On 22 July we held our third seminar, completing the trio of workshops on postphenomenology. The focus today was on sound and Michael Gallagher’s thinking about how audio media can destabilise space and subjectivity. Michael presented his audio drift work from Kilmahew, a ruin 20 miles west of Glasgow. His ‘Kilhahwe Audio Drift No. 1’ is an audio walk intended to ‘invite further engagement with the site, stimulate debate and perhaps attract some additional visitors’. You can listen to his talk on the Workshop 3 page. There’s more information on Michael’s web page: http://www.michaelgallagher.co.uk/research
Following the presentation and some questions we had a short group discussion about next steps. Most people seemed interested to maintain contact and/or involvement. We are currently preparing some ideas for follow-up work.
On Monday (19 May 2014) we held our second workshop on methods in postphenomenology. During the two-hour session Paul Simpson presented a paper engaging with the work of Jean-Luc Nancy and Roberto Esposito as a means of developing a postphenomenological frame of analysis. Next, Maria Fannin explored Irigaray’s phenomenological critique to think about the nature of objects in postphenomenology. Maria’s research looks at the use of human tissues and the transformations of parts of bodies (such as placenta) into different sorts of things.
Following the presentations we worked in three small groups to think through potential postphenomenological research approaches. Research topics were selected through a ‘random generator’ and included virtual gravity, weightlessness and gliding. In each case, group participants developed key research questions and contexts through which these concerns could be studied. More information is available on the workshop 2 page.
On Tuesday we held the first methods workshop in our series on postphenomenology. About 25 participants from architecture, geography, media studies, philosophy and art got together to work through some ideas around doing postphenomenological research from the vantage points of non-representational drawing and attunement. In the first discussion, Jethro Brice led an activity intended to unsettle commonly accepted ideas about drawing and its role in research. He asked participants to spend about 5 minutes drawing a still life (a piece of wood sitting in a wooden chair on the table). Drawings were then passed along the table one space and the drawing activity continued. After a few rounds of this participants were faced with the challenge of continuing the still life from multiple perspectives. The activity exposed the unfixed relationships between observer and observed and how the process of drawing can be seen as a mode of knowledge production. In the second presentation, James Ash discussed the role of tone as a mode of attunement to interrogate the non-human; as a way of doing embodied methodology. James asked participants to inspect mugs from a Starbucks and to consider the kinds of affect and tone they are designed to generate. He explained that such an embodied methodology involves becoming attuned to a specific situation and encourages us to concentrate on relations between body and world through processes of material exchange, translation and differentiation from a variety of human and non-human objects. Attunement asks us to focus on what appears in a particular situation but simultaneously speculatively inquiring how objects and forces appear to and shape each other as well. The slides and audio recordings from the workshop are available on the workshop 1 page.
The first workshop will be held on 1 April at 2:00 pm at the Pervasive Media Studio (Watershed) in Bristol. http://www.watershed.co.uk/pmstudio/about-pervasive-media-studio
The schedule for 1 April is as follows:
- Introduction to the series and key concepts, Michael Buser, UWE
- Unsettling re-presentation, Jethro Brice. A playful/critical examination of some common assumptions about drawing and its role in research.
- Becoming attuned: post-phenomenology and embodied methodology James Ash (Newcastle University). An exploration of two modes of attunement – vibration and tone – to interrogate the role non-human things play in the organisation of human life.
To reserve a space please contact Michael Buser Michael.Buser (at) uwe.ac.uk
The workshops are free of charge. However space is limited.
Sponsored by the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments and the Digital Cultures Research Centre