localised services. As Kaldrick and Leeker write, this “corresponds to a process in which any kind of aid or help, personal service or favor– our normal, everyday practices– can be subjected to the law of the economical”. Interjected by readings from pamphlets, manifestos and zines from critical tech-collectives proposing solidary, queer, non-coercive computational practices, this Reading Room Session will be stretching readers’ technical and social imaginaries.