Networked Intimate Publics for Nested Inquiry Projects (NIPs2)
In this talk, we will present materials from the last chapter of our book, Heavy Processing (for Digital Materials). We will explore the trans- feminist and queer (TFQ) method of building Nested Inquiry Projects within Networked Intimate Publics. We will draw on our experiences in developing our two digital creation-based research environments, the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC) and the Cabaret Commons as well as our shared experience as organizers and facilitators with the Feminist Technology Network (FemTechNet) and the Feminist Data Manifest-NO. Here we will theorize the ways that TFQ heavy processing methods offer models for shifting the scale and speed of research and cultural economies in ways that, rather than move fast & break things (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s moto), we might move care-fully and make things. Thinking through the intimacies created within TFQ collaborative online and offline “nests” for study and practice, inhabitation and inquiry, we bring together digital media studies, critical digital methods and ethics, and TFQ scholarly, performance, activist, and architectural praxes for constructing livable lives together.
About T.L. Cowan and Jas Rault
T.L. Cowan (she/they) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts Culture and Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, as well as a cabaret and video artist. Her creative-research practice moves between page, stage, and screen.
T.L.’s research focuses on cultural and intellectual economies and networks of minoritized digital media and performance practices. Notable commissions for their creative-critical work include the PlugIn Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Queens Museum in New York City, and Nuit Blanche in Toronto. She is currently completing two monographs, Transmedial Drag and Other Cross-Platform Cabaret Methods, and The Needs of Others: Trauma, Media & Disorder.
T.L.’s most recent essays are published in Moving Archives (2020), The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities & Art History (2020), American Quarterly (2020) First Monday (2018), Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (2016), More Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2016, edited by Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars) and as part of Alexandra Juhasz’s #100 Hard Truths.
Jas Rault (they/them) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
Rault’s research focuses on trans- feminist and queer digital praxes and protocols; media histories of settler coloniality, white supremacy and sexuality; aesthetics and affects of social movements. Recent publications include "Window Walls and Other Tricks of Transparency: Digital, Colonial and Architectural Modernity” (American Quarterly); "White Noise, White Affects: Filtering the Sameness of Queer Suffering (Feminist Media Studies); "Ridiculizing Power: Relajo and the Affects of Queer Activism in Mexico” (Scholar & Feminist Online). Rault’s first book is Eileen Gray and the Design of Sapphic Modernity: Staying In (Ashgate/Routledge) and they're currently working on a book, provisionally entitled Open Secrets: Technologies of Whiteness in Decline, about the ambient media of white cruelty -- the sound, architecture and interface designs that try so hard to make the violences of settler colonial whiteness feel like comfort, justice and good taste.
Together Cowan Rault hold a SSHRC Insight Grant (2019-2024), entitled “Networked Intimate Publics: Feminist and Queer Practices of Scale, Safety and Access,” and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-2020), entitled “Building a Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory for Minor(itized) Materials.” In addition to the Cabaret Commons, Cowan and Rault co-director another online research site: the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC). They are also co-editors of a “Metaphors as Meaning and Method in Technoculture,” a special section of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience (Fall 2022) and a book entitled Heavy Processing, about trans- feminist and queer digital research methods and ethics. You can see early versions of Heavy Processing on the DREC.