CISP Online

Blog of the Centre for Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths

January 29, 2014
by Noortje Marres
1 Comment

Notes on Data Practices

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

November 6, 2012
by David Moats

Tactics of Issue Mapping Part 2

On October 26 and 27 CSISP hosted a second event on Tactics of Issue Mapping, which David Moats discusses in his workshop report below. The first day featured a series of presentations on the role of creative practice in connecting research and intervention in issue mapping, and audio recordings of these talks can be downloaded here: Part 1 and Part 2. The second day was dedicated to groupwork on a selected tactic of issue mapping, namely bias detection, about which you can read more here.


Issue Mapping combines social theory, computing, design and advocacy. If one of those elements isn’t there it doesn’t work” – Noortje Marres, workshop co-organiser… Continue reading

September 24, 2012
by Joe Deville

Comparison as invention: Reflections on the Apples and Oranges conference

As is nicely captured on this blog, the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process has a strong interest in work emerging and working through concepts and methods allied to science and technology studies (STS). Yet, despite the implicitly comparative undertones in the analysis of ontological multiplicity, for instance, or the overt embrace of comparison by no less than Bruno Latour, STS seems to remain largely ambivalent towards the explicitly comparative act as a methodological tool.

The factors that have played into the turn against comparison—not only in this field, but across a broad selection of qualitative research—are numerous and have been discussed extensively elsewhere.… Continue reading

May 22, 2012
by Michael Guggenheim

Eat a tactic: A picnic concept

A picnic concept by Michael Guggenheim and Christian von Wissel for the “engaging tactics” conference at Goldsmiths, Department of Sociology in collaboration with the British Sociological Association and Goldsmiths’ Methods Lab in April 30th – May 1st, 2012, with contributions by the conference participants.

The aim of the conference was “to explore social sciences’ ways of engaging with the social world. The event seeked to explore how to (re)imagine ‘tactics’ for producing and sharing social knowledge, focusing on the construction and upholding of meaningful and confiding relationships with both research participants and ‘emerging publics’.”… Continue reading

May 22, 2012
by Anders Koed Madsen

Pondering the relevance of Cooley´s theory of communication to theorizing web-based visualizations

On May 3rd CSISP hosted a reading group to discuss the relevance of the early 20th century American pragmatist Charles Horton Cooley for theorizing online forms of social inquiry. Like that of other early 20th century thinkers, Cooley’s work offers some promising concepts for exploring the current digital networked context,  such as the notion of the economy of attention. Some contemporary devices of inquiry served as the empirical references in the discussion, namely tools that harness and visualize digital traces left on the web. The last years have seen a rise in the use of such online devices for doing social inquiry within the social sciences (see for instance… Continue reading