Posts Tagged ‘Noortje Marres’

Material Participation

10 November 2012

Check out Noortje Marres’s new book, Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics from Palgrave. A recording of the book launch (involving Javier Lezaun (Oxford), Celia Lury (Warwick), Alex Wilkie (Goldsmiths) and moderated by Monika Krause (Goldsmiths)) can be listened to here.

What is the role of things in political participation? This innovative book develops a fresh perspective on everyday forms of engagement, one that foregrounds the role of objects, technology and settings in public involvement. It makes a distinctive contribution to debates about the role of things in democracy, but it also offers empirical analyses of contemporary devices of participation, such as smart meters, demonstrational eco-homes and sustainable living gadgets.

Material participation

1 December 2011

Economy and Society special issue on “Materials and Devices of the Public,” edited by Noortje Marres & Javier Lezaun (h/t STS Oxford):

This introduction provides an overview of material- or device-centred approaches to the study of public participation, and articulates the theoretical contributions of the four papers that make up this special section. Set against the background of post-Foucauldian perspectives on the material dimensions of citizenship and engagement – perspectives that treat matter as a tacit, constituting force in the organization of collectives and are predominantly concerned with the fabrication of political subjects – we outline an approach that considers material engagement as a distinct mode of performing the public. The question, then, is how objects, devices, settings and materials acquire explicit political capacities, and how they serve to enact material participation as a specific public form. We discuss the connections between social studies of material participation and political theory, and define the contours of an empiricist approach to material publics, one that takes as its central cue that the values and criteria particular to these publics emerge as part of the process of their organization. Finally, we discuss four themes that connect the papers in this special section, namely their focus on (1) mundane technologies, (2) experimental devices and settings for material participation, (3) the dynamic of effort and comfort, and (4) the modes of containment and proliferation that characterize material publics.

After Markets recordings

19 May 2010

The organisers of the 23 April 2010 “After Markets: Researching Hybrid Arrangements” workshop at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, have now posted the recordings of the event as well as a report summarising the talks. You could characterise this event as “Economic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies” (to borrow the subtitle of Pinch and Swedberg’s Living in a Material World book, some of whose contributors were also present), although there were plenty of people there from the wider reaches of sociology and anthropology, as well as business school academics. See photos here. This event followed in the now well-established tradition of stimulating inter- or cross-disciplinary encounters organised by the Oxford STS group (see e.g. Scalography, A Turn to Ontology, and the Does STS Mean Business workshops).

If you want to get to grips with this event, I suggest you start with reading the Provocation Piece [PDF] first, then read the Report [PDF], and then listen to the talks. I found particularly interesting Will Davies’ talk, who used the example of the change of the UK “sick note” form to a “fit note” to illustrate how the boundaries between the “economic” and the “social” get reconstituted; Fabian Muniesa’s talk on how marketplaces can be described in terms of “trials of explicitness”, drawing on Sloterdijk, Deleuze and ANT; Emmanuel Didier’s talk on the mechanics of how assemblages decompose, suggesting that the STS tradition in its focus on innovation neglected the issue of decay; and Linsey McGoey and Noortje Marres’ paper in which – similarly to Didier – they focused on “experimental failure,” presenting a typology of the ways in which experiments can fail.

Research as Exhibition

6 May 2010

Beyond the Academy: Research as Exhibition” – a symposium at Tate Britain Auditorium on Friday 14 May 2010, 10.00–17.30,  featuring, among others, Bruno Latour and Noortje Marres.

The exhibition is increasingly being reframed as a ‘research output’, but what can new forms of research and collaboration bring to the concept and curatorship of the exhibition? Is the idea of the exhibition being distorted or creatively extended by new disciplinary practices and knowledge? In what ways do new forms of research exhibitions create new types of knowledge and experience for the audience?

Hat tip to Mutable Matter.

Update (6 May 2010): I’ve been just told that Latour will also take part in a panel discussion at the following event at the LSE in the afternoon of 14 May:

Richard Sennett: The Sociology of Public Life

Sociology Department conference

Date: Friday 14 May 2010

Time: 2-6pm

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers: Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Bruno Latour, Alan Rusbridger, Professor Judy Wajcman, David Adjaye, Professor Geoff Mulgan, Lord Richard Rogers, Polly Toynbee

Chairs: Professor Lord Anthony Giddens, Professor Ricky Burdett

In this exciting half-day conference two panels on ‘Public Life and Public Policy’ and ‘Cities and the Public Realm’, discuss these themes in the context of the work of Professor Sennett, the eminent sociologist whose recent books include The Culture of the New Capitalism and The Craftsman.

STS seminars at Oxford

26 January 2009

Two interesting seminar series in STS coming up at Oxford:

Visiting Speakers Series, Hilary Term 2009
Governance, Accountability and Innovation in Turbulent Times
James Martin Institute Seminar Room
Saïd Business School
Tuesdays, 16.00 to 18.00

Javier Lezaun is the convenor of an interdisciplinary seminar series to explore the contemporary nexus of innovation, accountability and governance. How can we begin to conceptualise the emerging balances, and imbalances, between innovation dynamics, forms of accountability, and governance structures? Speakers will address problems and examples from the world of financial markets, innovation systems, risk management, policy-making, and environmental governance.

03 February
Noortje Marres (Goldsmiths College)
Invisible, nontoxic but not exactly odourless? Experiments in carbon-based living and postcalculative forms of engagement

10 February
Rob Hagendijk (University of Amsterdam)
Building National Innovation Systems in the Global South: Accountability, Politics and Democracy

17 February
Perri 6 (Nottingham Trent University)
Making people more responsible? The Blair governments’ programme for changing citizens’ behaviour

24 February
Mike Power (London School of Economics)
Risk Management as a Moral Order

03 March
Karel Williams (University of Manchester)
Governance, Conjuncture and Financial Innovation


Science and Technology Studies
Lunchtime Seminars

Hilary Term 2009
James Martin Institute Seminar Room
Saïd Business School
12.00 to 14.00

The Science and Technology Studies group at the JMI invites you to a series of irregular, informal but nevertheless substantial lunchtime seminars during Hilary Term. Three leading scholars in the field will be presenting their work in progress.

24 February
Kaushik Sunder Rajan (University of California, Irvine)
Intellectual Property, Pharmaceutical Logics, and Ideologies of Innovation in Indian Biomedicine

02 March
Fabian Muniesa (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris)
Elements of Performativity in the Pedagogy of Business

19 March
Geoffrey Bowker (Santa Clara University)
Political and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology Studies – Stories from the Field

A turn to ontology in STS?

26 June 2008

A thought-provoking gathering took place yesterday (25 June 2008) at Oxford University, organised by the STS group at the James Martin Institute. “Is there a turn to ontology under way in Science and Technology Studies?” – asked the provocation piece written by Steve Woolgar and colleagues. Ted Schatzki, Mike Lynch, Noortje Marres, and Arie Rip laid out their thoughts in response, each presentation accompanied by the comments of two discussants. The papers and the comments can be downloaded from the Saïd Business School website. There are also additional comments by Annemarie Mol and John Law.


Distinktion No 16: The Technologies of Politics

22 June 2008

Issue 16 of Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory is out and  it is packed with interesting articles on the technologies of politics, several of them engaging with actor-network theory. Authors include Kristin Asdal, Noortje Marres, Peter Sloterdijk, John Law, Richie Nimmo, Guro Ådnegard Skarstad, and Nigel Thrift.

Recording of “The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics”

8 February 2008

Click here to listen to (3 hours 24 minutes) or download (94.4MB) the recording of the symposium “The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics” at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 5 February 2008. Speakers are Bruno Latour and Graham Harman. The panelists are Lucas Introna and Noortje Marres. The event is introduced by Leslie Willcocks and chaired by Edgar Whitley. There are also audience questions and comments. This event was organised by members of the ANTHEM Group and hosted by the Information Systems and Innovation Group (ISIG) of the Department of Management, LSE.


Noortje Marres on material practices of publicity

10 January 2008

On Thursday 24 January 2008 from 12:00 to 13:30 Noortje Marres will be giving an ISRF talk at ISIG at the London School of Economics and Political Science entitled “Devising Affectedness: Eco-Homes and the Making of Material Publics.” (more…)