Summary of Research
My Phd research is contingently titled Animal Hackers:articulation in ecologies of earth observation. The project explores the provocation that nature writes itself into the folds of computation and collective becoming, By examining the material-discourses of ‘Earth Observations’, that are enabled by network technologies, cloud computing and sensors, I aim to foreground non-human forces in these assemblages.The ‘non-human’ forces I am referring to include nonhuman animals, plants, watercourses, earth energies as well as hardware and software . My aim is to make apparent the relative invisibility of non-human forces/writers in these assemblages and to work towards developing a set of practices as a manifesto for ‘More-than-human’ collective computing.
In my dissertation I use specific fieldwork examples generated through embedded arts-based research in order to consider issues raised by the entanglement of non-humans with ubiquitous computing and network culture.These accounts focus on cows and sheep monitored by remote cameras in an Environmental Virtual Observatory, 'Brother Cream' an internet famous urban cat and 'Casper' the Transgenic Fish genetically engineered to monitor water quality. I introduce the term ‘post-natural computation’ in order to discuss what Donna Haraway might describe as profound reconfigurations of bodies and processes of the nonhuman animal and computation. I consider activities of sensing not as measuring or writing the other, but instead as co-writing with articulate nonhumans, and question how we might think with and from nonhuman animal-writers.The diffractive figure of the ‘Animal-Hacker’ is used to consider the articulation of nonhuman animals within computational ecologies.The research focuses on how the animal is inscripted with, and by, new technology and the theoretical perspectives that we need in order to take seriously the participation of nonhuman animals in computational systems.