October 2022

Voting for the future(s) we want to see

Hi there,

These days the one thing that is one everyone’s lips in Denmark is: the upcoming election. We’ve even discussed it in the lab, which you can read more about further down in this newsletter. For now, please allow me a minute of your time, to get political and talk about something that has been on my mind in regards to the election.

Tomorrow millions of Danes will turn up to the voting booth to cast their votes for the Denmark they hope to see in the future. To vote for their ideal version of the economy. To vote for the climate. For care workers, for schools, for jobs.

However, 10% of adults living in Denmark are not eligible to vote. And that number is increasing. In Copenhagen we’re talking close to 20%. There’s a number of different reasons for this; globalisation makes it easier for (some) people to move freely around the world - and at the same time, Danish laws have made it increasingly difficult to become a citizen. And that includes Danes who are born and raised in Denmark.

I believe this is a huge issue. And I believe it is a feminist issue. Because when certain sections of our society cannot vote, politicians have no immediate incentive to prioritise their needs and wishes. And as such, power differentials are reinforced and reproduced, leading to the most marginalised people in our society being even further marginalised.

So if you are one of the lucky ones who have the democratic privilege of citizenship and the right to vote tomorrow, consider this: Who will benefit? And who will be left behind? And how might your vote be a vote for a more caring future - for people and the planet?

Happy election day - and happy November! 

- Henriette 

We’d always love to hear your feedback on the newsletter. Reach us here: ethos@itu.dk 


What’s new?  

Luis has joined us as Lab Assistant Technologist 
We’re very excited to share that Luis Landa has officially joined the lab as Assistant Technologist as of October 1st. Luis will provide students with technical help on their projects, continue his work on the solar server project, work on the website for the feminist hackathon, and help out in the lab more generally. Although not new to the lab, we are still very happy to have Luis join us in this new role.

Ada Lovelace day 
By now it has become a well-established tradition in ETHOS Lab to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. The day is internationally known as a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This year on Ada Lovelace Day (October 11th) ETHOS Lab hosted a workshop on writing alternative text (alt text) through a poetic lens. You can read more about the workshop in the blogpost written by Edith, linked below.

How would ETHOS vote for? 
The Danish national elections on November 1st are fast approaching. As a feminist lab, ETHOS has a long tradition for hosting discussions on politics, particularly the politics of our methods and our own practice. On Wednesday October 12th, we gathered to create a space for discussing election politics, and to create a poster about this discussion to share with the rest of the institution. Guided by the question: What do we vote for? We aimed to gather which issues were the most important to us as a collective in the upcoming election. This wasn’t about party-specific politics or who we might vote for, but about what we believe to be important topics to think about when we think about politics right now. The themes that came up were diverse, from solidarity with both human and nonhuman lives, to education politics that would allow more international students at ITU, to calling for more complex and troubled understandings of IT. After our discussion we hung the poster we made together outside of the Lab, to share what we found important with the rest of ITU. We hope this poster can inspire staff and students to think about what is important to them when thinking about politics, regardless of whether they are voting in the election or not.

NordiCHI 2022 - Notes from Lara and Luis
At this year’s NordiCHI conference (October 8th - 12th, 2022, Aarhus DK), Lara co-organized a workshop on ‘Speculations on Feminist Reproductive Health Technologies’. This one-day workshop invited participants to discuss possibilities of designing with and for reproductive bodies by taking vantage points in feminist values such as intersectionality, labor, entanglements, materiality, sustainability, or social justice. Through collective and speculative explorations based on these values, we aspired to find new directions within reproductive health research, to disrupt binary understandings of reproductive bodies, and to explore interpersonal/relational issues when talking about in/fertility that extend beyond the female body. The workshop brought together various HCI researchers that are working with or are interested in bodies and bodily experiences including, but not limited to, in/fertility, menopause, menstruation, transitions, interpersonal as well as more-than-human relations. Experiences and speculative proposals will be made available on the workshop’s website

Luis remotely presented ETHOS’ solar server as a critique artefact during the conference. The presentation was part of the “Environmental Reflection” session and among many things discussed the redundancy of IT solutions to climate change, the general direction of the tech-industry, and use-case centric hardware adaption. In general, the audience seemed to really engage and appreciate the pedagogical aspect of running a low-tech experiment within academic institutions that tend to focus on the latest technology. Part of the talk focused on some of the future re-tooling and re-purposing of the server. For example, by increasing the protagonism of the server in certain user or lab tasks, like deploying creatively and low-weight projects and web services, we can inspire other students at the lab to do the same. Finally, as winter is fast approaching, a couple of questions loomed at the end of the presentation. Will the work on the server have to slow down due to having less energy? Is it cheating to work on a normal laptop to develop these services only to deploy them on the solar server to save that energy? As this is the first winter with a fully functional server, we will figure these things out as we go - and will of course keep you updated.

Reminder: New open hours in the lab
Please note a change in the lab's open hours: 

- Tuesdays 10:00-11:30
- Thursdays 11:00-14:00

What's next?

JR Pitch and Play
Tomorrow is a very exciting day. It’s the day that our new cohort of Junior Researchers present their projects to the ETHOS community for the first time. We have project themes ranging from privacy and digital identities to feminist citation practices and data physicalisation. We’re looking forward to hearing more about the projects and to collectively help the JRs along.

Feminist hackathon
Something is simmering in the ETHOS Lab… We are now in the first phase of organising a feminist hackathon (to be held next spring). If this is something you would like to be part of or you would just like to hear more about — reach out to lab manager Henriette (hefh@itu.dk). 


Updates from the blog

A group of women are sitting around a table bending over colorful printouts of objects and people. In pairs of two they engaged with one image. Some analyze the printout in silence while others discuss. On the table, some room has been made for two cakes. One brown with some dark chocolate flakes and icing on the top, the other white with some red berry dots and topped with whipped cream and pink powder

In the name of Ada Lovelace, we wrote alt text poetry

alt: By Edith Terte Andersen. By now it has become a well-established tradition in ETHOS Lab to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. The day is internationally known as a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This year on Ada Lovelace Day (October 11th) ETHOS Lab hosted a workshop on writing alternative text (alt text) through …

Read more.


 Wishing you all a beautiful rest of your day!

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Co-heads of Lab: Marisa Cohn & Jessamy Perriam
Lab Manager: Henriette Friis


ETHOS Lab Open Hours 

The Lab has regular opening hours throughout the semester on Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 & Thursdays from 11 to 14, allowing for a lunch break around noon.

The opening hours are co-working time for the Lab staff, as well as an opportunity for impromptu meetings and informal encounters for the community of faculty and students. This is an opening for bouncing off ideas, getting feedback, and work in the LabEveryone is welcome, just pop by!