SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen

Out now: Special Issue on “Critical Technical Practice(s) in Digital Research”

Our CRC member Daniela van Geenen (A03) edited together with Karin van Es & Jonathan Gray the special issue “Critical Technical Practice(s) in Digital Research” that has now been published in Convergence (Vol. 30, Issue 1).

In this special issue, they turn to ideas of and approaches to critical technical practices (CTPs) as entry points to doing critique and doing things critically in digitally mediated cultures and societies. They explore the pluralisation of ‘critical technical practice’, starting from its early formulations in the context of AI research and development (Agre, 1997a, 1997b) to the many ways in which it has resonated and been taken up by different publications, projects, groups, and communities of practice, and what it has come to mean. Agre defined CTP as a situational, practical, and constructive way of working: ‘a technical practice for which critical reflection upon the practice is part of the practice itself’ (1997a: XII). Communities of practice in which the notion has been adopted, adapted, and put to use range from human–computer interaction (HCI) to media art and pedagogy, from science and technology studies (STS) and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) to digital humanities, media studies and data studies. This special issue serves as an invitation to (re)consider what it means to use this notion drawing on a wider body of work, including beyond Agre. In this introduction, they review and discuss CTPs according to (1) Agre, (2) indexed research, and (3) contributors to this special issue. They conclude with some questions and considerations for those interested in working with this notion.

The issue is at the same time timely and timeless, featuring contributions by Tatjana Seitz & Sam Hind; Michael Dieter; Jean-Marie John-Mathews, Robin De Mourat, Donato Ricci & Maxime Crépel; Anders Koed Madsen; Winnie Soon & Pablo Velasco; Mathieu Jacomy & Anders Munk; Jessica Ogden, Edward Summers & Shawn Walker; Urszula Pawlicka-Deger; Simon Hirsbrunner, Michael Tebbe & Claudia Müller-Birn; Bernhard Rieder, Eric Borra & Stijn Peters; Carolin Gerlitz, Fernando van der Vlist & Jason Chao; Daniel Chavez Heras; and Sabine Niederer & Natalia Sanchez Querubin. 

Last but not least, save the date: the editors will (soft) launch the issue at the CRC research forum on 10 July, 2 to 4 pm CEST with some short presentations. You can join the event either online or in Siegen! Contact Daniela van Geenen.

Links to the articles and our living literature collection (Zotero group) can be found here.