EF#2.20 Weird Compliance – 4th Nov. 2020 – 1-4pm on MS Teams

SEED: Weird Compliance

CATALYST: Anonymous

HOST: Jessica Foley

MEETING-PLACE: Microsoft Teams

DATE: 4th November 2020

TIME: 1-4pm

We are living through a time filled with contradictions and inversions, where public health recommendations are increasingly perceived as a threat to individual freedom. One third of people in Italy have said that they do not want to get a vaccine for Covid 19. The UK stats say 1 in 5 wouldn’t get the vaccine. Conspiracies and ‘doublethink’ abound like its 1984. But it’s 2020 and our vision is blurred. In many ways and by many means the possibility of tolerating, let alone sharing, complex perceptions of social ‘reality’ has become critically endangered.

Every issue seems to be black or white, win or lose, while evidence-based sense-making is pitted against emotion and belief-based sense-making. Those who have traditionally positioned themselves as non-compliant by default in relation to (frequently oppressive) state powers, suddenly find themselves ‘weirdly compliant’ with state restrictions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the critical positioning of non-compliance has become championed/coopted by an array of right-wing movements, from anti-vaxxers to neo-fascists.

This session of Engineering Fictions will open up a space of creative freedom for us to attend and listen to the complicated and often confusing meanings of compliance and non-compliance in relation to state surveillance and policing, through the lens of public health and the coronavirus pandemic. All going to plan, we will temper our conversations through writing exercises and the Sonnet form. Or perhaps we will experience a fit weird compliance and who’s to say what will happen… time will tell 😉

This session of Engineering Fictions has been devised as part of the Scottish Universities Insight Institute Programme on Embedding Ethics by Design in the Policing of Digital Futures in Scotland.

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