What insights did you gain from this artifact?


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Nadine Tanio's picture
June 21, 2022

Like Maria, examining borrowed data has not been my initial approach to designing a new research project. I appreciate Maria's insight that building a new project by discovering gaps and/or questions that emerge from current archives might be a generative approach. I wonder too if how we, as STS researchers, engage in archival research is shaped not only by our disciplinary affliations - for example, I imagine historian readily shape their work from archival interaction - but also by where we are in our professional development.  I find that the emphasis for early-career scholars/students is so often on developing original or "new" research projects whereas starting from the archives reflects seasoned knowledge of the archival evidence available and the challenges/questions/gaps that emerge from this data.

October 4, 2021

Looking at collaborative infrastructure as something which is not invisible "opposite of an invisible road" is quite fascinating to me. Narrowed down by the literature, I have been looking at infrastructure as an invisible system all the while, so this sort of visualisation is quite refreshing but at the same time, I think that I might require some more discussions to understand this better. 

October 4, 2021

I had not thought of apps or software/tools as collaborative infrastructure earlier. However, reading Joesph's sketch I am able to visualise several other collaborative infrastructures in my vicinity. The idea of sharing work/responsibilities in a collaborative infrastructure is also quite insightful for me. 

October 1, 2021

The main insight I gained from this artifact was in thinking about research as experience rather than as product. I'm really interested in how the collected scenes in this sketch visually reinforce this point: research as always a set of collected stages and interactions rather than a monolithic entity. It prompted the question: how can we make explicit this sort of research practice in published work?

Kieran Hegarty's picture
September 30, 2021

How beautiful. Even the most 'reflexive' research can conceal the process within the product, 'tidying up' the messy threads of relationality.

Kieran Hegarty's picture
September 30, 2021

Beautiful sketch. Meg, this was such a generous insight into the interface between collaboration and failure. It reminds me that collaboration is always fraught, always involves negotiation and compromise, and is always in a process of being resolved. Failure is never too far away!

Emma McKay's picture
September 29, 2021

I love this---it makes me think of what happens when someone who is core to a group or collaboration leaves, and it feels like all of their structure goes with them. The structure of any particular collaboration is so hard to maintain, and it feels like things fall apart all the time.

But the structure of demanding (academic) jobs leaves little space for structureless play and support. What if there was more space to not stick to a schedule, to visit and eat and recognize that that's the highest ambition one can have?

Emma McKay's picture
September 29, 2021

Like Megan, I appreciate the questioning of what an academic zine even is. I've been thinking more broadly about how to avoid institutional capture. I think the answer is often to not speak in the institution. Speak outside, only, in ways illegible to or unacknowledgeable by the institution. Do not seek approval. Seek relation. Knowledge is already produced in ways more powerful than we know. What would it be to not follow in the zine tradition but attempt to follow in the punk tradition instead?

Megan Wiessner's picture
September 27, 2021

Keiran, I loved these provocations. They helped me crystalize some thoughts I was already feeling about what this project even means, what it means to be making an "academic zine."  What are the politics of taking up this anti-institutional form within the academy?  Is it an instance of appropriation? A sign of new oppenness in academic circles as to what counts? An indication of the sense of precarity and exclusion and frustration that exists even within the academy now?

August 16, 2020

Sketch 6 _ response to Gabriel Grill's post _ Meredith Sattler

Gabriel, your post inspires me to consider ways of thinking through your 'real time' mapping example, utilizing Latour's Inscriptions [definitely old school...but I think there's territory here to be further developed, particularly as it relates to mapping].  Perhaps, combined with his related concepts of Centers of Calculation, Cycles of Accumulation, and Inscription Devices, particularly as they interface with postcolonial studies.  Thinking here [of course] of abstraction through scalar shift and decontextualization, which are necessary components of mapping.  Your 'real time' example brings temporal accuracy into the mix as well.  Additionally, many issues surrounding identification, classification, and ultimately power.  

I'm curious how widely accessible the image/database/interface is that you show; is it just for the company factories identified on the map, or do others also hae access, such as government, labor unions, general publics?  The intended and unintended audiences seem critical here to understanding how the image might be interpreted and used [recontextualized, in a sense].  

Perhaps this idea of specific audience 'recontextualization' could be productive?  In a sense, it reverses Latour's process of generation of a scientific fact through inscription production, which strips the object of its context, while simultaneously targeting a very specific audience who will likely read the inscription[s] in very consistent ways, through highly codified epistemologies and ontologies.  In other words, it might reverse/complicate the reductionist exercise of mapping your authors performed.  In your example, different audiences might perform their own diverse readings, through forms of interpretive flexibility [both through the generative technology itself, and, taking some liberties here, epistemologically, socially, etc.], possibly resulting in a multiplicity of reconsitituted contextualizations, or even contemporary versions of Autoethnographies.  

I'm curious to understand more about how you're thinking about this image.

Inscriptions:  Latour + Woolgar Laboratory Life

Centers of Calculation, Accumulation, etc.:  Latour Science in Action, Latour "Visualization and Cognition: Drawing things Together", Burnett Masters of All They Surveyed, Miller + Reill Visions of Empire

Interpretive Flexibility:  Pinch + Bijker The Social Construction of Technological Systems

Autoethnographies:  Pratt Imperial Eyes