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Placing Labour, Locating Contemporary Capitalisms Workshop

26 July 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm AEST

Warehouse landscape with moving forklift in foreground

Automated Worlds Research Program, Institute for Culture and Society, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

In this workshop we build on insights about the labour displacing effects of technologies of automation to ask about the new places in which labour emerges as we increasingly work in, with, and on automated assemblages. What analytical and political insights do we gain when we foreground the places of labour in contemporary capitalism? We draw attention to the workplaces – data centres, warehouses, office buildings, and command centres – which shape such labour. But we also attend to the roles of labour in the larger economies they generate by situating it within its material contexts as well as its position in social processes of value accumulation. This dual emphasis on placing labour allows us to provide nuanced accounts of the ways that automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics are redrawing capitalist landscapes of inequality in new ways.

Please contact Yasmin Tambiah at to RSVP to this workshop.


ADM+S Chief Investigator Heather Horst

Professor Heather Horst
Western Sydney University

Heather A. Horst is Professor and Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. A sociocultural anthropologist by training, she researches material culture and the mediation of social relations through digital media and technology.

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Adam Sargent

Dr Adam Sargent
Western Sydney University

Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Dr Adam Sargent’s research focuses on capitalist development, labor, infrastructure, and social inequality. He has explored these issues through research projects on construction work in India and engineering work in the United States. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Western Sydney University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Automated Decision-Making and Society. Adam will contribute to the People Program, where his research will explore the uneven implementations of ADM technologies across the Global South.

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Adam Fish

Associate Professor Adam Fish
School of Arts and the Media, University of New South Wales

Adam Fish is a Scientia Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Arts and the Media, at the University of New South Wales. He is a cultural anthropologist, documentary video producer, and interdisciplinary scholar who works across social science, computer engineering, environmental science, and the visual arts. Dr. Fish employs ethnographic, participatory, and creative methods to examine the social, political, and ecological impacts of new technologies.

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Heather Ford

Associate Professor Heather Ford
School of Communications, University of Technology

Heather has a background working for global technology corporations and non-profits in the US, UK, South Africa and Kenya. A former Google Policy Fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, former Executive Director of iCommons and co-founder of Creative Commons South Africa, her research focuses on the social implications of media technologies and the ways in which they might be better designed to prevent misinformation, social exclusion, and algorithmic bias.

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Michael Richardson

Associate Professor Michael Richardson
School of Arts and the Media, University of New South Wales

Michael Richardson is an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S), where he co-leads a project on the automation of public and shared space, and an Associate Professor in Media at UNSW.

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Ned Rossiter

Professor Ned Rossiter
Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Ned Rossiter is Director of Research at the Institute for Culture and Society and Professor of Communication in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University. He is a media theorist noted for his research on network cultures, the politics of cultural labour, logistical media and data politics.

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Cheryll Soriano

Professor Cheryll Soriano
Department of Communication, De La Salle University

Cheyrll is currently Professor of Communication in De La Salle University (DLSU) in the Philippines. She is Principal Investigator of Fairwork Philippines, a part of the global Fairwork network which seeks to advance fair labor conditions in the gig economy across the world. She is interested in the social and political implications of communication technologies. In particular, her research explores the intersections of digital cultures and marginality– understanding the way users from political, economic, or cultural margins use new media, and how such digital media engagements facilitate social transformations and create new modes of understanding culture/politics.

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26 July 2022
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm AEST


Western Sydney University, Parramatta
Victoria Rd
Rydalmere, NSW 2116 Australia
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