Panel 10

Games, experiments and redesign – Testing STS multimodal approaches

Organizers: Lorenzo Olivieri; Annalisa Pelizza; Claudio Coletta

University of Bologna, Italy

Topics: Knowledge co-creation, citizens science, co-design processes, material publics and grassroot innovation; Methodological challenges in a more-than-human world; Building alliances in public participation and engagement

Keywords: Interventions, experiments, games, performativity

Following Law’s call (2004) to develop new methods for addressing the messiness of social science, STS scholarship has explored modalities of research which could complement more traditional paradigms, practices and dissemination of knowledge production. Inventive, experimenting and playful methods have been adopted to explore new, alternative configurations of socio-technical worlds and imaginaries (Lee Downey & Zuiderent Jerak 2021, Collins et al 2017, Farías & Criado 2017). These methods include, among others, art, design, interventions, and games. Overall, these approaches emphasize the heuristic value of creativity and experimentation, of material engagement and performativity (Marres, Guggenheim and Wilkie 2018). By creating temporally and spatially circumscribed settings, these methods allow imagining multiple scenarios and envisioning possible futures. Within these settings, researchers and artists, designers and citizens are simultaneously the agents and the interpreters, leading to a progressive collapse of the distinction between representation and experimentation, between knowledge-making and world-making. Consequently, these approaches also challenge and problematize a linear model of knowledge production, whereby the collection of data, the production of knowledge and the ’application’ of such knowledge to societal issues rigorously follow each other (Zuiderent-Jerak 2016). Lastly, due to their highly participative and engaging nature, multimodal approaches have the potential to unleash new ethical and reflexivity issues (Lenette 2019). How can these methods allow us to learn about more-than-human interests and perspectives? To what extent multimodal approaches can provide us with experimental ways for understanding and thinking about heterogenous networks of humans and non-humans? Drawing upon these considerations, this panel invites scholars, artists and designers to test their games, interventions or performances. Unlike traditional panels, contributors are expected to engage with the audience according to the nature of their works.

Contributions are expected to address, but are not limited to:

  • Ecological transitions
  • Migrations and migration governance
  • Health practices and infrastructures
  • Urban imaginaries
  • Ethics and responsibility in digital environments