Anti-Racist Mathematics & Other Stories (2017 - 2019)

Lectures, Video Series, Sculptures, Learning Tools

Text for Before and After the Sixth Radar Conference, by SF Ho

Anti-Racist Mathematics & Other Stories is a presentation of tales from the history of mathematics, global power and communication technologies. From the notion of a ‘science of revolt’ declared by Brad Werner and contextualized by Donna Haraway, the history of the algorithm from al-Khwārizmī, Karl Marx’s mathematical manuscripts, to IBM’s present-day algorithm that is cited to distinguish refugees from terrorists, these stories speculate on the make-up of technical languages and what they could become.

Videos currently available listed below.

Pure Difference (2017)

Video HD, 22 min, English
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An educational YouTube video presenting an imperialistic history of numbers with a combination of the bright voice of a tech presentation, a physics lesson out of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, and the aesthetics of evading copyright violations. Its hypothesis: certain understandings of numbers serve to reinforce the dominance of capital and efficient causality.

10 - 3 = 13 (2018)

Video 4K, 13 min, English
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Set between a children’s play town and a real-estate walk-through that playfully delivers sincere propositions for a collective logic of political imagination. Drawing from anti-bias curricula alongside radical positions on colonial and historical debts, the second episode in the series offers a lesson on the ‘misinvention’ of negative numbers. Distinct in its playful didacticism with elements of an unreliable narrator, it oscillates between satirical dramatizations and sincere propositions for a world wherein the equation 10 - 3 = 13 expresses an ideology of sharing, collectivity, and mutuality.

Secessio (2018)

Video 4K, 17 min, English
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An adaptation of an ancient story of a mass general strike, told via a present-day crowd-modelling and crowd-control software. While showing the "artificial-stupidity" of technologies used for the training of enforcement officers and security design, it presents an anachronistic world where numbers do not hold.