Balance-Unbalance 2018

I’m pleased to be presenting at the Balance-Unbalance conference this week:

Balance-Unbalance (BunB) is an annual international conference focused on art and design as catalysts to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society. Every year, the focus is on one or more major current challenges surrounding the ecological crisis and discipline-transcending cooperation.

BunB 2018 New Value Systems will be hosted September 20th and 21st 2018 by The Patching Zone, the City of Rotterdam and partners in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The Balance-Unbalance conference brings together artists, designers, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, policymakers, sociologists, entrepreneurs and technologists from the world, based on the conviction that greater ecological awareness can be created through joint efforts. The conference focuses on debate, new insights and finding innovative solutions for issues arising from the global climate crisis. The 2018 theme revolves around New Value Systems. We specifically think of sustainability and social impact as important value indicators. Of course, we will also reflect on the practical, economic and philosophical issues that such new value systems entail.

I’m presenting a full paper entitled: “It Looks Like You’re Writing A Letter: The new value systems embedded in digital inclusion programmes”. Here is the abstract:

The concept of digital inclusion as a toolbox of strategies to combat the digital divide is currently an idea with traction in Europe. For example, Portugal recently drew up an ambitious plan for digital inclusion due to complete by 2030. In a country noted to have good digital infrastructure, it is also true that 26% of Portuguese have never been online (a high figure compared to Finland at 4% and the entire EU at 12%).  This paper will examine elements of the digital inclusion agenda alongside specific concerns and examples drawn from fieldwork currently in progress. While the benefits of online participation and digital literacy are many, what are the embedded social values in the tools introducing new users to technology? The consequences of implementing this agenda in rural Portugal, driven by a desire to maintain pace with the rest of Europe, will be addressed through a discussion of relevant literature in STS and adjacent fields and fieldwork findings.

See you at BunB!

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STS Italia conference: Sociotechnical Environments

I’m pleased to be presenting at the STS Italia annual conference this November. The theme is “Sociotechnical Environments” and the organizers describe the theme thusly:

“…we are conscious that everyday and professional environments we inhabit are increasingly shaped by science, technology and innovation processes. However, these environments are not mere results of technical solutions and rational choices, but they rather emerge from a collective, dynamic and open-ended process of co-production, involving social arrangements and technoscientific processes, human actors and material artifacts, natural resources and cultural frameworks. At the same time, reflecting on the sociotechnical co-production of our social world brings to the foreground the relationship between technoscientific innovation and natural environment, turning environmental practices, politics and materialities as decisive focal points for the current research in multiple fields and intellectual domains.”

I’m presenting in the track entitled “Communicating Research in Public” and my paper, “Artist as Science Communicator”, looks at the practice of artists which could also be considered a form of science communication, and how the novel methods of production and display by artists contribute to STS dialogue on publics of science.

Hope to see you in Trento!

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4S/EASST Conference: Science + Technology By Other Means

I’m really pleased to be presenting at the annual 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) conference, this year held in conjunction with EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology) in Barcelona.

The theme of the conference is Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures. I’m presenting on the track entitled STS & Artistic Research, chaired by Peter Peters, Henk Borgdorff, and Trevor Pinch. This track will explore a range of “…STS research on the arts and Artistic Research. It covers studies of artistic practices; reflexive practitioners at the boundaries between the arts and science, technology, and medicine; arts-based research methods; and enhanced modes of publication.”

My paper is entitled “Emerging Post-Digital Methods of Artistic Production”. My short abstract reads: “In this paper I use two bodies of politically critical artwork to examine how 3D scanning and printing technologies utilised in artistic research contribute to STS dialogue on the backstage and practical technical concerns around the production of art, as well as material outcomes of digital processes.”

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Workshop in Toronto

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be giving a workshop in Toronto, Canada at the end of this month!

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Join me at InterAccess on July 26 for the first in the “Social in the Studio” series.

The first in InterAccess’ new “Social in the Studio” series invites you to come and work on projects alongside an artist in our community, because making together is both more fun and more critical. Or as Matt Ratto has said, “Critical making emphasizes the shared acts of making rather than the evocative object. The final prototypes are not intended to be displayed and to speak for themselves. Instead, they are considered a means to an end, and achieve value though the act of shared construction, joint conversation, and reflection.”

Michelle’s session in the studio will investigate a Pop Art hero, pizza, and glitchy 3D models. Bring your own smartphones with Autodesk 123D Catch installed and objects you want to capture for printing (or whatever else you’re working on). Part of the conversation over the course of the session will also look at what it means to be a “practising artist”, taking career breaks (to have other careers), and finding the threads of your practice that are always there, no matter the media.

For more information or to RSVP, check out the Facebook event page or the InterAccess website.

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