Objects & Things

objects & things, design, art & technology

Experimental Objects Workshop

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Yet another example of the growing attention to objects at the intersection of design and science and technology studies.

Experimental Objects Workshop at the Institute for Advances Studies at Lancaster University.

Subject to experimenters’ manipulations, objects can seem to be exposed to human curiosity and imagination; controlled through experimental systems (Rheinberger 1997) and design (Latour 2008). But the purpose in both contexts is often to ‘tickle’ objects, to make matter ‘speak’ (Latour 2004). Experiments can reveal that, far from being mere things ‘out there’, indifferent to human attention until addressed, neatly bounded, predictable and knowable, objects are secretly lively, elusive, recalcitrant, responsive and changeable (Barad 2007).

I’d be curious to know if, and if so how, OOO figured into the workshop. While Latour provides a point of connection between OOO and design and science and technology studies, within those fields, use and users still take center stage. Its not clear to me if, or how, STS and design studies can (or should) divorce themselves entirely from the issues of use and users. Nonetheless, workshops such as this signal a change in perspective towards the object, if not placing it center stage, then at least giving it more of starring role. If any videos or proceedings from the workshop are put online, I’ll be sure to post links to them on this blog.


Written by cdisalvo

February 28, 2010 at 2:39 am

Posted in art, design, sts

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