Quantified Futures: Exploring the Politics, Economies, and Infrastructures of Informational Governance

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Title: Quantified Futures: Exploring the Politics, Economies, and Infrastructures of Informational Governance

Organization: Moisés Kopper (Marie Curie IF@ULB Postdoctoral Researcher, LAMC-ULB)

Data—and their infrastructures—are pivotal fixtures in modern, informational societies. Numbers and other quantified tools sustain expert visions on policymaking, governmentality, and economic profitability, but they have also come to uphold the means and meanings of participation in politics, markets, and public life. In this symposium, scholars from various disciplinary fields come together to interrogate the technopolitics, affects, and legacies unleashed through the governance of information. We chart the socio-technical life of numbers, indexers, charts, statistics, economic theories, algorithms, databases, and a multiplicity of other quantification tools and the contingent ways they create, convert, and circulate informational value and refashion entrenched futurities.



22.09.2022 - 02:00 pm - Opening keynote

Speaker : Hannah Knox, University College London

Title : “Algorithms and Governance in the Realm of Matter”

Abstract :

Recent concerns about how to govern the appearance and use of algorithms, have largely focused on the problem of using algorithms to classify and categorise people – raising issues around ethics, bias and trust of algorithmic systems. However, algorithms are also being used as methods for the control and management of materials – from soil to carbon, cars to electricity. Drawing on long running discussions in material culture and infrastructure studies, this talk seeks to open up a language and approach for exploring the algorithmic governance of matter. Specifically, I turn to the use of algorithms and data in the governance of energy in the UK, in the context of climate change and associated energy crises. Through a study of the use of digital technologies and algorithmic forms of analysis and display informing energy projects underway in a town in the North of England, I explore what algorithmic practices do to the practices of engaging and thinking energetic relations. Tracing energy through dashboards, maps and monitors, I interrogate, in particular, how data produces energy as a problem of scale. Scaling energy is explored as a political technique which distributes and frames people and practices in ways that have tangible effects on understandings of political efficacy, and the distribution of political agency.

23.09.2022 - 4:00 pm - Closing keynote

Speaker : Tracey Heatherington, The University of British Columbia

Title : “With Endless Articulations: Conserving Biodiversity in the Infinity Mirror”

Abstract :

The evolution of information infrastructures has shaped the vision and practice of nature conservation related to wild species, landscapes and collections of biological diversity, efforts that are germane to nation-building and many other political projects. These technologies come to condense cultural assumptions, values and orientations to the Anthropocene, while re-articulating the role of knowledge systems in society through particular understandings of public science and digital citizenship.

ULB - Solbosch Campus

Building B - Auditoire Roger Lallemant 

First floor - Room 315


This is a hybrid event. To receive the Teams link, please register with LAMC by September 21, 4 pm.




Alexandre de Paiva Rio Camargo, University Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ)

Amogh Sharma, University of Oxford

David Nemer, University of Virginia

Eliza Klüger, Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP)

Horacio Ortiz, Université Paris-Dauphine and The East China Normal University

José Ossandón, Copenhagen Business School

Moisés Kopper, Université libre de Bruxelles

Rachel Douglas James, IT University of Copenhagen