Geomedia 2021: ‘Off the Grid’ – A genuinely interdisciplinary platform for research carried out at the nexus of Geography, Media, and Film Studies.
- Session: [T1S35] ‘Off the Grid? Into the Wild? The Possibilities of Practice Beyond Praxeology’ (Discussion Forum)
- Registration: until April 28th, 2021 (CEST)
- Schedule: May 6th, 2021, 11:45–13:00 (CEST)
- Location: online (Zoom: Stream 3)
- Publication: ‘In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a “Practice+” Approach to Studying Media’, CRC ‘Media of Cooperation’ Working Paper Series No. 18 (May 2021).
Discussion forum: ‘Off the grid? Into the wild? The possibilities of practice beyond praxeology’
Are there limits to thinking with, and through, practice? Scholars across geography and media studies talk variously of ‘everyday’, ‘situated’, ‘digital’, and ‘media’ practices as well as, increasingly, ‘app’ and ‘data’ practices. But what do we gain from thinking about practice, or through the lens of praxeology? Alternatively, what might we lose from thinking only about practice, or only through praxeology?
The panel and discussion forum ‘Off the Grid? Into the Wild? The Possibilities of Practice Beyond Praxeology’ is intended as a dialogue between scholars wrestling with these questions, in which the value of practice and praxeology is explored. The aim is to discuss how the limits to practice might be, and indeed are being, studied, and potentially re-drawn – especially by those working with, in, and beyond, geomedia.
The discussion is part of a publication project, initiated by scholars of the Graduate School ‘Locating Media’ titled ‘In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a “Practice+” Approach to Studying Media’. It is published as part of a working paper series edited by the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation’. The collection attempts to establish novel connections that potentially bring new life to the study of practice, by exploring new concepts, thinkers, energies, methodologies, and disciplinary traditions. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, social media APIs, automotive navigation systems, and health data apps.
The publication and the panel do not intend to cast doubt on the value of studying practice – long an interest of media scholars based here in Siegen. Instead, the forum discusses how everyday, situated, digital, media, app, and data practices – as identifiable phenomena – are nonetheless modified by other things they meet, from bodily affects that ‘pre-code’ or modulate practices, to broader technical, material, and social infrastructures that likewise facilitate or constrain how practices are performed. In short, and to engage with the topic of the Geomedia 2021 conference: are practices ever really off-grid – purified, observable, discrete things shown from their surroundings? Does a narrow focus on practice ‘in the wild’ only seek to obscure these wider actors that cannot be accounted for, praxeologically?
As a provocation, the publication as well as the discussion forum offer what might be productively referred to as a ‘practice+’ approach. In doing so, we emphasise how practices (as phenomena) and praxeological approaches (as lenses) can be engaged with materially, discursively, and affectively. We discuss how practice+ approaches are enhanced by a supporting cast drawn from aesthetics, political discourses, technical representations, or cognitive concepts. Moreover, the discussion draws attention to alternative theories that define practice differently such as queer and feminist studies, computer science, or theatre studies.
The panel, as does the publication, also intends to ground these provocations with observations drawn from studies of governance, management, and markets, as well as the arts, culture, and health. As the contributors aim to discuss, there are manifold opportunities to exchange ideas around practice across disciplines and traditions, not least geography and media studies. These fruitful additions, arguably, put practice back on the grid, bringing it out from the wild.
- Christoph Borbach
- Magdalena Götz (@MagdalenaGoetz)
- Sam Hind (@samhind10)
- Hannah Neumann (@DanLammerhirt)
- Anastasia-Patricia Och (@Ochanastasia)
- Sebastian Randerath (@SRanderath)
- Tatjana Seitz (@taz_seitz)
- Daniela van Geenen (@DanielaVGeenen)
Publication: ‘In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a “Practice+” Approach to Studying Media’
This collection of articles considers the possibility of taking an ‘additive’ approach to studying media, which the contributors to the collection refer to as a ‘practice+’ approach. In this spirit the collection attempts to establish novel connections that potentially bring new life to the study of practice, by exploring new concepts, thinkers, energies, methodologies, and disciplinary traditions. These additional engagements, it is argued, are intended to augment and supplement (rather than displace or replace) popular practice approaches offered through, and found within, ethnomethodology, organizational studies, workplace studies and similar. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, social media APIs, automotive navigation systems, and health data apps. In these cases not only does one find a welter of va¬ried, interconnected, multi-scalar, differentially located practices but in the process of their articulation, one also discovers new vocabularies with which to document and articulate them. The contributions, thus, gesture towards how relations between media and their practices can be alternatively and fruitfully approached, evidencing new lines of thinking and doing in the study of practice.
The edited collection ‘In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a “Practice+” Approach to Studying Media’, is published as part of the CRC ‘Media of Cooperation’ Working Paper Series (No. 18, May 2021). This collection is (guest-)edited by Magdalena Götz, Sam Hind, Danny Lämmerhirt, Hannah Neumann, Anastasia-Patricia Och, Sebastian Randerath, and Tatjana Seitz. For a printed version of this edited collection, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geomedia 2021 is hosted by the Graduate School ‘Locating Media’ and the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation’ at the Department of Media Studies, University of Siegen. It is organized in collaboration with the Geomedia Group at Karlstad University.
Geomedia provides a genuinely interdisciplinary platform for research carried out at the nexus of Geography, Media, and Film Studies. The aim of the conference series is to map out the current terrain of media geographical research, pinpointing its main areas of debate and assessing the prospects of media geography as a more formalized academic field. For more information: http://www.geomediastudies.com/. Contact: email@example.com.