Archive for October, 2009

Social studies of finance

19 October 2009

See this call for papers at the socializing finance blog for the “Reembedding Finance” Workshop of the Social Studies of Finance Association (Association d’études sociales de la finance), to be held in Paris on 20-21 May 2010, at the Nanterre Campus of the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Abstracts are due on 15 January 2010.

Deleuze on apparatuses

17 October 2009

From “What is a Dispositif?” by Gilles Deleuze:

Two important consequences ensue for a philosophy of apparatuses. The first is the repudiation of universals. A universal explains nothing; it, on the other hand, must be explained. All of the lines are lines of variation that do not even have constant coordinates. The One, the Whole, the True, the object, the subject are not universals but singular processes of unification, totalization, verification, objectification, subjectivation immanent to an apparatus. Each apparatus is therefore a multiplicity where certain processes in becoming are operative and are distinct from those operating in another apparatus.


The second result of a philosophy of apparatuses is a change in orientation, turning away from the Eternal to apprehend the new. The new is not supposed to designate fashion, but on the contrary the variable creativity for the apparatuses: in conformance with the question that began to appear in the 20th century of how the production of something new in the world is possible. (pp. 347-349)

Deleuze, G. and D. Lapoujade (2007). “What is a Dispositif?” Two Regimes of Madness: Texts and Interviews, 1975-1995. New York, Semiotext(e) ; London : MIT Press [distributor].  pp. 343-352

The Objects of Design and Social Science

12 October 2009

An interesting seminar series coming up at Goldsmiths, organised by the Interaction Research Studio, Department of Design and the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process, Department of Sociology.

Design and Social Science Seminar Series 2009-2010

The Objects of Design and Social Science

Common to both design and (parts of) the social sciences is a shared pre-occupation with objects. On the one hand, design is concerned with making and interpreting objects including the finished article (e.g. consumer products), ‘experimental’ design aids (e.g. prototypes), and projective representations (e.g. scenarios). Recently, design has also begun to re-engage with more speculative objects whose ambiguous functionality contributes to the exploration of the social and the material, the political and the aesthetic. On the other hand the social sciences also work with objects, including categorical objects such as race, gender, and health, empirical objects ranging from the mundane to the exotic, and conceptual objects such as the notions social scientists use to understand and theorize the social. Here, the sociology of science and technology has been especially productive, introducing notions such as boundary objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989), epistemic objects (Rheinberger, 1997), immutable mobiles (Latour, 1990), quasi-objects , black boxes (Latour, 1988) to name but a few. Accordingly, a focus on material, empirical and conceptual objects brings into sharp relief overlaps and disjuncture between the two disciplines and a rich space for dialogue.

This seminar series will seek to bring into view and explore existing objects of both design and social science as well as draw out objects of novelty for both disciplines. In doing so we will seek to engage with emerging issues and topics in both disciplines such as the outputs of speculative and critical design, participation, engagement and publics as well as addressing notions concerning heterogeneity, process and event. This series will continue to serve as a platform for opening up interdisciplinary research futures.

** Please Note: all seminars run from 4:00pm – 6:00pm and are hosted by the Interaction Research Studio, 6th Floor, Ben Pimlott Building, Goldsmiths, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW.


From Iconoclasm to Compositionism

3 October 2009

A New Patrons lecture with Bruno Latour and Chantal Mouffe on the civil society patronage of art in Europe at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 7pm, 9 October 2009.

Bruno Latour: “From Iconoclasm to Compositionism”
Chantal Mouffe: “Agonistic Politics and Artistic Practices”

Militancy and ANT

2 October 2009

Nick Srnicek‘s talk, “Framing Militancy” [PDF], at the Militant Dysphoria event at Goldsmiths this week generated some interesting blog reflections on the relationship between politics and actor-network theory. Here are Levi Bryant’s thoughts on ANT and politics. Graham Harman’s thoughts on the role of networks and connectedness in politics are here, here and here.