This is a brief comment on a meeting Barry Brown and I hosted at Microsoft Research Cambridge, titled .
“Interaction as a a promiscuous concept”: it’s Stuart Reeves’ phrasing that nicely captures the sentiment of our small meeting’s discussions. The collection of short talks and the emphasis given to talking (and not just lecturing), gave rise to a language of critical but positive reflection. Rather than deliberating on an ‘after’ or ‘post’ interaction turn or wave in HCI, interaction was seen to still offer a great deal. The consensus (led by positions from David Kirk, Abi Durrant , Bill Gaver and Stuart) was it provides us with a device or machinery in common, and, conceptually, there remains much to do with the word that keeps us open to new domains and indeed new (design) possibilities. Here, I’m reminded of Isabelle Stengers use of the phrase a “tool for thinking”. It certainly appears interaction (still) provides us with just such a tool.
And yet I felt there was a shared frustration (more…)
Amanda Windle has kindly invited me to participate in her small seminar:
Digital media materialities.
The seminar is summarised as follows:
Considering Peter Sloterdijk’s rendering of a Heideggerian ‘being-in’ this informal seminar will be a situated reading. The discussion will be located at the Royal Society of the Arts to spatially think through an approach to Peter Sloterdijk’s ‘spherology’ across disciplines. How, where and with what matterings do we embark our daily readings is no trivial matter? Sloterdijk’s writing can both inform and trouble readers and so the adjacent readings from and will open up further questions and provocations. Sloterdijk’s recent publications have been aimed at a design audience (namely architects) and with his media theory the following digital media question will be proposed. With a broadly experiential and performative approach in mind the discussion will loosely consider spherology in this respect:
- This formulation opens to the somewhat irreverent question (following Sloterdijk’s own irreverence) of how his thinking can be turned into an app or an application (app displacing application displacing theorisation displacing philosophisation, the last term barely being a word)?
- How might Sloterdijk’s work be reparatively questioned through a feminist enquiry? How might Sloterdijk’s metaphors engage us intra-actively?
I’ve sketched out my response to the latter: (more…)
Nelson, D. (2013). “Yes to Life = No to Mining:” Counting as Biotechnology in Life (Ltd) Guatemala. The Scholar and Feminist Online, 11(3).
Nelson weaves together a compelling if somewhat bleak story of mining in Guatemala and the impact it is having on small villages and local people. (more…)
Slightly off topic, but I thought it would be worth sharing my attempt at what might seam the trifling problem of securing a bike seat or saddle to a bike. (more…)
Thanks to Richard Banks for pointing me towards this piece published on Fast Company’s site by Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini (Tog):
For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.
The article is a hard hitting critique of Apple’s current design philosophy. More than this, though, the two long time interaction design gurus set out a clear project for design, one that they see Apple having been instrumental in but now deviating from. Their general argument is, on the face of it, pretty convincing. Yet digging a little deeper it’s one that I have problems with. This post is really an effort to sort things out in my own mind. (more…)
Just read Martha Kenney’s “Counting, accounting, and accountability: Helen Verran’s relational empiricism”.
The article is currently available through the Social Studies of Science OnlineFirst service. Intentionally or not, it sits nicely with other articles brought together to examine .
Kenney’s article is very much a homage to Helen Verran and her wonderful book Science and an African Logic. She pays special attention to Verran’s efforts at decomposition and frames these through a lens of accountability. Care is given by Kenny to differentiate this kind of accounting from that of “contemporary neo-liberal bureaucracies” that run the risk of strengthening “the academic culture that privileges critique and revelation over other, more subtle and creative, approaches.” (more…)
I’m grateful to Barry Brown for his comments on my short Interactions piece, “After Interaction”.
Barry, as always, you’ve forced me to think more carefully about my meanderings. Indeed, my intention was to append a short reply to your comment, but your questions have demanded more and, predictably, words have got the better of me. This post, then, is my long-winded response. Thank you for giving me the chance to expand on my thoughts.
First, let me respond to your criticisms regarding the interminglings of humans and nonhumans. (more…)
I was delighted to participate in last month’s “Shifting Borderlands” workshop at the decennial Aarhus Conference: Critical Alternatives . What an inspiring and memorable event! My sincerest thanks to the organisers, Silvia, Marisa, Lucian, Hrönn and Carl.
The position papers—from a wonderful mix of people—are all online here. My own text was a short but rambling piece on some still underdeveloped ideas. I’ve been trying to think a little more critically about my role as a academician and a Microsoft researcher. Predictably, in combination, the roles raise all sorts of questions and frictions for me. Increasingly, I’ve directed my efforts at thinking about the worlds I’ve helped to enact and asking whether they are kinds of worlds that I would want to live in.
It’s hard to put it better than Donna Haraway:
Kat Jungnickel kindly invited me to a two day meeting as part of her continuing series of Transmissions and Entanglements events. Amidst others working through new methods and processes, here’s what I had to say for myself on counting:
What is it to count and to be counted?
One way I have made sense of my work over the last 10 years at Microsoft has been to see it as a way of getting to grips with counting and in some ways coming to terms with being counted.
I wanted to write a short note about Noortje Marres’ book . (more…)