Talking to tech activists

I went to the Union for Democratic Communication conference last weekend, held at Buffalo State College. I had never been to Buffalo, which is what made me pick this conference over the annual meeting of the Canadian Communication Association. I’ve been to Ottawa before; heck, I used to live there. I hedged my bets a little, predicting (and rightly I think) UDC would be way more fun.

While lowlights of the conference included a website from 1996, sketchy wifi and uncomfortable dormitory beds, there were a number of cool panels. Far and away the best was the one made up entirely of SFU alum of one sort or another: Scott Uzelman, Fiona Jeffries, Enda Brophy and Dorothy Kidd. They discussed the “minor tradition” in communication, which draws on autonomous marxism and focuses on resistance to capitalism rather than its impenetrable dominance. And there were 20 minutes left for conversation, almost unheard of in the dry, monotonous, self-absorbed universe of academic conferences. Refreshing.

My presentation was titled Talking to tech activists: Another (cyber)world is possible. It was a summation of my “research findings” – the results of in-depth interviews with 22 tech activists. I was barely recovered from laryngitis but I was able to squeak my way through. It was still fun.

If you want to check it out, my talk is here. My slides are here.

3 Responses to “Talking to tech activists”

  1. Geeks & Global Justice » Blog Archive » The free software conundrum Says:

    [...] « Talking to tech activists [...]

  2. Jessica Says:

    Hi Kate,

    I am one of your faithful, albeit way-behind readers. Thought I’d post a little fashion hacking stuff again for you to peruse. At least read the abstract of the guy’s thesis if you can’t get to the PDF. docs. Little bit of resistance in the textiles world is a good thing:

    http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2009/06/post-30.php

    Loved the open source conundrum post by the way…

    Jessica

  3. KateM Says:

    Thanks Jessica, as always!! My trusty connex to the art world and beyond…

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