Locoblog: . Click on one of the mattereality ones to see some pics of where we went.

Collaborative matereal probe:

Share your pictures on with our group called matterealities, mobilities, innovation.

Info about the materiality of code visit to Infolab can be found at

To try out how to make computing palpable go to

Check out:

Karen reed's blog:

Online Forum at mashreality is discontinued and will be closed.

digital economy transport

poster batch 1

poster batch 2

 poster batch 3

poster batch 4

poster bacth 5

poster batch 6

single poster (wallom)


download economies of signs and space chapter 4

download digital economy introduction

Call for Participation

A growing body of studies show that in the detailed how of ‘how matter comes to matter’ (Barad 2007) the social and the material are inextricably linked. However, the very practices that join also often conceal such entanglement - in everyday practice, politics, science and design. In this interdisciplinary workshop we seek to explore a particular set of connections between 'matterealities', mobilities and innovation:

Matterealities: If social-material realities or orders are made, two questions arise: ‘How are they made?’ and ‘How could they be made ‘better’?’ Science and technology studies and ethnomethodological studies address the first, and sometimes also the second question (e.g. through involvement in design, socio-technical innovation and ‘engaged’ research (Sismondo 2007)). However, while these studies can powerfully draw our attention to the entanglement of the social and the material, they often struggle to escape the dualisms entrenched in our languages and epistemic practices. Non-representational approaches, and Barad’s agential realism in particular, open up new possibilities for a study of ‘intra-action’, not only by focusing on how epistemic practices and 'pre-cognitive' 'matereal' methods of embodied conduct make matter matter, but also by formulating a new 'epistemontology'. The convergence of increasingly powerful and small computing, sensor and actuator technologies with everyday materials, including the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the places we live, play and work in – presents a particularly rich challenge for this approach. Whereas research into socio-technical settings and practices has tended to look at human-computer interaction and 'the virtual' (cyberspace and life online), research must now also look towards the intra-actions of digital phenomena and the 'materealization' of socio-technical realities.

Mobilities: A new ‘movement-driven’ social science (Urry 2007) reveals movement, potential movement and blocked movement as constitutive of economic, social, political, environmental and material relations. Movement, momentum, and motion are also integral to epistemic practices and ‘mattering’. Moreover, they rely on and can reveal the important role of media (air, water) and infrastructural support (roads, cables, satellites, networks). Combining a focus on mobilities with studies of intra-action can make important aspects of the entanglement of the social and the material amenable to study.

Innovation: Can studies of how socio-material realities are made inform the making of ‘better’ realities? A first answer must be ‘No’, because by drawing attention to the entanglement of the social and the material, such studies show that it is difficult if not impossible to know what ‘better’ might mean, to go beyond the scale of ‘us, here and now’, let alone decide what steps would enable the matterealization of better futures (without treading loose an avalanche of unintended consequences). Yet, it is tempting to attend to ‘issues of social order and intelligibility that must be understood before social problems can be intelligently addressed’ (Warfield Rawls 2002) and to trust that better understanding will indeed allow us to address social, material and technical problems and opportunities more intelligently. Concrete experience from ethnomethodologically informed technology design reframes the ambition: First, by changing the way in which innovation is conceived of and achieved towards a more collaborative, iterative (pervasive and never-ending), interdisciplinary process (Suchman 1999), and second, by seeking to change the objects of innovation, for example by making technologies that support creative appropriation in the context of everyday innovation (e.g. Robinson 1993, Dourish and Button 1998, Chalmers 2004, Gershenfeld 2005, The PalCom project). Agential realism opens up new possibilities for these approaches and provides an opportunity to widen the focus to other forms of socio-technical change.

In this workshop we bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners to explore, formulate and shape these possibilities and opportunities.

Important Dates

A maximum of 40 participants can be accepted. Registration takes place on a first come first served basis. Registration closes 26 October.

To register, click here.



since July 2007 – ... A staff and student reading group meets at Lancaster.

mashreality is now up and running. (1) It's art. (2) It's a matereal probe in the sense that by experimenting the instructions you intra-act with and discover the material agential 'force' of code and shape the cause effect topologies of mashreality. (3) It's a visualization of emergent conversations between workshop participants/interested parties, mapping out and expressing ideas, concepts, struggles, questions.

5 November 2007: Public Lecture

15:30 – 16:45  

Coffee and Introductions for Workshop Participants

Lancaster University, Management School, Lecture Theatre 9

17:00 – 17:45  

Public Lecture: Karen Barad talks about her new book ‘Meeting the universe half-way. Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning’ Duke University Press, 2007. Introduction by Lucy Suchman

Lancaster University, Management School, Lecture Theatre 2

17:45 – 18:15  


18:15 – 18:45  

Introduction to artworks

19:00 – 21:00  

Exhibition Opening (+ wine and food for workshop participants)

Lancaster University, Great Hall Foyer

6 - 7 November 2007: Workshop

6 November

09:00 – 14:00  

Site visits (including lunch en route)

Participants are divided into three groups and visit three different locations, where expert guides provide information. Currently under discussion:

  • On the road: The past, present, and future of asphalt.
  • Suits, Suits, Suits: Making material matter in professional culture
  • The mattereality of code: Infolab Technologies

You will be asked to sign up for one of these before the workshop begins.

14:00 – 15:30  

Group work

Organizers divide participants into interdisciplinary groups with ~5 participants each. Groups explore specific issues, drawing on joint experience from site visits and interdisciplinary perspectives. Groups will be asked to produce a concrete outcome (a poster, a collage, …), which will be presented to the whole group. The group work will be facilitated.

Lancaster University, Conference Centre

15:30 – 16:00  


16:00 – 18:00  

Free. Tim Ingold is giving a talk at the Sociology department,



7 November 


10:00 – 11:00  

Cafe seminar discussions

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee ...

11:30 – 12:30

Plenary discussion, future plans

12:30 – 13:30

lunch & end


Feeling Business-like

Fiona Jane Candy, University of Central Lancashire, fjcandy(at)

Article: Feeling Business-like

My work focuses on the ways that people make and use things to express identity, define communities and craft social life. I am particularly interested in the ways that people express and interpret personal emotion and sociality through the wearing of differing clothing style. I often use qualitative interview, video, photography, illustration and motion capture techniques to interpret clothing’s impact on personal appearance, but also on the ways that the body may be lived and experienced. These investigations of wearer’s experiences span practice and theory and relate to current cross-disciplinary debates within art, design, and the human and social sciences about consciousness and culture, taste, embodiment, and relationships between the senses and society.  I aim to promote understanding of the role that clothing plays in stimulating and animating the body and its influence on the way we feel alive.

As well as developing empirical approaches, I work collaboratively to make objects and installations as a means to engage wider audiences in issues of identity and social connection.

For the matterialities, mobilities, innovation project I want to consider the interconnectivity of the material forms that constitute the communal uniform of the modern ‘business suit’, as epitomised in the stock images shown above. This will involve the selection and display of objects and may also entail the making or remaking some of these, in order to produce altered versions.

Although I am at an early stage in terms of describing or analysing this project, my aim will be to facilitate insight into ‘the suit’ as a material identity form that appears to span local and global differences, individuality and heterogeneity, to embody both the explicit ideology and the implicit feelings of making business. I anticipate that I will exhibit a group of related objects (approx 5) along with video and/or photographic elements.

I am looking forward to collecting and making the objects and to developing my account of the process.  

On the road: Lancaster on Radio Orbino

by Irene Janze and Anton Dekker, The Netherlands,

A group of artists are studying a 2.5 kilometer long stretch of a new highway in The Netherlands: the N242.  Asphalt seems a neutral carrier upon which the world moves along. A long, linear, docile body, the asphalt carries her deterministic fate. Slavishly she lets herself be run over: without complaint and only the occasional crack or groan. But looks are deceiving... Probing reveals that asphalt meanders, bows, cuts, divides and rules. Asphalt produces boundaries, islands and residual areas. She upsets just restored balances. If we are not careful we may find asphalt as a gravestone above our head.

Along the 2.5 kilometer stretch of our investigation, the road cuts through industrial areas, encloses glasshouses and cleaves through the remains of on old village road. A mountain of old iron towers above her. At the same time, the road falls into her form due to local differences, the shape and the reactions of her surroundings. Bridges are being built and tunnels dug. The new route of the highway N242 hides the frayed fringes of older roads behind her sound barriers.  The uniform barriers and the uni-form-ication of the highway appear as a global phenomenon, yet at her base we find local history: bent spoons, forks and knives of the refuse industry near by. Even deeper, the geomorphology supports, guides and obstructs her way. The road slides over a geological underground.

At the sliding zone globalization is made local and the asphalt road N242 becomes locally materealized globalization. The intra-active sliding zone makes geostructural/globalizing phenomena cognizable, while simultaneously, continuously becoming (shifting and modifying) due to these phenomena. As such the intra- active sliding zone can be regarded as a physical arrangement of both embodied and non-embodied matter and meanings.

The stream of cars appears as an un-interruptable global phenomenon as well. Still she consists of different cars and road-users. Asphalt gathers the vehicles and enacts mobility by means of breaking distance to relative positions and distances. With radio waves we are able to infiltrate the private car. Reportages, interviews and the collected, sounds will be transformed into soundscapes. On invitation of Unit1, an artist initiative, we will transform the art laboratory Orbino of the Belgian architect Luc Deleu into the radiostation Orbino with a broadcast radius of 2,5 km. The radio station is next to the highway. Online we will make an archive of the programs.

I will bring to Lancaster pieces of asphalt from all over the world. I will bring the bent knives and spoons found at the base of the road. I will bring a model of the radio station. I will show slides of the road and the radio station. It would be very nice to visit highway(s) near Lancaster and collect data about their local character, intra-active sliding zones and sounds for Radio Orbino.  I am currently exploring the ‘intra-active’ sliding zone also utilising Hanna Arendt's idea of interesse. I want to introduce the term intra-esse to refer to the sliding zone. I am looking forward to comments about this project.

iPoi Tangible Interaction for Clubbing; An exertion interface; Using Acceleration as a Medium for Digital Live Art

Dr. Jennifer G. Sheridan, BigDog Interactive, LancasterDr. Nick Bryan-Kinns, IMC Group, Computing Department, Queen Mary, University of LondonAlice Bayliss, School of Performance and Cultural Industries, Leeds University

Imagine swinging a tiny computer around your body to create live visuals and audio like a DJ or VJ. iPoi is based on the ancient Maori art of poi and uses a wireless, peer-to-peer, sensor-packed upgrade of the original. iPoi is created by embedding tiny computers in tennis balls and socks, and swinging them wildly around your body. iPoi uses the wonder of acceleration, the hidden force that is in our every movement and has been performed in nightclubs, festivals and conferences in the UK, North America and Australia.

We have been exploring how to entice people into engaging collaborations focusing on ensemble performances. We entice people into mutually engaging collaborations by designing artifacts which support transitions in witting behavior from spectator to participant and finally to performer.

Our position is that these transitions are supported through designing artifacts which have intuitive, naturalistic, and observable behaviors, and through social interaction such as sharing self-constructed narratives on the use and nature of the artifacts.

Our work on enticement focuses on designing and building tangible Digital Live Art which augments conventional objects to entice mutually engaging interaction. For example, iPoi is an augmented version of the traditional Maori art form of poi which involves swinging balls on strings around the body in a playful performance. iPoi augments this traditional art form with embedded computing to generate soundscape and visuals based on the acceleration of the iPoi. The design of iPoi focuses on how to create augmented artifacts which have a low entry fee for use, but also allow skilled performers to express emotion through the system. In our analysis of people’s interaction with iPoi in public performances we have focused on how people individually and collectively learn about, and enter into the performance frame.

In our work we focus on creative collaborations which are not task based such as Digital Live Art and group music improvisation. Drawing on Edmonds et al. we characterize three aspects of the design of artifacts which are pertinent to creative collaboratio

  • Enticement – what entices people to interact with the artifacts we construct?
  • Engagement – what supports the development of mutual engagement between people through our artifacts?
  • Sustainment – what sustains the collaboration and encourages people to return to our artifacts?

iPoi Publications:


Paul Coulton 

Sarah Tremlett

Chelsea College of Art and Design
Artist's statement: matter mattering


Karen Barad, University of Santa Cruz, US

Professor, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Philosophy, Chair of Feminist Studies. Ph.D., Theoretical Particle Physics, SUNY - Stony Brook. Previously Associate Professor of physics at PomonaCollege. Karen Barad has written a number of articles on quark charge distributions and lattice gauge theories. She has also offered workshops throughout the country on feminist science and objectivity. Barad received several Ford Foundation and NSF/RUI grants for her work in particle physics. Barad is the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Duke University Press , 2007.

Fiona Jane Candy, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

Fiona Candy lives and works in Preston, where she lectures as a a member of a multidisciplinary team in the Department of Design at University of Central Lancashire. She has extensive experience of the fashion industry, having designed for the mass market and for her own knitwear label, Solid State. Commissions have included knitwear design for Joseph, Whistles and Paul Smith, the creation of leather surfaces for Dr Martens footwear and costumes for Italian opera at the Spoleto Festival. She has recently undertaken several projects in the hybrid context of art and ethnography. Candy's AHRC funded research looks at the ways that people epress personal emotion and sociality through the wearing of differing clothing style. She uses video, photography, illustration and animation techniques to interpret clothing's impact on personal appearance, but also on the ways that the body may be lived and experienced.

To be confirmed: Lyn Campbell

B.A. [LaTrobe], Dip.Ed. [LaTrobe], Grad.Dip.TESL [Deakin], Grad.Dip.InfoServices [RMIT], Grad.Dip.VocEd., M.Ed.[Melb]. Research Fellow

Irene Janze, Burojanze, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Irene Janze studied geology, and followed courses in social and political philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and studied arts at the Rietveld art academy, Amsterdam. In 1999 she started Buro jan-ZE, a-web-of-varying-form-and-composition, pursuing the question: How do (urban) landscapes affect our perception of ourselves and the world around us? Do they shape the surroundings and the way we move through our daily lives? And how do we shape the -scape? In her research she focuses on the unfolding human potential lived into being, which is associative and becoming, drawing from specific stratifications of personal experiences and surroundings. Her findings are expressed in installations, drawings, (video) performances, lectures, catalogues and workshops. Irene Janze’s installations are designed for a certain location or event, from which they draw meaning. They are landscapes themselves,  or ‘matterrealities’ through and in which the public can dwell. Her artwork is a way of research and enacts theoretical forms of investigation. Her current work at the ‘intra-active sliding zone’, in which Radio Orbino is a key part, opens up new theoretical routes that, in turn, are beginning to take shape in her artwork. For more information:

Christian Licoppe, ENST, Paris, France.

Cristian carries out sociological studies on the uses of ICTs

  •  Analyses of interpersonal communication devices
  •  the Uses of Instant Messaging in Professional Contexts
  • The Uses of Mobile Games and Ringtones

Comparative Studies of Mediated Interactions

  • Suicide Calls on the Telephone and the Internet.
  • Consumption at a Distance
  • Co-present and Distributed Courts of Law

Activity Analyses

  • The Work of Operators in Call Centers (Banking and Telecom Sectors)

Case Studies on Innovation and User-Centered Design : Mediated Encounters

  • Designing a Geo-localized Collection Game for Mobile Phones and the Internet : Game, Quasi-Encounters and Sociability.
  • Digital Auras : The Design of a Proximity-Sensitive Matching Service for Mobile Phones

Paul McIlvenny, Department of Language and Culture, Aalborg University, Denmark

Paul's current research includes:

  • Media therapeutics and parentcraft
  • Transnational adoption research (with Pirkko Raudaskoski)
  • Conversation analysis, power and performativity
  • Talk as metaphor, Everyday conversation as ideal
  • (Hetero)sexuality in new media
  • Un/Doing gender and sexuality
  • Social interaction and digital talk in virtual worlds
  • Commodifying virtual community - Community as data
  • Avatars and situated virtual embodiment
  • Talking like a cyborg/chatterbot
  • Straightening cultural encounters
  • Body talk and doing embodiment
  • Virtual white ethnicity
  • Talking and doing whiteness

Pirkko Raudaskoski, Humanistic Informatics, Aalborg University, Denmark

Associate Professor, BA, MA, Lic.Phil., PhD (English), MSc (Artificial Intelligence). Docent (Educational Technology: Communication and Interaction). The following descriptions reflect my interdisciplinary research interests: Understanding computers and practice, analysing videoed interactions, doing discourse studies. My previous research projects include Finnish Sign Language interaction and communication between 'native' and 'non-native' English speakers.

Jennifer Sheridan, Lancaster University

My interest is in the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Live Art - or what I call Digital Live Art. I direct, design and produce interactive installations and performance events using sensors and mobile and embedded physical computing technologies to mediate ‘wittingness.’ Mediating wittingness allows people to step in or out of a live performance based on their knowledge or awareness of the performance frame. Current projects I'm involved in:

  • Social Interaction and Mundane Technologies (Lancaster University, Microsoft, Nokia).
  • I was recently awarded a small grant from Lancaster University to conduct research as the Principal Investigator of "Analysis of Algorithms for Real Time Analysis of Acceleration Data". I was extremely pleased as the competition for the awards this year was stiff!
  • (re)Actor: The Second International Conference on Digital live Art (Leeds Met [Rebekka Kill], University of Leeds, [Alice Bayliss], BigDog Interactive). Sponsored by the Arts Council of England.
  • AHRC Design for the 21st Century - Emergent Objects (Hoverflies): Designing the human/technology interface through performance (Led by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at University of Leeds PI, Mick Wallis)


Buscher, Monika, mobilities.lab, Lancaster University –

Coulton, Paul, Infolab21, Lancaster University -

Dennis, Kingsley, mobilities.lab, Lancaster University -

Hemment, Drew, Imagination@Lancaster -

Rooksby, John, Infolab21, Lancaster University -

Sangiorgi, Daniela, Imagination@Lancaster -

Travel and Accommodation


Local area: Local area (Multimap)

Campus: Campus map

A range of other maps can be found here

Timetables for Public Transport

Click here.


Here are some suggestions:

Lancaster House Hotel - 08458 509508

Royal Kings Arms Hotel - 01524 32451

The Sun Hotel - 01524 66006

The Crows Nest Hotel - 01524 382888

The Shakespear B&B - 01524 841041
email: thebard(at)

The Old Station House - 01524 381060
email: oldstationhouse(at)

Wagon & Horses B&B - 01524 846094



Barad, K. 2007. Meeting the universe halfway. Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke University Press.

Sismondo, S. 2007. Science and technology studies and an Engaged Programme. In HAckett, E.J.; Amsterdamska, O.; Lynch, M. and Wajcman, J. The handbook of science and technology studies. 3rd Edition. MIT Press.

Urry, J. 2007. Mobilities. Polity.

Warfield Rawls, A. 2002. Editors Introduction. In Garfinkel, H. Ethnomethodology's Program. Working out Durkheim's Aphorism. Rowman and Littlefield.

Suchman, L. 1999. Working Relations of Technology Production and Use. In Mackenzie, D. and Wajcman, J. (Eds.) The Social Shaping of Technology, Second Edition. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press, pp. 258-265.

Robinson, M. 1993. Design for unanticipated use .... In: G. de Michelis, C. Simone, and K. Schmidt (Eds.): Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW'93). Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 187--202.

Dourish, P. and Button, G. 1998. On "technomethodology": Foundational relationships between ethnomethodology and system design, Human Computer Interaction, v13, pp395-432.

Chalmers, M. and Galani, A. Seamful Interweaving: Heterogeneity in the Theory and Design of Interactive Systems Proc. ACM DIS 2004, pp. 243-252, August 2004.

Gershenfeld, N. 2005. FAB. The coming revolution of your desktop - from personal computers to personal fabrication. Basic Books.

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