SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen
Ringvorlesung „Crises, Sensing and Sensemaking“: Christelle Gramaglia (Montpellier): Anthropology and/as Citizen Science III: Collaborative Sensing of Industrial Pollution in the Gulf of Fos (Marseille) – A Return to Common Sense?
Wednesday, 31. January 2024, 14:00 - 15:00 Uhr

Christelle Gramaglia (Montpellier): Anthropology and/as Citizen Science III: Collaborative Sensing of Industrial Pollution in the Gulf of Fos (Marseille) – A Return to Common Sense?

All lectures take place in Cologne and also online.

This Lecture Series explores dynamics of sensing and sense making, and thus takes up a topic that is at the center of interdisciplinary work at the CRC “Media of Cooperation” (Siegen/Cologne). At the same time, it introduces the research of the CRC to researchers at the University of Cologne and various international working groups in and on the Mediterranean by using the well-established “60 Minutes” in Ethnography, Theory, Anthropology as a forum.

The increasing spread of sensor technologies and the equipping of smart devices with sensors restructures forms of perception, sensing and knowledge making. Sensors measure movements in the city, record air quality, temperatures and energy consumption, control production and logistics processes in interaction with algorithms and learning systems, track the behavior and well-being of people, recognize people in images and video recordings or re-organize (digital) terrains. Sensor data, their collection, analysis, and integration with other data formats, and their interaction with various forms of practice are constitutive not only of sensing, but also of sense making.

In this series of talks, we are interested in forms of sensing and sense making vis-à-vis major dynamics of socio-political and environmental crises in and beyond the Mediterranean, in particular (1) mobility and related border regimes, (2) growing environmental crises and their (non)management, and (3) forms of social mobilization (activism) and their control. All three areas are characterized by specific forms of socio-technical sensing and the engagement with it – sense making, both distributed among multiple actors, including humans, machines, and the environment itself. Sensor media are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and come with a number of ethical and political challenges – such as the erosion of privacy, new forms of surveillance, and socio-technical proliferation of prejudices and various forms of bias. Often they are perceived as both – as drivers of, but also as possible solutions for different forms of social, political, technical and environmental crises.

In this lecture series, Sensing and Sense Making will be explored praxeologically – and thus in its various forms and formats. Part I will investigate forms of sense making in the context of deadly borders regimes, in hazardous environments and as part of social activism. Part II will look at the challenges and opportunities of ethnographic research and public interventions to engage with situations of crises and collaborative knowledge production.

Organized by Nina ter Laan, Carla Tiefenbacher and Martin Zillinger for the CRC “Media of Cooperation” Siegen/Cologne and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (DoSCA), University of Cologne.