ISA 2017 – Modular Performances of Security

It’s great to be on board for the ISA 2017 Annual Convention in Baltimore. I thought I would drop my abstract below for this, where I’m exploring the object as a way to think around malware and its implications for cybersecurity and a malware politics.

Malicious Modulation: Collusions of a Laboratory 
Malicious software, often referred to as malware, is a multifaceted, interrelational being. In working through a laboratory, this paper explores how the space of analysis and detection of this more-than-human cousin are consistently emergent. In working through the limits of an object-orientated ontology (OOO), I ask how we can question objects as being in modulation through and of themselves. Though I draw upon OOO in similar ways to Meehan et al (2013) on the political geographies of the object, I question the temporal and spatial assumptions with reference to Deleuze’s modulation. Hence, I bring together code artists, virtual machines, curators, algorithms, legal structures, computer monitors, silence, international treaties, among others without attempting to resort to the tyranny of the list. Taking the locale of the malware laboratory as place where movement, collaboration and curation of our cousins is made known, I expose how this place is a dense site of security logics. These malwares exceed any technical or humanly approach to their existence. To embrace their vibrancy, one has to modulate, play, to discover forms of malicious encounter. This requires a technological artistry, a coagulation of disparate elements in assembling spaces that challenge the enclosure of the malware lab.

The next year…

As I am going to be busy on fieldwork over the next year, I have decided to limit where I am going to be and focus on doing some ethnographic research. This means I will only be taking on limited activities outside of my core PhD. Thus, I have taken on more requests in the last year to be involved with projects, talks, and debates which will now take a back seat – don’t be offended if I say no! Therefore the only things I will be going to over the next 9-12 months will be:

  • YATA Seminar on ‘NATO’s Future Challenges’ (Berlin, Germany – November 2016)
  • International Studies Association (ISA) panel on ‘Modular Performances of Security’ with my paper on ‘Malicious Modulation: Collusions of a Laboratory’ (Baltimore, USA – February 2017)
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG) with my CfP on ‘Curating (in)security: Unsettling Geographies of Cyberspace’ and possibly presenting on another panel (Boston, USA – April 2017)

All of these pieces will be focusing on the more ‘human’ sides of malware, and how malware interacts with us, particularly in what is typically to be deemed to be political to develop a core tenet of my work.