Navigating the brain

This Saturday, Sarah de Rijcke and I met up with artist and researchers Jordi Puig. We visited an exhibition data.scan [no 1-9] by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda at Gallery MU. A fabulous, immersive exhibition about data, in which multiple visualisations accompanied by sounds are juxtaposed, contrasted and combined. But the main reason for meeting up was to visit Jordi’s installation at festival. The work he presented is part of Picturing the Brain: Perspectives on Neuroimaging.

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Doing and thinking!

A new publication with a long history! Learning in a Landscape: Simulation-building as Reflexive Intervention–the title says it all. After sending in this article to a few possible outlets, it seemed we might never get out of the binary reactions that wouldn’t give room the particular combination of building and reflecting going on in this article. We would receive feedback along the lines of  ‘get the long-winded talk about how hard it was and tell what you did’ (generally from simulation-builders) or else we would be taken to task for investing in simulation as a social science tool and for not choosing a role and sticking to it (from STS reviewers).

It was also a pretty difficult article to write, in terms of actually aligning words and finding the right constructions to maintain some coherence in the piece while also doing justice to the different standpoints and phases, and hammering out a ‘voice’ that could do all this. So after more rejections than seemed fair (did you know that your manuscript can be accepted by reviewers but then vetoed by an editor?!!!), we published a version of this piece on Arxiv. ‘We’ being the wonderful Andrea Scharnhorst and Matt Ratto and me.

This combination of doing and thinking was at the very heart of the Virtual Knowledge Studio, so it’s especially meaningful that it has finally been accepted in this great special issue. And this of course brings new hope for further interaction through this piece of writing. Thanks for reading!

Book cover, Social Software and the Evolution of User Expertise

In the words of editor Tatjana Takseva: It is a pleasure to let you know that the collection Social Software and the Evolution of User Expertise: Future Trends in Knowledge Creation and Dissemination has been published.

It contains a chapter written with Karina van Dalen-Oskam and Joris van Zundert: Between tradition and web 2.0: eLaborate as social experiment in humanities scholarship.

There is also a chapter by University of Amsterdam colleague Jose van Dijck, Google Scholar as the Co-Producer of Scholarly Knowledge, which I’m also very much looking forward to reading.

PhD Defense in Sweden

photoIt was a real pleasure to serve as opponent at the defense of Veronica Johansson of the University of Boras, Sweden. We had a great discussion about ethnographic methods and about the concept of critical literacy. And as always, it was wonderful to see everyone rejoice at the new Dr’s great accomplishment.

The full work entitled ‘A time and place for everything: social visualisation tools and critical literacies’ and a summary can be found here.

In a week!

Virtual Knowledge is now available from MIT Press!

Getting ready for “Images and Visualisation: Imaging Technology, Truth and Trust”

ImageIn a couple of days, I’ll be heading off to Norrkoping, Sweden for a summer school on visualisation. My talk will address two conventions found across many imaging modalities area fields: the view form nowhere and the seamless zoom. The presentation will be posted here, once I’ve finished tweaking it today. Among others, my visual argument will take up the book Zoom by Istvan Banyai and the short film Powers of Ten. An interesting variation that predates the Eames and Eames production is Cosmic Zoom, (1968) of the NFB of Canada.

–>PRESENTATION is available here: text of talk and slides

The Neuroscientific Turn!

A wonderful collection edited by Melissa M. Littlefield and Jenell M. Johnson. My contribution is entitled Fast Moving Objects and their Consequences. More information about the collection can be found on the Michigan Press website.

Social Technology

Our special issue on ‘social technology’ has now appeared!  It is the issue of April 2012 (22(2)) of the Journal Theory and Psychology. Please contact the editors for more information: Anne Beaulieu, Maarten Derksen, and Signe Vikkelsø.

The introduction to the special issue is entitled ‘Social technologies: Cross-disciplinary reflections on technologies in and from the social sciences‘ Theory & Psychology April 2012 22: 139-147, doi:10.1177/0959354311427593.

EASST/4S Panel

If your are interested in submitting a paper for this panel, please do so via the conference website.

Mediated Practice: Insights from STS, Critical Theory and Media Theory

Panel organisers:

Anne Beaulieu (STS);  Annamaria Carusi (Critical Theory/STS); Aud Sissel Hoel (Visual and Media Studies); Sarah de Rijcke (STS)

Researchers in STS, media theory and critical theory share an interest in mediated practices. Furthermore, science and technology studies and humanities based studies of media and culture (including film, art, literature, music) have common concerns with regards to representations, meaning systems, social and institutional aspects of science, media and culture, and the politics and ethics of interventions in these domains.  Researchers often draw upon overlapping perspectives and theories—though these are often deployed in different ways by scholars of science, and scholars of media and culture.  The aim of this panel is to build on precedents (Thacker’s Biomedia, van Dijck’s ImagEnation, etc.) and to further explore these overlaps and divergences, and the ways in which concepts, ideas approaches and perspectives might travel more effectively across science and technological studies, media studies and cultural studies.

We invite papers that show how a concept developed in one field can be used in the other, either via analysis of examples, by adopting a hybrid approach, or by theoretical reflection.

Papers for the panel could addres

  • Relations between ideas of medium and technologies in STS and media/critical theory.
  • Analyses of visual, textual, and audio objects that use a combined approach from STS and media/critical theory.
  • Different ideas of agency (for example, in the context of authors and artists as well as social actors).
  • Different understandings of interpretation as an act, practice and process.
  • The relation between local and situated meanings on the one hand and general and abstract terms on the other, and issues of circulation of meaning in mediated settings.
  • Approaches to contextualised ethics and socio-political responsibility or intervention that draw on STS and media/critical theory.




“Learning in a landscape” sees the light!

Sometimes, by the time an article appears, the only affective reaction it evokes is something along the lines of ‘that old thing’… But this one has been in the making for so long, that it now feels like I’ve run into a long-lost friend!

So if you’re interested in simulations and visualisations, here is something to check out!