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Volumetric Regimes: Material cultures of quantified presence

Volumetric Regimes

Possible Bodies (Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting)

What is going on with 3D!? This question, both modest and enormous, triggered the collaborative research trajectory that is compiled in this book. It was provoked by an intuitive concern about the way 3D computing quite routinely seems to render racist, sexist, ableist, speciest and ageist worlds.[1] Asking about what is up with 3D becomes especially urgent given its application in border-patrol devices, for climate prediction modeling, in advanced biomedical imaging or throughout the gamify-all approach of overarching industries, from education to logistics. The proliferating technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D tracking, modeling and scanning are increasingly hard to escape.

Volumetric Regimes emerges from Possible Bodies, a collaborative, multi-local and polyphonic project situated on the intersection of artistic and academic research, developing alongside an inventory of cases through writing, workshops, visual essays and performances. This publication brings together diverse materials from that trajectory as well as introduces new materials. It represents a rich and ongoing conversation between artists, software developers and theorists on the political, aesthetic and relational regimes in which volumes are calculated. At some point, we decided to fork Possible Bodies into The Underground Division to name the intensifying conversations on 3D-geocomputation with Helen V. Pritchard.[2] This explains why the attribution of the materials compiled in Volumetric Regimes takes multiple expressions of an extended we.[3]

When we asked “What is going on with 3D?!” we generated many further questions, such as: Why is 3D now used as a synonym for volume-metrics. Or: how did the metric of volume become naturalized as 3D? How are volumes computed, accounted for and represented? Is the three-dimensional technoscientific organization of spaces, bodies or objects only about volume, or rather about the particular modes in which volume is culturally mobilized? How, then, are computational volumes occupying the world? What forms of power come along with 3D? How are the x, y and z axes established as linear carriers or variables of volume, by whom and why? If we take 3D as a noun, it points at the quality of being three-dimensional. But what if we follow the intuition of asking about “what is going on” and take 3D as an action, as an operation with implications for the way we can world otherwise? Can 3D be turned into a verb, at all? How can we at the same time use, problematize and engage with the cultures of volume-processing that converge under the paradigm of 3D?

One important question we almost overlooked: What is volume, actually!? Let’s start by saying that as a representation of mass and of matter, volume is a naturalized construction, by means of calculation. “3D” then is a shortcut for the cultural means by which contemporary volume gets produced, especially in the context of computation. By persistently foregrounding its three distinct dimensions: depth, height and width, the concept of volume gets inextricably tied to the Cartesian coordinate system, a particular way of measuring dimensional worlds. The cases and situations compiled in this book depart from this important shift: in computation, volume is not a given, but rather an outcome, and volumetrics is the set of techniques to fabricate such outcome.

As a field oriented towards the technocratic realm of Modern technosciences, 3D computation has historically unfolded under “the probable” regimes of optimization, totalitarian efficiency, normalization and hegemonic world order.[4] Think of scanning the underground for extractable petro-fossil resources with the help of technologies first developed for brain surgery, and large scale agro-industrial 3D-applications such as spray installations enhanced with fruit recognition. In that sense, volumetrics is involved in sustaining the all too probable behavior of 3D, which is actively being (re)produced and accentuated by digital hyper-computation. The legacies and projections of industrial development leave traces of an ongoing controversy, where multiple modes of existence become increasingly unimaginable under the regime of the probable. Volumetric Regimes explores operational, discursive and procedural elements which might widen “the possible” in contemporary volumetrics.

Material cultures

This book is an inquiry into the material cultures of volumetrics. We did not settle on one specific area of knowledge, but rather stayed with the complexity of intricate stories that in one way or another involve a metrics of volume. The study of material cultures has a long tail which connects several disciplines, from archaeology and ethnography or design, which each bring their own methodological nuances and specific devices. Volumetric Regimes sympathizes with this multi-fold research sensibility that is necessary to think-with-matter. The framework of material cultures provides us with an arsenal of tools and vocabularies, interlocuting with, for example, New Feminist Materialisms, Science and Technology Studies, Phenomenology, Social Ecology or Cultural Studies.

The study of the material cultures of volumetrics necessitates a double-bind approach. The first bind relates to the material culture of volume. We need to speak about the volume that so-called bodies occupy in space from the material perspective of what they are made of – the actual conditions of their material presence and the implications of what space they occupy, or not. But we also need to speak about the material arrangements of metrics, the whole ecology of tools that participate in measuring operations. The second bind is therefore about the technopolitical aspects of knowledge production by measuring matter and of measured matter itself; in other words: the material culture of metrics.

The material culture of volumetrics and its internal double bind implies an understanding of technosocial relations as always in the making, both shaping and being shaped under the conditions of cultural formations. Being sensitive to matter therefore also involves a critical accountability towards the exclusions, reproductions and limitations that such formations execute. We decided to approach this complexity by assuming our response-ability with an inventory filled with cases and an explicitly political attitude.

The way matter matters has a direct affect on how something becomes a structural and structured regime, or rather how it becomes an ongoing contingent amalgamation of forces. There is no doubt that metrics can be considered to be a cultural realm of its own,[5] but what about the possibility of volume as a cultural field, infused by an apparatus of axioms and assumptions that, despite their rigid affirmations, are not referring to a pre-existent reality, but actually rendering one of their own?

In this book, we spend some quality time with the idea that volume, is the product of a specific evolution of material culture. We want to activate a public conversation, asking: How is power distributed in a world that is worlded by axes, planes, dimensions and coordinates, too often and too soon crystallizing abstractions in a path towards naturalizing what presences count where, for whom and for how long?

Volumetric regimes

We started this introduction by saying that volume is an outcome, not a given. Mass can (but does not have to) be measured by culturally-set operations like the calculation of its depth, or of its density. The volumes resulting from such measurement operations use cultural or scientific assumptions such as limit, segment or surface. The specific ways that volumetrics happen, and the modes that result in them crystallizing into axes and axioms, are the ones that we are trying to trace back and forth, to identify how they ended up arranging a whole regime of thought and praxis.

The contemporary regime of volumetrics, meaning the enviro-socio-technical politics and narratives that emerge with and around the measurement and generation of 3D presences, is a regime full of bugs, crawling with enviro-socio-technical flaws. Not neutral and also not innocent, this regime is wrapped up in the interrelated legacies and ideologies of neoliberalism, patriarchal colonial commercial capitalism, tied with the oligopolies of authoritarian innovation and technoscientific mono-cultures of proprietary hardware and software industries, intertwined with the cultural regimes of mathematics, image processing but also overly rigid vocabularies. In feminist techno-science, the relation between (human) bodies and technologies has had lots of attention, from the cyborg manifesto to more recent new materialist renderings of phenomena and apparatuses.[6] In the field of software studies, the “deviceful” entanglements between hegemonic regimes and software procedures have been thoroughly discussed,[7] while anti-colonial scholars have critiqued the ways that measuring or metrics align with racial capitalism and North-South divisions of power.[8] Thinking about the computation of volume is merely present in literature on the interaction of human and other-than-human bodies with machinic agents,[9] with the built environment[10] and its operative logics.[11]

What we have been looking for in the works listed above, and not always found, is the kind of diffuse rigor needed for a transformative politics that is a condition for non-binarism, of not settling, of being response-able in constant change.[12] This search triggered the intense interlocutions with the artists, activists and thinkers that have contributed to this book, and made us stick to polyhedric research methods. We’ve gone back to Paul B. Preciado, who taught us about the political fiction that so-called bodies are, a fleshy accumulation of archival data that keeps producing, reproducing and/or contesting the truths of power and their interlinked subjectivities.[13] Fired up for the worlding of different tech, we found inspiring unfoldings of computation and geological volumes in Kathryn Yusoff’s and Elizabeth A. Povinelli’s work, who insist on brave unpackings of Modern regimes all-the-way. We wondered about the voluminosity of “bodies“ but also about their entanglement with what marks them as such, and how to pay attention to it. Reading Denise Fereirra da Silva’s email conversation with Arjuna Neuman about her use of the term “Deep Implicancy” rather than “entanglement”, we were struck by the relation between spatiality and separation she brings up: “Deep Implicancy is an attempt to move away from how separation informs the notion of entanglement. Quantum physicists have chosen the term entanglement precisely because their starting point is particles (that is, bodies), which are by definition separate in space.”[14] Syed Mustafa Ali and David Golumbia separate computation from computationalism to make clear that while computation obviously sediments and continues colonial damages, this is not necessarily how it needs to be (and it necessarily needs to be otherwise). Interlocutions with the deeply situated work of Seda Gürses,[15] operating on the discipline of computation from the inside, sparked with the energy of queer thinkers and artists Zach Blas and Micha Cárdenas[16] and more recently Loren Britton, and Helen V. Pritchard in For CS.[17] We are grateful for their critical problematizations of the ever-straightening protocols which operate in every corner where existence is supposed to happen.

The shift to understanding volume as an outcome of sociotechnical operations, is what helps us activate the critical revision of the regimes of volumetry and their many consequences. If volume does not exist without volumetric regimes, then the technopolitical struggle means to scrutinize how metrics could be exploded, (re)designed, otherwise implemented, differently practiced, (de)bugged, interpreted and/or cared for.

Quantified presence

Volumetric Regimes is also our way to build capacities for a response to the massive quantification of presences existing in computed space-times. Such response-ability needs to be multi-faceted, due to the process of manipulation that quantifying presences apply to presence itself as an ontological concern. The fact that something can exist and be accountable in a virtual place, or that something which is present in a physical space can re-appear or be re-presented in differently mediated conditions, or not at all, is technically produced through supposedly efficient gestures such as clear-cut incisions, separating boundaries, layers of segmentation, regions of interest and acts of discretization. The agency of these operations is more often than not erased after the fact, providing a nauseating sense of neutrality.

The project of Volumetric Regimes is to think with and towards computing-otherwise rather than to side with the uncomputable or to count on that which escapes calculation. Flesh, complexity and mess are already-with computation, somehow simultaneous and co-constituent of mess. The spaces created by the tension between matter and its quantification, provide with a creative arena for the diversification of options in the praxis of 3D computation. Qualitative procedures like intense dialog, hands-on experiments, participant observation, speculative design and indeterminate protocols help us understand possible research attitudes in response to a quantify-all mono-culture, not succumbing to its own pre-established analytics. Could “deep implicancy” be where computing otherwise happens, by means of speculation, indeterminacy and possibility? Perhaps such praxis is already located beyond or below normed actions like capturing, modeling or tracking that are all so complicit with the making of fungibility.[18]

The specific form of quantification that is at stake in the realm of volume-metrics, is datafication. The computational processing, displacing and re-arranging of matter through volumetric techniques participates in what The Invisible Committee called the crisis of presence, which can be observed at the very core of the contemporary ethos.[19] We connect with their concerns about the way present presences are rendered, or not. How to value what needs to count and be counted or what is in excess of quantification, via the exact same operation, in a politicized way. In other words, a politics of reclaiming quantification is a praxis towards a politicized accountability for the messiness of all techniques that deal with the thickness of a complex world. Such praxis is not against making cuts as such, but rather commits to being response-able with the gestures of discretion and not making final finite gestures, but reviewable ones. Connecting to quantification in this manner, is a claim for forms of accountable accountability.[20]

Aligning ourselves with the tradition of feminist techno-sciences, Volumetric Regimes: Material cultures of quantified presence stays with the possible (possible tools, methods, practices, materializations, agencies, vocabularies) of computation, demanding complexity while queering the rigidity of their fixing of items, discrete and finite entities in too fast moves towards truth and neutrality.

In this publication we try by all means to disorient the assumption of essentialist discreteness and claims for the thickening of qualitative presence in 3D computation realms. In that sense, Volumetric Regimes could be considered as an attempt to do qualitative research on the quantitive methods related to the volumetric-occupation of worlds.

Polyhedric research methods

In terms of method, this book benefits from several polyhedric forces that when combined, form a prismatic body of disciplinarily uncalibrated but rigorous research. The study of the complex regimes that rule the worlds of volumes, necessitated a few methodological inventions to widen the spectrum of how computational volumetrics can be studied, described, problematized and reclaimed.[21] That complexity is generated not only by the different areas in which measuring volumes is done, but also because it is a highly crowded field, populated by institutional, commercial, scientific, sensorial and technological agents.

One polyhedric force is the need for direct action and informed disobedience applied to research processes. We have often referred to our work as “disobedient action-research”, to insist on a mode of research that is motivated by situated, ad-hoc modes of producing and circulating knowledge. We committed to a non-linear workflow of writing, conversing and referencing, to keep resisting developmental escalation, but rather to hold on to an iterative and sometimes recursive flow. While in every discipline there are people and practices opening, mixing, expanding, challenging, and refusing traditional methods, research involving technology is too often ethically, ontologically, and epistemologically dependent on a path from and towards universalist enlightenment, aiming to eventually technically fixing the world. This violent and homogenizing solutionist attitude stands in the way of a practice that, first of all, needs to attend to the re-articulation and relocation of what must be accounted for, perhaps just by proliferating sensibilities, issues, demands, requests, complaints, entanglements, and/or questions.[22]

A second polyhedric force is generated by the playful intersection of artistic and academic research in the collaborative praxis of Possible Bodies. It materializes for example in uncommon writing and the use of made-up terminology, but also in the hands-on engagement with tools, merging high and low tech, learning on the go, while attending to genealogies that arranged them in the here-now. You will find us smuggling techniques for knowledge generation from one domain to another such as contaminating ethnographic descriptions with software stories, mixing poetics with abnormal visual renders, blurring theoretical dissertations with industrial case-studies and so forth.

Trans*feminism is certainly a polyhedric dynamic at work, in mutual affection with the previous forces. We refer to the research as such, in order to convoke around that star (*) all intersectional and intra-sectional aspects that are possibly needed.[23] Our trans*feminist lens is sharpened by queer and anti-colonial sensibilities, and oriented towards (but not limited to) trans*generational, trans*media, trans*disciplinary, trans*geopolitical, trans*expertise, and trans*genealogical forms of study. The situated mixing of software studies, media archaeology, artistic research, science and technology studies, critical theory and queer-anticolonial-feminist-antifa-technosciences purposefully counters hierarchies, subalternities, privileges and erasures in disciplinary methods.

The last polyhedric force is generated by our politicized attitude towards technological objects. This book was developed on a wiki, designed with Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) tools and published as Open Access.[24] Without wanting to suggest that FLOSS itself produces the conditions for non-hegemonic imaginations, we are convinced that its persistent commitment to transformation can facilitate radical experiments, and trans*feminist technical prototyping. The software projects we picked for study and experimentation such as Gplates,[25] MakeHuman,[26] and Slicer[27] follow that same logic. It also oriented our DIWO attitude of investigation, preferring low-tech approaches to high-tech phenomena and allowing ourselves to misuse and fail.

To give an ongoing account of the structural formations conditioning the various cultural artifacts that are co-composed through scanning, tracking and modeling, we settled for inventorying as a central method. The items in the Possible Bodies inventory do not rarefy these artifacts, as would happen through the practice of collecting, or by pinning them down, as in the practice of cartography, or rigidly stabilize them, as might be a risk through the practice of archiving.[28] Instead, the inventorying is about continuous updates, and keeping items available. The inventory functions as an additional reference system for building stories and vocabularies; items have been used for multiple guided tours, both written and performed.[29] Being aware of its problematic histories of commercial colonialism, the praxis of inventorying needs to also be reoriented towards just and solidary techniques of semiotic-material compilation.[30]

The writing of bug reports is a specific form of disobedient action research which implies a systematic re-learning of the very exercise of writing, as well as a resulting direct interpellation to the communities that develop software, by its own means and channels. Bug reporting, as a form of technical grey literature, makes errors, malfunctions, lacks, or knots legible; secondly, it reproduces a culture of a public interest in actively taking-part in contemporary technosciences. As a research method, it can be understood as a repoliticization and cross-pollination of one of the key traditional pillars of scientific knowledge production: the publishing of findings.

Technical expertise is not the only knowledge suitable for addressing the technologically produced situations we find ourselves in. The term clumsy computing describes a mode of relating to technological objects that is diffuse, sensitive, tentative but unapologetically confident.[31] Such diffuseness can be found in the selection of items in the inventory,[32] in the deliberate use of deported terminology, in the amateur approach to tools, in the hesitation towards supposedly ontologically-static objects of study, in the sudden scale jumps, in the radical disciplinary un-calibration and in our attention to porous boundaries of sticky entities.[33]

The persistent use of languaging formulas problematizes the limitations of ontological figures. For example the repeated use of “so-called”  for “bodies” or “plants” is a way to question the various methods whereby finite, specified and discrete entities are being made to represent the characteristics of whole species, erasing the nuances of very particular beings.[34] Combinatory terms such as “somatopologies” play a recombinatory game to insist on the implications of one regime onto another.[35] Turning nouns into verbs such as using “circlusion” as “circluding”, is a technology that forces language to operate with different temporary tenses and conjugations, refusing the fixed ontological commingling that naming implies.[36]

Interlocution has ruled the orientations of this inquiry that was collective by default: by affecting and being affected by communities of concern in different locations, the research process changed perspectives, was infused by diverse vocabularies and sensibilities and jumped scales all along. The conversations brought together in Volumetric Regimes stuck with this principle of developing the research through an affective network of comrades, companions, colleagues and collaborators, based on elasticity and mutual co-constitution.


Volumetric Regimes experiments with various formats of writing, publishing and conversing. It compiles guided tours, peer-reviewed academic texts, speculative fiction, pamphlets, bug reports, visual essays, performance scripts and inventory items. It is organized around five chapters, that each rotate the proliferating technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D tracking, modeling and scanning differently. Although they each take on the question “What is going on with 3D?!” through a distinct axiology of technology, politics and aesthetics, they do not assume nor impose a specific order for the reader. Each chapter includes an invited contribution that proposes a different orientation, offers a Point of View (POV) or triggers a perspective on the material-discursive entanglements in its own way.

x, y, z: Dimensional Axes of Power takes on the building blocks of 3D: x, y and z. The three Cartesian axes both constrain and orient the chapter, as they do for the space of possibility of the volumetric. It takes seriously the implications of a mathematical regime based on parallel and perpendicular lines, and zooms in on the invasive operations of virtual renderings of fleshy matter, but also calls for queer rotations and disobedient trans*feminist angles that can go beyond the rigidness of axiomatic axes within the techno-ecologies of 3D tracking, modeling and scanning. The chapter begins with a contribution by Sina Seifee, who in his text “Rigging Demons“ draws from an intimate history with the technical craft-intense practice of special effects animation, to tell us stories of visceral non-mammalian animality between love and vanquish. The chapter continues with a first visit to the Possible Bodies inventory that sets-up the basic suspicions on what is of value in rendered and captured worlds, following the thread of dis-orientation as a way to think through the powerful worldings that are nevertheless produced by volumetrics. “Invasive Imagination and its agential cut“ reflects on the regimes of biomedical imaging and the volumetrization of so-called bodies.

Somatopologies: On the ongoing rendering of corpo-realities opens up all the twists in epistemologies and methodologies triggered by Volumetric Regimes in the somatic realm. As a notion, “somatopologies” converges the not-letting-go of Modern patriarchocolonial apparatuses of knowledge production like mathematics or geometry, specifically focusing on an undisciplined study of the paradigm of topology. By opening up the conditions of possibility, soma-topologies is a direct claim for other ontologies, ethics, practices and crossings. The chapter opens with “Clumsy Volumetrics“ in which Helen V. Pritchard follows Sara Ahmed’s suggestion that “clumsiness” might form a queer and crip ethics that generates new openings and possibilities. “Somatopologies (materials for a movie in the making)“ documents a series of installations and performances that mixed different text sources to cut agential slices through technocratic paradigms in order to create hyperbolic incisions that stretch, rotate and bend Euclidean nightmares and Cartesian anxieties. “Circluding“ is a visual/textual collaboration with Kym Ward on the potential of a gesture that flips the order of agency without separating inside from outside. In “From Topology to Typography: A romance of 2.5D“, Sophie Boiron and Pierre Huyghebaert open up a graphic conversation on the almost-volumetrics that precede 3D in digital typography and finally the short text “MakeHuman“ and the pamphlet “Information for Users“ take on the implications of relating to 3D-modelled-humanoids.

The vibrating connections between hyper-realism and invention, re-creation and simulation, generation and parametrization are the inner threads of a chapter titled Parametric Unknowns: Hypercomputation between the probable and the possible. What’s in the world and what is processed by mechanisms of volumetric vision differs only slightly, offering a problematic dizzying effect. The opening of the chapter is in the hands of Nicolas Malevé, who offers a visual ethnography of some of the interiors and bodies that made computational photography into what it became. Not knowing everything yet, the panoramization of intimate atmospheres works as an exercise to study the limits between the flat surfaces of engineering labs and the dense worlds behind their scenes. “The Fragility of Life“ is an excuse to enter into the thick files compiled by designer-researcher Simone C Niquille on the digital post-production of truth. Somehow in line with that, Maria Dada provides an overview of how different training and rehearsing are, especially in the gaming industry that makes History with a capital H. And finally, a long-term conversation with Phil Langley questions the making of too fast computational moves while participating in architectural and infrastructural materializations.

Signs of Clandestine Disorder: The continuous aftermath of 3D-computationalism follows the long tail of volumetric techniques, technologies and infrastructures, and the politics inscribed within. The chapter’s title points to “computationalism”, a direct reference to Syed Mustafa Ali’s approach to decolonial computing.[37] The other half is a quote from Alphonso Lingis, which invokes the non-explicit relationality between elements that constitute computational processes.[38] In that sense, it contrasts directly with the discursive practice of colonial perception that Ramon Amaro described as “self maintaining in its capacity to empirically self-justify.”[39] The chapter opens with “Endured Instances of Relation“ in which Romi Ron Morrison reflects on specific types of fixity and fixation that pertain to volumetric regimes, and the radical potential of “flesh” in data practices, while understanding bodies as co-constructed by their inscriptions, as a becoming-with technology. The script for the workshop “Signs of clandestine disorder for the uniformed and codified crowd“ is a generative proposal to apply the mathematical episteme to lively matters, but without letting go of its potential. In “So-called Plants“ we return to the inventory for a vegetal trip, observing and describing some operations that affect the vegetal kingdom and volumetrics.

The last chapter is titled Depths and Densities: Accidented and dissonant spacetimes. It proposes to shift from the scale of the flesh to the scale of the earth. The learnings from the insurgent geology of authors like Yusoff triggered many questions about the ways technopolitics cut the vertical and horizontal axis and that limit the spectrum of possibilities to a universalist continuation of extractive modes of existence and knowledge production. The contribution by Kym Ward, “Open Boundary Conditions“, offers a first approach to her situated intensive study of the crossings between volumetrics and oceanography, from the point of view of the Bidston Observatory in Liverpool. From this vantage point she articulates a critique on technosciences, and provides with an overview of possible affirmative areas of study and engagement. In “A Bugged Report“, the filing of bug reports turns out to be an opportune way to react to the embeddedness of anthropocentrism in geomodeling software tools, different to, for example, technological sovereignty claims. “We Have Always Been Geohackers“ continues that thinking and explores the probable continuation of extractive modes of existence and knowledge production in software tools for rendering tectonic plates. The workshop script for exercising an analog LiDAR apparatus is a proposal to experience these tensions in physical space, and then to discuss them collectively. The chapter ends with “Ultrasonic Dreams of Aclinical Renderings“, a fiction that speculates with hardware on the possibilities for scanning through accidented and dissonant spacetimes.


  1. This intuition surfaced in GenderBlending, a worksession organized by Constant, association for art and media based in Brussels, in 2014. Body hackers, 3D theorists, game activists, queer designers and software feminists experimented at the contact zones of gender and technology. Starting from the theoretical and material specifics of gender representations in a digital context, GenderBlending was an opportunity to develop prototypes for modelling digital bodies differently. “Genderblending,” Constant, accessed October 6, 2021,,190-.html.
  2. “The Underground Division,” accessed October 20, 2021,
  3. We decided not to flatten or erase these porous attributions. Therefore you will find a multiplicity of authorial takes throughout this book: Possible Bodies, Possible Bodies (Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting), Possible Bodies feat. Helen V. Pritchard, Jara Rocha, and Femke Snelting, Kym Ward feat. Possible Bodies, Jara Rocha, The Underground Division and The Underground Division (Helen V. Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting).
  4. See "Item 127: El Proyecto Moderno / The Modern Project," The Possible Bodies Inventory, 2021.
  5. See, for example Alfred W. Crosby, The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250–1600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
  6. Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007).
  7. Some of the publications in the field of Software Studies that have done this work include Matthew Fuller, Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software (Brooklyn: Autonomia, 2003), Adrian Mackenzie, Cutting Code: Software and Sociality (New York: Peter Lang, 2006), Wendy Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2011), Matthew Fuller, and Andrew Goffey, Evil Media (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2012), Geoff Cox, and Alex McLean, Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2012) and more recently Winnie Soon, and Geoff Cox Aesthetic Programming (London: OHP, 2020).
  8. From Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, “Race and/as Technology; or, How to Do Things to Race,” Camera Obscura 70, 24(1) 7-35, to Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Hoboken: Wiley, 2019).
  9. Stamatia Portanova, Moving Without a Body (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2012).
  10. Luciana Parisi, Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2013).
  11. Aud Sissel Hoel, and Frank Lindseth, “Differential Interventions: Images as Operative Tools,” in Photomediations: A Reader, eds. Kamila Kuc and Joanna Zylinska (Open Humanities Press, 2016), 177-183.
  12. “There are no solutions; there is only the ongoing practice of being open and alive to each meeting, each intra-action, so that we might use our ability to respond, our responsibility, to help awaken, to breathe life into ever new possibilities for living justly.” Karen Barad, Meeting the universe halfway.
  13. Paul B. Preciado calls the fictive accumulation a somathèque. “Interview with Beatriz Preciado, SOMATHEQUE. Biopolitical production, feminisms, queer and trans practices,” Radio Reina Sofia, July 7, 2012,
  14. Denise Ferreira da Silva, and Arjuna Neuman, “4 Waters: Deep Implicancy” (Images Festival, 2019)
  15. For example in her important work on understanding shifts in the practice of software production. Seda Guerses, and Joris Van Hoboken, “Privacy after the Agile Turn,” eds. Jules Polonetsky, Omer Tene, and Evan Selinger, Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 579-601. 
  16. Zach Blas, and Micha Cárdenas, “Imaginary Computational Systems: Queer technologies and transreal aesthetics,” AI & Soc 28 (2013): 559–566.
  17. Loren Britton, and Helen Pritchard, “For CS,” interactions 27, 4 (July - August 2020), 94–98.
  18. See: Romi Ron Morrison, “Endured Instances of Relation, an exchange,” in this book.
  19. The Invisible Committee, To Our Friends (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2015).
  20. Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway.
  21. Celia Lury, and Nina Wakeford, Inventive Methods: the Happening of the Social. (Milton Park: Routledge, 2013).
  22. See: The Underground Division (Helen V. Pritchard, Jara Rocha, and Femke Snelting), “We have always been geohackers,” in this book.
  23. “The asterisk hold off the certainty of diagnosis.” Jack Halberstam, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018), 4.
  24. See: Manetta Berends, “The So-Called Lookalike,” in this book.
  25. See: Jara Rocha, “Depths and Densities: A bugged report,” in this book.
  26. See: Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, “MakeHuman,” in this book.
  27. See: Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, “Invasive Imagination and its Agential Cuts,” in this book.
  28. See: Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, “Disorientation and its aftermath,” in this book.
  29. Possible Bodies, “Inventorying as a method,” The Possible Bodies Inventory,
  30. See: Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, “Disorientation and its aftermath,” in this book.
  31. See: Helen Pritchard, “Clumsy Computing”, in this book.
  32. The Possible Bodies Inventory, accessed October 20, 2021,
  33. Andrea Ballestero, “The Underground as Infrastructure? Water, Figure/Background Reversals and Dissolution in Sardinal,” ed. Kregg Hetherington, Infrastructure, Environment and Life in the Anthropocene (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019).
  34. See: “So-called Plants,” in this book.
  35. See: “Somatopologies,” in this book.
  36. See: Kym Ward feat. Possible Bodies, “Circluding,” in this book.
  37. Syed Mustafa Ali, “A Brief Introduction to Decolonial Computing,” XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 22(4) (2016): 16-21.
  38. “We walk the streets among hundreds of people whose patterns of lips, breasts, and genital organs we divine; they seem to us equivalent and interchangeable. Then something snares our attention: a dimple speckled with freckles on the cheek of a woman; a steel choker around the throat of a man in a business suit; a gold ring in the punctured nipple on the hard chest of a deliveryman; a big raw fist in the delicate hand of a schoolgirl; a live python coiled about the neck of a lean, lanky adolescent with coal-black skin. Signs of Clandestine Disorder in the Uniformed and Coded Crowds.” Alphonso Lingis, Dangerous Emotions (University of California Press, 2000), 141.
  39. Ramon Amaro, “Artificial Intelligence: warped, colorful forms and their unclear geometries,” in Schemas of Uncertainty: Soothsayers and Soft AI, eds. Danae Io and Callum Copley (Amsterdam: PUB/Sandberg Instituut, 2019), 69-90.