PRES (Projects and Research by English Students) Lecture: Neha Ravella, "Found Data: Disappearance and Resilience"

Thursday, April 29, 2021 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Speaker: Neha Ravella

"Found Data: Disappearance and Resilience" uncovers the ways in which the Indian state of Telangana's neoliberal policies directly support the trend of inequitable risk distribution within marginal agriculturalist communities and frame institutional failures as individual ones. Using curated instances of co-generative inquiry whose rhetorical weight is realized through constructions of small and 'found' data—in the midst of missing / suppressed formal data and fragmented rural infrastructures—this project explores the "high risk, suboptimal yield" pattern enabled by the normalization of capital and resource intensive cash crop cultivation (Bt cotton and palm oil) and the culture of farming it constructs and sustains: an individualized one that is divorced from its social, material, and ecological underpinnings.

Alternative data practices and performances that critique dominant epistemologies of knowing portray the ways in which grassroots networks and researchers cultivate and mobilize data as interventions to produce social change—vastly different from the state's engagement with datafication. While such small and found data are inherently constrained (i.e., circumstantially or purposefully far from 'complete' and is restrictive in terms of scope, scalability, and volume), they also bridge scholarly and historically credible figurations with utterances emerging through disappearance and collective loss.

Speaker Bio: Neha Ravella is a creative practitioner engaging with critical data analysis and feminist machine learning paradigms. Her current collaborative installation work (in-progress) Speculative AI: Octavia Butler and Other Possible Worlds features a deep generative model trained on afrofuturist inputs and is funded by Google's Artist and Machine Intelligence (AMI) grant.

WebEx Info:

Meeting Number: 160 119 7416
Password: preslecture
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