The Workshop The New Experimentalisms, held on September 21st 2016 at CISP was organised in response to an expanding cross-disciplinary interest in experimentation as a mode of enquiry. While contemporary experimentalisms draw on a range of resources, from laboratory ethnographies in Science and Technology Studies to the early urban research of the Chicago School, such work is united in the assumption that knowing the world necessarily participates in its coming into being (see Guggenheim 2012; Kullman 2013). Instead of settling with empirical description, then, experimenters compose various types of devices and set-ups to induce new variations in phenomena, so as to bring out their transformative potential.… Continue reading
At some point during the proceedings that constituted the launch of Mattering Press at Conway Hall I found myself looking at pictures of friends. Projected onto the screen in front of which an illustrious panel had gathered were the five absent present editors, Uli Beisel, Endre Dányi, Natalie Gill, Julien McHardy, and Michaela Spencer who together with the present present Joe Deville make up the press’s editorial team.… Continue reading
Science and Technology Studies (STS) has a long-standing interest in analysing the politics of knowledge production. One of its strengths has been the demonstration of the contingencies, blindspots and power-plays that are wrapped up in the creation, standardisation, and distribution of knowledge about the world across a variety of domains. STS has, however, been less good in confronting the challenge that the rise of digital publishing and the Open Access (OA) movement poses to the conditions of its own forms of knowledge production and distribution. This is the encounter that was staged at a workshop that took place at Goldsmiths on the 20th March earlier this year, organised and hosted by CSISP.… Continue reading
At a time when a myriad of birth certificates increasingly declare novel ‘turns’ in the modes of thinking and practice of the social sciences and STS, it becomes progressively difficult to know what one is turning from, where one is turning to, and whether the very notion of ‘turning’ has not itself become a means of remaining still while one continues to think in circles. In this sense, one might be left wondering about the implications of a certain biopolitics of objects and concepts at work in the development of social scientific and STS propositions. As Achille Mbembe (2003) has taught us through his incisive reflection on late modern colonial occupations, however, attention to the politics of life must also include questions around the politics of death– biopolitics and necropolitics go hand in hand.… Continue reading
Data is a hot topic. It is both something that will save us, and something we must be saved from. It is the next revolution, a deluge and a particularly potent ideology. On the one hand we have major digital institutions, fronted by social physicists and computer scientists, developing ever more sophisticated tools for storing, analysing and visualising data. On the other hand we have a growing number of critical scholars interrogating issues ranging from privacy concerns to the data hype’s ontological and epistemological baggage.
Recent seminars on ‘Data Practices’ – the theme of this years Design and Social Science seminar series co-organised by the Design and Sociology Dept at Goldsmiths – have tried to combine the affirmative and the critical approach.… Continue reading