Amanda Windle has kindly invited me to participate in her small seminar:
Informed matters 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…)
Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3), 801–831.
Stengers, I. (2013). Introductory notes on an ecology of practices. Cultural Studies Review, 11(1), 183–196.
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…)
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…)
Berman, E. P. (2014). Not Just Neoliberalism: Economization in US Science and Technology Policy. Science, Technology & Human Values, 39(3), 397–431.
The title of this paper says it all really. It’s good though to have a cogent argument about the relations between ideology, policy and the changes in how science is being done. I for one very easily slip into an accusatory refrain when talking about and usually criticising what I’ve seen to be the neoliberal (non)interventionist and policy direction in education and science. Elizabeth Berman presents a much more measured position and convinces me that it’s better understood as an economization, as she calls it, where the broader shift is towards prioritising scientific research and innovation vis-a-vis the economy and specifically seeing them as economic inputs. This recognises the tensions and complications and the competing interests that have run through the changing status of the sciences (in the US, but similarly, I think, in the UK).
Something I think Berman leaves open is the relationship between science and innovation. She makes it clear that science and innovation become inexorably linked when science is seen in economic terms. I want, though, to better understand the nexus. Indeed, but conflating science and technology (“S&T” as Berman refers to it), I think there are further complications here that need unraveling, ones pointing to the entanglements of science and technology, and where progress or innovation sits between (or around) them. Can we talk of technology without innovation? If S&T are two-parts of a unit, how can we disentangle innovation?
I recently had an email exchange with Irina Shklovski in which she kindly sent me the paper she presented at the CHI conference this year. It’s a great paper, with some carefully thought through insights into the data we produce and (often inadvertently) share when using smart phones.
The paper got me thinking about some broader (and long-standing) issues I’ve been working through myself related to the researcher’s agential (and often inadvertent) role in empirical research. What follows are some slightly amended comments I’ve shared with Irina. (more…)