World-Information Institute Conference
Sat. 08.11.2008 10:30 – 20:00
Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna
Free entrance, conference language is english
With the explosion of information in all shades and languages, issues of orientation and navigation in the oceans of knowledge pose themselves with renewed urgency. Information is useless if it cannot be found and it is not a co-incidence that a search engine like Google turned into one of the most significant companies of the new century. There is an intense debate in science and industry on the implications of these global trends, but there is also a growing awareness as to the socio-cultural implications of "search" and the information retrieval of the future.
"Deep Search" wants to look at the social and political dimensions of how we navigate the deep seas of knowledge. We want to examine the pursuit of categorizing that data and what it means to relate to the world through digital search technologies. Futuristic applications and computational complexity aside, cognitive technologies deliberately designed to yield results in a limited frame of reference, imbed political philosophy in seemingly neutral code. In the daily reality of information overflow it is crucial to acknowledge both arbitrariness and willful designation, and that hierarchies are not miraculously produced by nature itself. Innocent utilities that blend into the routine of everyday work and leisure subtly bend our perception, and weave threads into the fabric of cognitive reality.
How is computer readable significance produced, how is meaning involved in machine communication? Where is the emancipatory potential of having access to such vast amounts of information? And where lie the dangers of having to rely on search engines to make use if that information? These questions of culture, context und classification in information systems should not be ignored since what is at stake is nothing less than how we, as individuals and institutions, come to find out about the world. "Deep Search" addresses the social and cultural dimension as well as the information politics and societal implications of search.
Conference Editors: Konrad Becker, Felix Stalder
In cooperation with the IRFS 2008