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The Gamification of Games

Published in Game Over: For a critique of video game rationality, 2021

Open worlds are well adapted to surveillance and control; endless possibilities for exploration are matched by equally endless opportunities for data collection.

Recommended citation: Your Name, You. (2015). "The Gamification of Games." In Game Over: For a critique of video game rationality. Matteo Bittanti ed. Mimesis Edizioni. Milan, Italy.

From Hammer to Infrastructure: Breaking down the Amazon Marketplace

Published in Amazon Anthology, 2022

This paper traces the invisibilized infrastructures that the one-click button obfuscates in order to better understand how Amazon’s platform profits from broken systems.

Recommended citation: Pascal, Ulysses (2021). "From Hammer to Infrastructure: Breaking down the Amazon Marketplace." Amazon Anthology. Paul Smith, Alex Monea, Maillim Santiago eds. (Forthcoming)


Feature Extraction: an interdisciplinary symposium on machine learning


A series of talks and workshops centered around machine learning, abstraction, and algorithmic subjectivity. Exploring the interconnection between art and machine learning. Participants will learn how certain ML models work, play with them in creative/critical ways, and contextualize them to make better sense of an algorithmic paradigm. We will kick off the weekend in downtown LA with an evening panel discussion and social, followed by 1.5 days of workshops at UCLA’s campus in Westwood. This event was made possible thanks to a grant by the ICCA Interdisciplinary Symposia/Workshop Award.

Feature Extraction: The Aesthetics and Politics of Algorithms


I organized a 3-month long workshop and discussion series on machine learning literacy for artists and activists with Blaine O’Neill. The Feature Extraction Assembly included a series of talks, demos, workshops, and discussion groups that brought together artists and researchers engaged with machine-learning. Under the banner of “artificial intelligence,” machine learning has become central to interlocking domains of political-economic control, including: predictive policing, financialization, ad-tech, social media, and logistics. Unlike the proprietary algorithms used in these applications, artistic uses of machine learning allow people to experience and engage with algorithms directly. In this series, we paired artistic uses of machine learning with scholarly research to explore the social repercussions of algorithmic governance under algorithmic capitalism.

Spatial Semiotics: Toward a economic geography of information


Presented on the Digtial Labor panel during the Annual Meeting of the AAG on theoretical work I have been conducting on semiotics, indexicality and indexical infrastructure. This talk forgrounded the spatial characteristics of information.

Data Activism Workshop


I was invited to give a presentation on data activism, civic data, and critical mapping during a two day workshop on data activism based on my cartographic work.


IS270: Systems and Infrastructures

Special Reader for Graduate course, UCLA, Information Studies, 2020

This class serves as your foundation for understanding and working with technology over the course of the MLIS and beyond. We’ll cover technologies specific to libraries and information professions, but we’ll also learn about some core concepts that should enable you to make sense of technology in general.

IS410: Management Theory and Practice for Information Professionals.

Special Reader for Graduate course, UCLA, Information Studies, 2020

This course offers a critical perspective on issues involved in managing and working in contemporary information organizations. Students will be introduced to theory and practice in organizational design and culture, strategic planning, financial management, human resources, labor-management relations, policy and ethical challenges, leadership, and communication.

IS289: Museums in the Digital Age

Special Reader for Graduate course, UCLA, Information Studies, 2020

With most of us stuck at home, museums have an existential crisis on their hands: How much do physical objects matter in the age of the internet? How does a museum keep its head above water when it can’t welcome people through the door? What exactly is a museum for?

IS20: Information & Power

Teaching Assistant for Undergraduate course, UCLA, Information Studies, 2021

IS 10 draws on the research literature in information studies and related fields, and contemporary events and issues, to explore the connection between information and power. Taking a social justice perspective, the course investigates the political, economic, legal, technological and cultural structures and forces that shape the ways that information is created, used made available, controlled, and discarded or destroyed. Topics include information and democratic institutions, legal and cultural perspectives on access, surveillance and privacy, censorship and leaks, the economics of information, and the politics of classification, categories and ontologies. This mixed lecture/discus course is designed to combine live class meetings, web-based readings and media, and online exercises and workshops to focus on the core issues that arise at the intersection of information and power.

IS10: Introduction to Information Studies

Teaching Assistant for Undergraduate course, UCLA, Information Studies, 2021

This course is a cross-disciplinary exploration of the social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, and structural aspects of information and media technologies. We touch on issues in the study of digital media, librarianship, communications, computer science, sociology, digital humanities, political science, and anthropology in this class. It satisfies an undergraduate General Education requirement, and serves as a survey of important interdisciplinary material that constitutes “information studies”. Our readings span important scholarly material along with important contributions from journalism. We meet once per week.