ConferenceOpen AccessSDN GrantWorkshophgk


Research Workshop at the Academy of Art and Design Basel FHNW

Workshop coordinator and curator

Selena Savic

'Division' research workshop is the first meeting in the process of collectively working on a special issue for the Techniques Journal. Techniques Journal is a hybrid publication: it is at once an academic journal and an art magazine, a curatorial platform and a design experiment. Each issue is organized around doing something, the gerund form suggestive of the perpetual or progressive action. Past issues, on Animating and Bordering are available on Techniques Journal website. This collaboration with Techniques will result in a new journal issue, Dividing, as well as contribute to developing a transparent and collaborative review process that includes a polyphony of invited and interested voices. The workshop will be hosted by Selena Savic, at the Critical Media Lab, HGK FHNW who will act as editor of the journal issue. Guest commentators invited to review the issue will include PhD students, professors and practitioners. These voices will be complemented with a public commentary on pre-published articles. The mult-layered review process will propose a model of collaboratively and openly editing the journal, and making research public.

The Dividing meeting on 14. January 2023 will host 10 participants who will discuss the term in relation to their research and present 7 contributions for the 'D' issue of the Techniques Journal, scheduled for publication in the early 2024. The participants come from different academic and practical backgrounds, including architecture theory, philosophy of technology, African studies, new materialist informatics, network- and performing arts and feminist hacking. The meeting will include short, 5-10 minute "Proposition" by all participants, followed by a round-table discussion of 20-30 minutes, which will include diagramming and mapping.


Saturday, January 14.01.2023
Critical Media Lab, Hochhaus D 3.01 FHNW Academy of Art and Design
Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4142 Münchenstein b. Basel
+ online on zoom:

11H30 Brunch (@CML, offline)

14H00 Introduction to Techniques by Adam Nocek (@CML + online) 14H30 Dividing propositions + diagramming:

Contributors give a 5–10min presentation + 20min discussion round (@CML + online)
Elísio Macamo, Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, Claude Draude, Lisa Müller-Trede 16H30 Coffee break

17H00 Dividing propositions + diagramming:

Contributors give a 5–10min presentation + 20min discussion round (@CML + online) Vera Bühlmann, Darija Medic, Adam Nocek

18H30 Wrap up 19H00 Fade out


Documentation of the meeting will include video recordings of presentations and discussions, carefully archived for further use by the group, as well as photographs of the diagrams collectively produced. The presentations will be transcribed and transcriptions will be made available to the participants. A student of MA Experimental Design will support the organizer in producing the documentation. The documentation will serve as starting points for developing the individual contributions to the issue.


Prof. Dr. Elísio Macamo, Department of Social Sciences and Center for African Studies, Basel University

Collapsing differences

I will reflect on how useful it might be to think of division as a way of producing difference. The colonial encounter between Europe and Africa seems to have rested on a similar principle. While colonial authorities were committed to a universal human notion, they pursued it by bringing the differences between the two to the foreground to collapse African “difference” into European “sameness”.

Prof. Dr. Helen V. Pritchard (IXDM HGK FHNW Basel), Femke Snelting (Constant, Brussels) and Jara Rocha (independent)

Infrastructures for Removal

In this talk we continue our disobedient, collective, irreverent, para-academic research into the divisions and dividings of "Frontier", a computational-cloud-based-infrastructure for services at the end of the world(s). We outline how "Frontier" through forming a consortium have created both a market and an investment opportunity for "Carbon Removal". Carbon Removal is the imaginary and technoscience of a range of processes that seek to eliminate carbon from the atmosphere, displacing it towards a multiplicity of states, temporalities or matters. It is also a technoeconomic model based on inventive accounting methods, venture capitals and questionable practices, dividing soil and air into quantifiable potentials for future absorbtion. Removal provides ontoepistemic concerns on presence, action, duration and of course also transformation. Climate change is made into a problem so narrowly defined that consortia like Frontier can offer computational infrastructures as so-called solutions. The division of the undergrounds has made the ends of the worlds more profitable than ever.

Claude Draude and Goda Klumbyte Gender/Diversity in Informatiksystemen, University of Kassel Adversarial In/Divisions: Relational Ethics and Feminist Epistemologies for Critical AI Practice With this work-in-progress we would like to invite participants to investigate and address in/division as a figuration of generating adversarial approaches to AI's extractive and fixing impetuses. Adversarial approaches usually refer to strategies of disrupting, intervening into and confusing machine learning/AI systems. While this term often is used within the context of specific technical strategies, we would like to speculate how relational ethics and feminist epistemological perspectives can inform and generate adversarial strategies, understood as ways of not only disrupting operations of systems, but also opening space for critical technical practice. As a work-in-progress, we will offer some initial thoughts and questions as starting points for discussion.

Lisa Müller-Trede, University of Southern California

Artificial Order: Synchronicities in Relational Breath

My contribution for Dividing is an exploration of kinaesthetic relational codes exposed by an algorithmic order of difference within merged breath signals.

Darija Medic, Media Archaeology Lab, University of Colorado Boulder

Color coding the (bodily) extractivism of dark patterns

My contribution to DIVIDING will explore the lens of fragmented cognition in contemporary UX design, with a focus on the practice of unethical design ('dark patterns' as defined in HCI) and its relation to extraction of neural resources. The division, or fragmentation I seek to address is a continuation of mind-body dualism fueled by the attention economy. I propose to address the notion of dark patterns through their classification of the ethics of darkness and its resulting implications

Vera Bühlmann, Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics, TU Vienna

On Mediality and Publicness

Adam Nocek, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State University
On Epigenetics and Epimedia