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.

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