Posts Tagged ‘Goldsmiths’

Enemies like Bruno Latour

8 February 2012

Two recordings of talks in the “My Best Fiend” series at Goldsmiths discussing Latour (among others), by David Oswell from Goldsmiths and Steve Fuller from the University of Warwick, have now been made available at the CSISP blog.

  • David Oswell: ‘Dances with Wolves: Latour, Machiavelli and Us’ (December 6th, 2011) [The first part of the title in fact alludes to the “wolf” metaphor that emerged from The Prince and the Wolf debate]
  • Steve Fuller: ‘Bruno Latour and Some Notes on Some Also Rans’ (December 13th, 2011)

The New in Social Research

24 January 2012

Spring 2012 seminar series at CSISP and the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, London

  • Feb 7:  Alex Taylor | Microsoft Research – Executable biology: at the borderlands of technoscience
  • Feb 21: Matt Fuller and Graham Harwood | Goldsmiths – Database as Funfair
  • Feb 28: Evelyn Ruppert |Open University – Doing the Transparent State: Methods and their Subjectifying Effects/Affects
  • March 7: Bruno Latour | Science Po, Richard Rogers|University of Amsterdam – Digital Societies: between ontology and methods
  • March 20: Javier Lezaun | University of Oxford – Cinematography and the Discovery of Social Kinetics
  • March 27: ECDC | Goldsmiths – Energy Communities and Design Interventions

The curious marketing fate of human curiosity

4 March 2011

A presentation by Professor Franck Cochoy, CERTOP, University of Toulouse

The curious marketing fate of human curiosity: Technologizing consumers’ inner states to build market attachments

Wednesday March 16th, 4-6pm
Goldsmiths, University of London
Richard Hoggart Building, Room 308


STS has done a terrific job in exploring the sociology of technical devices, but in so doing it has somewhat tended to neglect the properties of human subjects. I would like to suggest a more symmetrical analytical approach, by focusing on some market dynamics that bring “devices” and “dispositions” together. More precisely, I would like to focus on a particular disposition – curiosity – and the technologies market professionals have developed as a means to seduce consumers. The idea is that, more than any other disposition, focusing on curiosity can help in understanding how market professionals and technologies, in playing on human subjects’ inner states, may reinvent their very identity and behavioral logic. I will show that from Genesis to the curiosity cabinets of the 15th-18th centuries, to modern shop windows and the “teasing” strategies of today’s advertising, seducers and merchants have constantly built “curiosity devices”, that have helped ordinary persons to become curious and/or to become consumers. In the process, they have freed themselves from previous action schemes – routine and tradition for example –, as well as coming to behave in patterns very different from those  understood according to the more familiar logics of interest and calculation. The contemporary commercial game introduces a real market of consumer drives, where “Blue Beard’s curiosity” ends up facing a real “rainbow market” of competing dispositions.

Organised by the Department of Sociology, Goldsmith University of London

Lewisham protest tonight

30 November 2010

Police tonight arrested several people outside Lewisham town hall in south-east London as demonstrators tried to force their way into a meeting where councillors voted to cut the council budget by £60m. (…) Sue Luxton, a former Green party councillor who was returning home from work at 6.45pm, said she saw 200 to 300 protesters, including a large number of students from Goldsmiths College. [The Guardian]


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.


Bruno Latour as Rush Limbaugh

27 April 2009

What does it mean in the life of an intellectual movement (in this case actor-network theory or speculative realism) when it repeatedly gets the comedy treatment? Does it signify higher status and greater recognition? There certainly have to be enough people out there who get the joke for it to work. First there was the Latour-Sloterdijk comics series by KLAUS from Harvard. Then there was the hilarious album cover for the speculative realists by Mike Watson from Goldsmiths. And now here is a ‘Bruno Latour as Rush Limbaugh’ spoof from students at Brigham Young University. It is quite entertaining, while giving a pretty good summary of Latour’s book, The Pasteurization of France.

Listen to the “Rush Latour Show” here (19 min):

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Update (29 April 2009): And we could add to this collection the Bruno Latour action figure from the thing theory blog (which, by the way, contains some great reflections on the whole Heidegger-Latour relationship and some rave reviews of Harman’s Prince of Networks manuscript) by Columbia University students.

Performance: An economic sociology conference at Goldsmiths

20 November 2008

An all-day conference (9am-6:30pm) on performance in economic sociology will take place at Goldsmiths in London on Wednesday 14 January 2009. Speakers include: Laurent Thevenot, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales; Michael Power, LSE; Nigel Thrift, Warwick; David Stark, Columbia; Koray Caliskan, Boðazçi; Martha Poon, Columbia; Jean-Pascal Gond, Nottingham; and William Davies, Goldsmiths. Places are limited and registration is required. Please see the full announcement below.


Annemarie Mol on what medicine is

21 October 2008

Annemarie Mol will be giving a talk entitled “What medicine is” at the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) at Goldsmiths from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday 6 November 2008. Here is a PDF flyer for the event. Further details are available on the CSISP website. The abstract is reproduced below.


Harman on DeLanda’s ontology: assemblage and realism

12 September 2008

Thank you to Nick at Speculative Heresy for alerting us to the online publication of Graham Harman’s article “DeLanda’s Ontology: Assemblage and Realism” in Continental Philosophy Review. Actually several of us from ANTHEM were at Goldsmiths on 20th April 2007 when Harman delivered the earlier version of this paper, which back then was entitled “Networks and Assemblages: The Rebirth of Things in Latour and DeLanda.” DeLanda and Latour were already an intriguing juxtaposition, and when the figure of Heidegger and the fourfold emerged, we knew that we were entering interesting territory. At the end of the Goldsmiths session Harman gave one of us the hard copy of his paper, which set off a series of events culminating in The Harman Review in February 2008.