Anti-Racist Mathematics & Other Stories (2017 - 2019)
Lectures, Video Series, Sculptures, Learning Tools
Text for Before and After the Sixth Radar Conference, by SF Ho
Anti-Racist Mathematics & Other Stories is a presentation of tales from the history of mathematics, global power and communication technologies. From the notion of a ‘science of revolt’ declared by Brad Werner and contextualized by Donna Haraway, the history of the algorithm from al-Khwārizmī, Karl Marx’s mathematical manuscripts, to IBM’s present-day algorithm that is cited to distinguish refugees from terrorists, these stories speculate on the make-up of technical languages and what they could become.
Videos currently available listed below.
Pure Difference (2017)
Video HD, 22 min, English
An educational YouTube video presenting an imperialistic history of numbers with a combination of the bright voice of a tech presentation, a physics lesson out of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, and the aesthetics of evading copyright violations. Its hypothesis: certain understandings of numbers serve to reinforce the dominance of capital and efficient causality.
10 - 3 = 13 (2018)
Video 4K, 13 min, English
Set between a children’s play town and a real-estate walk-through that playfully delivers sincere propositions for a collective logic of political imagination. Drawing from anti-bias curricula alongside radical positions on colonial and historical debts, the second episode in the series offers a lesson on the ‘misinvention’ of negative numbers. Distinct in its playful didacticism with elements of an unreliable narrator, it oscillates between satirical dramatizations and sincere propositions for a world wherein the equation 10 - 3 = 13 expresses an ideology of sharing, collectivity, and mutuality.
Video 4K, 17 min, English
An adaptation of an ancient story of a mass general strike, told via a present-day crowd-modelling and crowd-control software. While showing the "artificial-stupidity" of technologies used for the training of enforcement officers and security design, it presents an anachronistic world where numbers do not hold.