Winter School: The Streaming Hypothesis

The Streaming hypothesis

As a contribution to the RITCS Winter School, Constant will focus on the shape-shifting nature of streaming media. Streaming is a coverall term for the dominant way that audio and visual content is currently being delivered on-line. The effects of this type of broadcasting have changed the shape of the Internet as we know it, both its daily usage as its physical infrastructure.

To research these changes and to critically relate to them, we will read into the different technical protocols that are regulating those flows and examine the diverging economies that software like Torrent trackers and companies like Youtube and Netflix construct. By considering how the continuous experience of streaming relies on various politics of separation that re-order discrete elements on delivery, we will observe how the production, sharing and consumption of media is radically changing. As we are all involved in these cycles of production and consumption, we want to collectively asses the possible modes of participation in and resistance to this economy, but also to consider the possibility of changing those patterns, and to reconsider their limits.

The workshop is set up as a collective situation. To bring habitual tool-situations in conversation with theoretical and political thinking, we will question the separation between the realms of the technical and the social. In the first week, we combine reading across technical tools and theoretical devices with the assessment and performance of individual and collective boundaries. In the second week, we develop a streaming transmission on transformation, metamorphosis and logistics. For this on-line broadcast we will collectively take care of the content, protocols and their interconnection.

About the coaches

The streaming Hypothesis is developed by Constant (Martino Morandi, Femke Snelting) with contributions from amongst others C.I.R.C.E. and Sina Seifee.

Constant is an association based and active in Brussels since 1997, working in-between the fields of art, media, and technology. Constant departs from (cyber)feminism, copyleft, and Free Software, crossing technical and social questions in transdisciplinary work sessions and other collective practices.

Martino Morandi is interested in developing critical interpretations of technical objects, be it submarine network infrastructures or bio texts.

Femke Snelting works as artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminism and free software. In various constellations she explores how digital tools and practices might co-construct each other. She teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB, Rotterdam) and a.pass (Brussels).

C.I.R.C.E. (Centro Internazionale di Ricerca per la Convivialità Elettrica) runs workshops on digital self-defense – hacker pedagogy – convivial informatics for girls, children, academics, affinity groups, tech-heads, and indeed all who are curious to know themselves / know their machines. Hacker pedagogy is an active attitude to change the behaviours promoting automatisms - thus restricting freedom of choice. It is focused on the effects, assumptions and practices of technical interactions. “Hacker pedagogy” trainings and workshops formulate a coherent set of tactics for becoming aware of our personal/collective mind/bodies.

Sina Seifee is an Iranian artist working between Brussels, Cologne and Teheran.