research

Most of my current research interrogates the sciences, the arts, and the popular culture to investigate politics and computation in the long twentieth century. To that end, I have two open lines of inquiry.

My doctoral dissertation, tentatively titled Rendering, my project shows how politics of race, class, and gender, and historically situated ideas get hard-coded not just into media outputs but also media technologies themselves. Infusing a media-oriented study of computer architecture into the cultural history of computer graphics, this project narrates a history of the computer as a rendering machine. Standing at the intersection of the historiographies of technology, media and labor, and grounded on my study of corporate and federal archival materials, trade literature, oral histories and conference proceedings, Rendering asks: how do cultural worldviews and politico-economic considerations make their way not merely influencing the discourse of computing professionals but into the very layout of the machine? I've given a number of talks on this topic and two publications from this project are currently in the works.

I am also interested in the long history of neural networks as a means to understand the evolving conceptions of subject(ivitie)s and object(ivitie)s. Looking at the uniquely dual position of a neuron as both a material object and a 'cognitive' subject, throughout scientific research (in computer science and neuroscience) and cultural imaginaries (in science fictional texts and films), I attempt to trace the epistemic genealogies undergirding our contemporary artificial intelligence and machine vision landscape(s). I have given talks on the science-fiction of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the academic research of Geoffrey Hinton, and on the use of nVidia graphic cards for running ANNs.

Besides this main undertaking, I am also working on a number of other smaller research projects. I have an essay on the experimental interface between real-life sports and its videogamic simulation that is forthcoming in an edited collection on FIFA, and a short piece on division of labor in 'informatics of domination' that is forthcoming in another edited volume. I also am working on a piece on the saved game state, one on the narrativity of big data, and another on the aesthetics and mechanics of the Meme Economy.

Finally, my research also incorporates critical making practices. Find out more about these projects here.

 © 2018 by Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal.

All photographs © Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal.

Digital artwork, © by Katherine Buse, Raida Aldosari, and Kaly Stormer, is for illustration purposes only.

Last updated on the 15th of July, 2018.

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Ranjodh Singh
Dhaliwal