Gone writing

17th of February, 2016

The spring of 2016 will be spent writing on ethnographic material generated as part of the Alien Energy project. The STS Center at University of California Davis has kindly accepted to host me while writing.

gone writing

 

Wenner-Gren sponsored workshop in Durham 2016

23rd of December, 2015

With Simone Abram, Dept of Anthropology at Durham University.

This workshop will generate a new international network by bringing together anthropological scholars from around the worldimages-7 whose work is relevant to the study of electricity. Together, they will prepare a publication that will develop a new theoretical and empirical field, and push the boundaries of anthropological theory. Increasingly central to the lives of much of the human population through its generation, distribution, management, commercialisation, and the consumption of the energy services it enables, electricity has the power to re-energise anthropological theories and methodologies. Its operation through grids, networks, circuits and connectors, at all scales from the micro-domestic to the international and global, chimes with recent developments in anthropological theory around concepts of networked relations and material ontologies. The success of network-concepts in extending anthropological theories across the social and other sciences have been enhanced by the recent proposal that the burning of fossil fuels has caused the earth to enter an ‘anthropocene’ geological era, in which the conceptual dichotomy between nature and culture is no longer tenable. In this context, anthropologists are developing forceful theoretical and empirical arguments about the nature of future energies and the relations between humans, non-humans, materialities and energetic powers that may sustain the earth. The symposium will open a debate on anthropologies of electricity, based on emerging anthropological research from around the world and the ground-breaking studies of the invited participants. In applying anthropological theory to a new field and with a new focus, the workshop will generate innovative theoretical developments for the broader Anthropological scholarly community.

See also the most recent issue of Journal of Cultural Anthropology on electricity in anthropological thinking.

Sofie Stenbøg presents her research

1st of December, 2015

At the Annual Meeting for the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Sofie Stenbøg presented her work on children as digital experts and the new challenges for governing schools.

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Publishing in Danish (in Danish)

1st of December, 2015

Så er artiklen om den ontologiske vending i antropologi og STS, som jeg har arbejdet på et års tid, udkommet.

Læs artiklen her.

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Colorado Convention Center, Denver,

where I presented the paper in November 2015

Thinking and Doing Infrastructures

7th of October, 2015

Key note held at the Copenhagen Business School’s public-private platform collaboratory 2015. You can find the program here and the power points here.

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Centre Pompidou: Infrastructural inversions

Lea Schick will defend her PhD Thesis on Nov 2, 2015

19th of September, 2015

Title: Composing for Energy Engagement – studies in sm/art infrastructures

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The dissertation has been supervised by

Brit Ross Winthereik & Randi Markussen

Assessment committee: Noortje Marres, Ramia Mazé and Mark Elam

Abstract

Rising energy consumption, access to fossil fuels, and not least climate issues have put energy infrastructures on the agenda in many parts of the world. How to redesign electricity infrastructures in ways that ensure stable, affordable and ‘clean’ energy production? Denmark has set the ambitious goal to show the world that it is possible to replace all fossil fuels with renewable energy, primarily wind, and thus become CO2–neutral before 2050. An integral part of a ‘green transition’ in Demark, and in many other countries, is a so-called smart grid, which can handle distributed energy production and ensure ‘flexible electricity consumption.’ The smart energy infrastructure should ensure that electricity is consumed as the wind blows and it thus designates new forms of involvement of end users. Whereas the current electricity infrastructure has been carefully designed to be invisible, unnoticed, and un-engaging, a green transition will most likely make energy more visible. One of the major challenges proves to be how to re-design for more and for ‘the right’ kinds of energy engagement. This challenge is not only taken up by engineers and policy planers, but also by artists and designers.

This thesis investigates different experimental cases within Danish smart grid planning and within art and design. Each case raises the issue of engagement differently. Grounded in science and technology studies (STS) energy engagement is here taken to be a dynamic and changeable ‘thing’ emerging through socio-technical relations and infrastructural environments. As the different cases ‘compose’ relations between people, energy, infrastructures, and environmental issues differently, they make possible particular kinds of engagement and not others. It is the specific compositions of energy engagement and their potentiality that is central to this dissertation.

In concert with a growing body of literature within social science and humanities the dissertation seeks to expand approaches to energy that mainly focus on its technological and economic aspects. Instead, passing through the notion of engagement the dissertation is concerned with broadening our analytical and practical understanding of energy. Taking seriously the urgent need for radical energy transitions the main contribution of the dissertation is to describe and analyze and to move between various attempts to ‘speed up’ and ‘slow down’ reasoning in cases of composing energy infrastructures. The dissertation highlights how energy can engage both engineers and artists, and illustrates the importance of keeping very different actors in the picture if the goal is to stay open and experimental with regards to which kinds of future energy engagements and sm/art infrastructures are possible and desirable.

PhD defense Sara Marie Ertner

27th of August, 2015

Sara Marie Ertner will defend her PhD dissertation on September 10, 2015 at 13 hrs.

Title: Infrastructuring Design – An Ethnographic Study of Welfare Technologies and Design in a Public-Private and User Driven Innovation Project.

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Assessment committee:

Associate Professor, PhD Attila Bruni, University of Trento

Associate Professor, PhD Astrid Pernille Jespersen, University of Copenhagen

Associate Professor, PhD Christopher Gad – IT-University of Copenhagen (Chairman)