CSISP, the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process, is an active interdisciplinary research centre based in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths. CSISP supports work in the broad area of science, technology, society and the environment. It hosts events, research, and projects that examine the role of 'invention’ - and related terms, 'innovation', technology, discovery, change - in social and public life, and aims to facilitate collaboration and intervention across disciplines and practices that touch on the social broadly conceived: design and social science, computing and sociology, issue advocacy and social methods, biomedicine and social research, the arts and environmental science.
CSISP Upcoming Events:
CSISP Salon with ‘Gambling in Europe’ team: Rebecca Cassidy, Claire Loussouarn, Andrea Pisac
Tuesday 21st May, 4.30-6pm in WT1204
"Ethnographies of contingency"
‘Gambling in Europe’ is an ERC project, based at Goldsmiths Anthropology. Our team explores the production and consumption of gambling as a global assemblage, influenced by global reaches of digital technology as well as locally adopted and adapted. Our case studies have been concerned with various interactions between gambling producers, consumers and technologies, and more specifically, how certain concepts, such as risk, uncertainty and contingency become productive in gameplay. The four ethnographies explore different gambling environments, such as spread betting, casino gambling and online gambling and social gaming, but are brought together by a joint focus on the ‘prosumption’ of gambling as a single cycle. Gambling technologies, from slot machines, semi-automated casino table games, online trading platforms, social games to gambling regulation are explored as sites where certain products and behaviours temporarily stabilise, turning socio-historical and legislative contingencies into productive outputs of risk and play.
In this Salon, we will be discussing Schüll’s concept of perfect contingency in the context of machine gambling in Las Vegas, following her assertion that ‘addiction to flow’ (interrupted, immersed autoplay) is created through the interaction between the player and the materiality of the machine. Hayles’ article introduces the term technogenetic spiral, which will be a useful starting point to consider the place of agency and control in various interactions between people and machines, such as gameplay. Finally, Miller raises the question of technological determinism: how we can avoid it in conceptualising the interaction between technology producers and consumers and the materiality of machines. We invite you to consider these themes as a frame for more general questions about the place of agency and control, gamification (of gambling but also other social activities) and the ways contingency becomes meaningful and productive.
Hayles, N. K. 2012. “Tech-TOC: Complex Temporalities in Living and Technical Beings”. Electronic Book Review. http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/fictionspresent/inspective.
Miller, D. 2013. “How People Make Machines That Script People.” Anthropology of This Century (6) (January).
Schüll, N.D. 2012. “Perfect Contingency: From Control to Compulsion.” In Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas. Princeton University Press.
Smart Cities and Speculative Urbanisms
The Urban Salon will hold its final meeting of this academic year at
6pm, Tuesday 21 May, in UCL Geography (Exhibition Room, G07, the Pearson Building, Gower Street, see www.ucl.ac.uk/maps).
Nerea Calvillo, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid
"Test Bed Urbanism. Data, Machines and Conduits as the Inhabitants of Songdo"
The city of Songdo (South Korea) has been promoted as the first smart city built from scratch. By looking at how the implementation of digital technologies has conditioned (or not) its urban design and built environment, this paper tries to identify some properties of this new territory. By defining this city as a test-bed, it is possible to question a broader logic of testing and big data that emerge as new forms of governmentality. What types of knowing and acting are facilitated by way of test-beds, and what makes them specific to our contemporary condition?
Jennifer Gabrys, Goldsmiths, University of London
"Programming Environments: Environmentality and Citizen Sensing in the Smart City"
A new wave of smart cities projects is underway that proposes and deploys sensor-based ubiquitous computing across infrastructures and mobile devices to achieve greater sustainability. But in what ways do these digital programs of sustainability give rise to distinct material-political arrangements and practices within cities? And what are the implications of these distributions of governance for urban citizens and ways of life? This presentation will consider the ways in which speculative smart city project proposals might be understood through processes of environmentality, or the distribution of governance within and through environments and environmental technologies. Revisiting and reworking Foucault’s notion of environmentality not as the production of environmental subjects, but as a spatial-material distribution and relationality of power through environments, technologies and ways of life, this paper further considers which practices of citizenship emerge through computational sensing and monitoring that are a critical part of the operations and imaginings of smart and sustainable cities.
All are welcome, please circulate widely to interested researchers and students who are invited to subscribe to receive notices at www.theurbansalon.org.
The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media
Thursday 30 May 2013 | 5.30-7pm LG02 NAB (New Academic Building)
Jose van Dijck, University of Amsterdam
In this invited public lecture, Jose Van Dijck, one of the world’s leading authorities on digital memory practices and social media, will talk on topics from her new book The Culture of Connectivity published by Oxford University Press in March 2013. Jose Van Dijck is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at University of Amsterdam; her previous books include Mediated Memories in a Digital Age (Stanford University Press 2007)and The Transparent Body (University of Washington Press 2005).
Respondents: Noortje Marres, CSISP, Goldsmiths, and Richard MacDonald, Storycircle Project, Goldsmiths
Chaired by Professor Nick Couldry, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths
The lecture is open to all, and will be followed by a drinks reception.
CSISP has a mailing list. If you would like to subscribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171
Goldsmiths has charitable status