[ISEA2017] Panel: Sharath Chandra Ram — Signal Territories, Infrastructures and Intermediaries: New Interfaces for Art Science and Communication Policy

Panel Statement

Panel: Bio-creation of Informatics: Rethinking Data Ecosystems in the Network Economy

Keywords: Transmission Art, Spectrum Policy, Broadcast Media Archives, Intermediary Liability, Art-Science, Public Engagement

This paper is one of the contributions to an academic panel titled: “Bio-creation of informatics: Rethinking data ecosystems in the network economy”. The panel seeks to explore different approaches for trans-disciplinary media art and design practitioners in re-imagining data ecosystems and at the same time engaging members of the general public to reflect and contribute to an inclusive discourse that may re-shape public policy surrounding data ecosystems , from the lenses of ownership, privacy, transparency, openness and choice of individuals. The panel is moderated, coauthored and edited by Catalina Alzate.

This paper shifts the critical focus away from the aesthetics of fetishized interfaces of access amplified by today’s networked consumer technologies, towards invisible broadcast infrastructures and data ecosystems that exist in demarcated ‘signal’ territories that harness the natural resource of the wireless electromagnetic spectrum (Parks, 2013). At the outset it calls for the need to revisit the role of the public as an active contributor to conversations in the broadcast media sphere and how as a practicing transmission and information artist, one may contribute to this goal. It takes a closer look at the nature of media infrastructures to bring to focus new trans-disciplinary fodder that exist for rigorous art-science interventions that explore the role of broadcast archives, network intermediaries and the transnational lines that they traverse. In the first section, it presents the history of contentions that the science and practice of public transmission is embroiled in. Next, it looks at other opportunities and hooks for public engagement with broadcast media that provide various entry points to engage in public discourse. Finally, the paper makes a theoretical contribution by introducing a new transdisciplinary lens to look at network intermediaries in order to explain various dynamics that occur in the physical and social transmission and mediation of information.

  • Sharath Chandra Ram’s (Sharathchandra Ramakrishnan) practice and research interests lie at the intersection of law, technology and society with a focus on Open Education (Open Science and Open Hardware), Open Spectrum, Citizen Science and ICT4D. As a licensed amateur radio broadcaster (callsign: VU3HPA), he is actively interested in communication policy research, radio astronomy, extends his art-science practice as a transmission artist and has installed his sound and multimedia work in several national and international avenues. He is currently Faculty at the Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology (Bangalore, India) at the Centre for Experimental Media Art and the Information Arts and Information Design Practices (IAIDP) Program. He engages actively with the local open source and policy research community at the Centre for Internet and Society and organizes the annual NASA International Open Data Challenge at Bangalore. Previously, he has worn many trans-disciplinary hats from being a cognitive neuroscientist, a Software Engineer to being a radio journalist.

Full text (PDF) p. 613-616