The edited collection Studio Studies: Operations, Topologies and Displacements was launched at Goldsmiths (18th February 2016) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (19th February 2016).
Here’s the book description: “Studio Studies is an agenda setting volume that presents a set of empirical case studies that explore and examine the studio as a key setting for aesthetic and material production. As such, Studio Studies responds to three contemporary concerns in social and cultural thought: first, how to account for the situated nature of creative and cultural production; second, the challenge of reimagining creativity as a socio-materially distributed practice rather than the cognitive privilege of the individual; and finally, to unravel the parallels, contrasts and interconnections between studios and other sites of cultural-aesthetic and technoscientific production, notably laboratories. By enquiring into the operations, topologies and displacements that shape and format studios, this volume aims to demarcate a novel and important object of analysis for empirical social and cultural research as well to develop new conceptual repertoires to unpack the multiple ways studio processes shape our everyday lives.”
Inventing the Social
29th – 30th May 2014. Inventing the Social: Celebrating ten years of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process. Co-organised with Noortje Marres and Michael Guggenheim.
There has been talk of a ‘return of the social’ now that social media, social innovation and social design present and push themselves as objects, instruments and contexts of research and engagement. Social and cultural researchers might be tempted to recognize in the ‘social’ a ‘ghost from the past,’ as important and customary questions about the nature of collectivity and the relation between social stability and change – endurance and invention – are posed with renewed urgency. At the same time, to seek refuge in these questions would surely provide us with a false sense of security and result in missed opportunities.
Crucially, the return of the social should not be mistaken as a return to ‘the human’. Practices of social innovation, design and media stand out precisely insofar as they attribute distinctive capacities for sociality to technology, settings and things. Empirically, this also seems to be significant, as ‘bots’ turn out to be the most active users on Twitter, and a plastic island in the Pacific ‘brings us together’ in ways that no politician seems capable of doing.
In this symposium, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of CSISP by exploring renewed efforts at the socialisation of technology, the environment and implicated entities, both as a phenomenon to be investigated and as a challenge to savour and respond to. We are especially interested in the question of whether and how the ‘return of the social’ involves a radicalization of the ‘performativity’ agenda in social and cultural research and theory. It has long been recognized that sociality is ‘performed’, ‘accomplished’ or ‘enacted’, but technological and environmental practices raise the further possibilities that sociality can also be activated, generated, created and produced. Here, we seem to be faced with a further de- naturalization of the social.
The issue of the ‘social’ also has major implications for the practice of sociological research itself, for example, how social research, broadly defined, might participate in the invention of the social. What if sociology adopted the agenda of the invention of the social? Is this possible? Indeed, can sociology ask more ‘inventive’ questions or explicitly engage in ‘problem-making’? These are, of course, risky and tricky questions, which require a suitably experimental and ludic approach. In this symposium, we take up these questions in a symmetrical fashion, as ‘problems’ pertaining to the conceptual, methodological, empirical, bureaucratic, and stylistic devices that participate in the practice of social research.
Lisa Blackman (Goldsmiths)
Nigel Clark (Lancaster University)
Will Davies (Warwick University)
Maarten Derksen (Universiteit Groningen)
Ignacio Farias (WZB, Berlin)
Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths)
Carolin Gerlitz (University of Amsterdam)
Bernd Kraeftner/Judith Kröll (Vienna)
Fabian Muniesa (Mines Tech, Paris)
Noortje Marres (Goldsmiths)
Alex Wilkie (Goldsmiths)
Respondents and Chairs
Andrew Barry (UCL)
Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths)
Michael Halewood (Essex)
Daniel Lopez (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Anders Koed Madsen (Aalborg University Copenhagen)
Linsey McGoey (Essex)
Liz Moor (Goldsmiths)
Dan Neyland (Goldsmiths)
David Oswell (Goldsmiths)
Marsha Rosengarten (Goldsmiths)
Manuel Tironi (Catholic University of Chile)
24 September 2010. Making and Opening: Entangling Design and Social Science. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom. Co-organised with Bill Gaver, Mike Michael, Jennifer Gabrys, Nina Wakeford, and Tobie Kerridge.
31st August – 3rd September 2016. The Event of the Public: Convolutions of Aesthetic and Epistemic Practice. 4S/EASST Conference Barcelona 2016: Science & technology by other means. Co-organised with Mike Michael, Gay Hawkins and Kane Race.
27th-30th June 2016. Aesthetics, Cosmopolitics and Design. Introduction: Aesthetics, Cosmopolitics and Design. in: P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia, eds., Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society – Future-Focused Thinking, Volume 3, pp 873-879, DOI 10.21606/drs.2016.509, ISSN 2398-3132.
23rd-25th April 2014. Speculation in Social Science: Novel Methods for Re-Inventing Problems. British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2014, University of Leeds, UK. Organised with Marsha Rosengarten, Jennifer Gabrys, Michael Halewood and Martin Savransky.
17-20 October 2012 Studio Studies: Ethnographies of Creative Production ‘Design and displacement – social studies of science and technology’. Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) October 17-20, 2012, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark. Co-organised with Ignacio Farias.
17-20 October 2012 Design, STS and Cosmopolitics: From Intervention to Emergence in Participation and Sustainability ‘Design and displacement – social studies of science and technology’. Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) October 17-20, 2012, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark. Co-organised with Carl DiSalvo, Tobie Kerridge, Jennifer Gabrys, Bill Gaver, Mike Michael.
2-4 September 2010 Speculation, Design, Public and Participatory Technoscience: Possibilities and Critical Perspectives. EASST 2010: Practicing Science and Technology, Performing the Social. Trento, Italy. Co-organised with Carl DiSalvo and Tobie Kerridge.
Workshops & Seminar Series
The New Experimentalisms
A one day workshop at CISP/Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
Tuesday September 20th 2016, 10-5pm
Room RHB 137a
Organized by Michael Guggenheim, Dan Neyland, Alex Wilkie
Recent Science and Technology Studies (STS) work on experiments has provided a basis for rethinking the terms, practices and consequences of experimentation. This has opened up opportunities to question, for example, experimental controls, provocative containments, training and professional practice. This work has also broadened the traditional STS focus on scientific laboratories to also include economic, social scientific and commercial experimentation, exploring new territories of experimentation and their attendant means of reproducing the world.
At the same time, scholars in STS, Sociology, Anthropology and Design have pursued experiments not just as an object of study, but also as something to do. Here we find, for example, experiments with algorithmic walks, expertise and issues. An earlier critique of experiments as artificial and interventionist has given way to a new embracing of material staging of situations and problems.
Social researchers have come to acknowledge we can learn precisely because of the non-naturalism of experiments. Experiments have become legitimate forms to intervene in the world, and to invent new worlds. In this way STS scholars have begun to think again about the realities in which they participate. In this workshop we will feature recent experimenters within STS with scholars who have analysed experiments in specific fields.
Data Practices will explore the burgeoning analytic interest and methodological preoccupation with ‘data’ and the shifting terrain of data practices across design and social science. Incorporating lectures, workshops and demonstrations, the seminar series brings together a resonant range of events on data practices that provoke questions about the formation and force of data, the claims made for and through data, and the altered practices and politics of data.
Presently, and according to recent sociological thought, the social sciences are in the midst of a ‘crisis’ where innovations in and practices associated with ‘big data’ are challenging the discipline’s authority to describe and explain the patterning of social and cultural life. Here, emphasis is placed on the role that information technologies play in the pervasive production and harnessing of social data. In what ways do new modalities of data generate altered regimes of intellectual accountability and governance? How do assemblages of data production that are deployed and administered by institutional actors with primarily commercial or governmental interests give rise to novel forms of biopolitics? And how do changing patterns of data inform the emergence of new sociological methods?
At the same time, therefore, such developments, set alongside developments in ‘digital sociology’ and ‘digital methods’, are viewed as an opportunity for sociology to rejuvenate its methods, where bespoke tools of social research are purposively designed to engage with novel data practices. Sociological methods concerned with data begin to intersect with design in compelling ways, in this way, by bringing questions of the practices of data to the fore.
For design, emerging technologies and practices associated with data production provide opportunities to territorialize novel modes of living. Such data practices may take the form of reworking or speculating on data as a market-based or market-forming activity; or may give rise to design research that explores sociotechnical presents and futures where data practices manifest through distinct socio-material means. Here, arguably, data has a Janus-faced role. On one side data is produced by or as a product of design’s outcomes and the materialization and enactment of social worlds. On the other side, data is a new material for designers to work with and the object of social science research methods.
The seminars are open to all and require no advance booking. Times and locations are noted below and on the attached PDF. All seminars will take place in the Richard Hoggart Building, (RHB) Goldsmiths.
Designing the Future
June 17th 2013, Designing The Future: Cosmopolitical Interventions. A one-day ESRC workshop exploring design as an anticipatory practice. Part of: Austerity Futures? Imagining and materialising the future in an “age of austerity”. Co-organised with Nina Wakeford and Michael Guggenheim.
November 2010 – May 2012. Energies, Communities, Practices. Design and Social Science Seminar Series, Goldsmiths, University of London. Co-organised with Tobie Kerridge, Bill Gaver and Mike Michael.
The Objects of Design and Social Science
October 2009 – March 2010. The Objects of Design and Social Science. Design and Social Science Seminar Series, Goldsmiths, University of London. Co-organised with Tobie Kerridge, Bill Gaver and Mike Michael.
Design and Social Science
October 2008 – December 2008. Design and Social Science. Design and Social Science Seminar Series, Goldsmiths, University of London. Co-organised with Bill Gaver and Mike Michael.
4th March 2015, 16:30 – 18:30 Diagrams and Play: from Schiller to Deleuze, via Beethoven with Kamini Vellodi. Discussant Alex Wilkie and chaired by Marsha Rosengarten. Laurie Grove Baths, Goldsmiths, University of London.
May 16th 2012 Doing Intervention and Enacting the ‘Everyday’: How Users Figure in Innovation Projects. Goldsmiths, University of London.
A Director of Research for the Department of Design at Goldsmiths I organise a staff seminar series called ‘Practices of Design’.
PhD Training Events
As part of Goldsmiths involvement in the Design Star Center for Doctoral Training I’ve organised a PhD training event entitled ‘Practice Research: Biographies, Beginnings & Futures’. The event takes place on Wednesday the 4th of November (2015) and precedes the PhD by Design conference, also being held at Goldsmiths. The afternoon of activities includes a session devoted to the presentation of practice-based design research followed by a chaired session (by Mathilda Tham, Goldsmiths) where Lina Hakim (V&A, London) and Alex Taylor (Microsoft Research) will talk about their careers in different areas of design research.
The photograph (© Matteo Cremonini 2015) featured in the poster depicts an extraction unit, part of the project Geomerce, where metal particles are extracted from plants and cross-referenced with real-time price indexes. The Geomerce project forms part of Gionata Gatto’s doctoral research and was exhibited at Salone del Mobile, Milan 2015, at the ErreCi photo-studios.