Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Flows' keyword pg.1 of 3
14 NOVEMBER 2014

NHS Innovation Diffusion: digital tools and social movements

"There is innovation inside the NHS. But innovations tend to stay local, failing to be adopted by other healthcare organisations or diffusing very slowly. This challenge is well recognised. But what's the problem? Given the assembled talents and good intentions of NHS staff, how can the systemic sum of innovation be so much less than its parts?

The NHS is sometimes described in terms of it's hierarchical structure. For my purposes it's useful to describe the current NHS using the language of philosopher–activists Deleuze & Guattari. In their terms, the NHS is a striated space marked by linear boundaries, restricted to a particular plane of activity in the space of all possible potentials[1]. For Deleuze & Guattari, like Foucault before them, power does not simply operate as a pyramid but in myriad multifaceted directions and relationships. Foucault said 'One doesn't have a power which is only in the hands of one person who exercises it alone... it is a machine in which everyone is caught, those who exercise power as much as those over whom it is exercised.. it becomes a machinery that noone owns'[2]. The overall effect is an institutional environment that acts to tame energies it is a social machine that produces conformity. As Deleuze & Guattari would say, the NHS is highly codified, where a code is a pattern of repeated acts. Of course, there are many situations where this is desirable–an ICU emergency needs a practiced response. But it doesn't make for a system that diffuses innovation.

Anyone who's returned from an innovation workshop and tried to applied new ideas in their NHS workplace has experienced this striation. It's the overlap in particular experience of all the dynamics that limit change: lack of autonomy in a hierarchical structure, the expectations of colleagues, the time it takes to deliver your daily targets, the lack of incentive, the lack of peer support, lack of sense of entitlement to change the way things are done all of which can combine to deliver an experiential straitjacket which is an impersonal affect, a pattern across the system and one that stifles diffusion as effectively as individual innovation.

The alternative is a system marked by flows, connections and zones of intensity. In the abstract terminology of Deleuze & Guattari, an innovative system would include smooth as well as striated spaces. Smooth space is occupied by intensities and events, by the continuous variation of free action. The characteristic experience of smooth space is short term, up close, with no fixed points of reference. I will try to show how the combination of social movements and digital technologies could blend smooth space with the more rigid boundaries and caste structures of the NHS in a way that aids the spread of innovation."

(Dan McQuillan, 2011)

[1] Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York:Continuum, 2004.
[2] Foucault, Michel (1975). Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, New York: Random House.

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TAGS

2011 • a practiced response • an impersonal affect • change the way things are done • codified • conformityconnections • continuous variation • Dan McQuillan • diffusion • digital movements • digital technologiesevents • expectations of colleagues • experiential straitjacket • Felix Guattariflows • free action • Gilles Deleuze • healthcare organisations • hierarchical structure • ICU emergency • individual innovation • innovation diffusion • innovation workshop • innovative system • institutional environment • intensities • lack of autonomy • lack of incentive • limiting change • linear boundaries • local innovation • machinery • Michel Foucault • myriad multifaceted directions • myriad multifaceted relationships • NHS • no fixed points of reference • ownership • particular plane of activity • peer support • philosopher-activists • power • pyramid structure • sense of entitlement • short term • smooth spacesocial computing • social machine • social movements • spread innovation • striated space • striation • up close • zones of intensity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 JUNE 2014

How do we create things together in a shared environment?

"When critical thinking is at its strongest, it often comes from exactly the sort of fluidity of practice that does run through Digital Revolution. The London–based architect and artist Usman Haque has been creating innovative software products alongside interactive artworks for more than 15 years. In 2007, he founded Pachube, a global data–sharing network that anticipated by years the current buzz around big data and the internet of things. In 2011, Pachube enabled hundreds of Japanese civilians to quickly and easily share weather and radiation data in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, boosting monitoring and relief efforts. Haque's Umbrellium team has produced a new artwork for Digital Revolution, which takes up the entirety of The Pit, the Barbican's subterranean theatre space. Called Assemblance, the piece allows about 25 people at a time to physically shape beams of light with their hands, pushing and pulling them around the space–while also bumping into and potentially messing up the shapes created by other people.

Haque calls it 'a virtual reality', but not in the sense of a purely digital realm: 'It's there, it's responding to you, you can see it, but as you try and approach it you can't actually feel it. For me, the idea is to question this distinction between the physical and the virtual.' The process is akin to building a sandcastle on the beach, where you are building a structure that anyone else, or the elements, can destroy in a moment.

Assemblance attempts to answer the question: 'How do we create things together in a shared environment, where we can't always trust each other, but we need to act together regardless?' This, indeed, is the situation we find ourselves in now. In the modern digital world, the question of participation is crucial as our various networks–social, media, national–require us to constantly mediate between acting as individuals and acting as a group. For Haque, the digital has given us 'the capacity to have an effect on the other side of the world almost instantaneously', from news events and economic flows to disaster response and warfare. 'We can do things to other people in distant lands, and so the question of our responsibility, and our culpability, is thrown up in ways that it hasn't been before. On the other hand, we now have the capacity to connect with each other, and develop new ways to work together, rather than against each other.'

Assemblance asks the audience to see itself as part of a networked whole, where actions have consequences. It also points towards the fact that 'the digital' is not a medium, but a context, in which new social, political and artistic forms arise. After 50 years, at least, of digital practice, institutions are still trying to work out its relevance, and how to display and communicate it–a marker, perhaps, that it is indeed a form of art."

(James Bridle, 18 June 2014, The Guardian)

Fig.1 Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field by Usman Haque and Dot Samsen from Umbrellium. Photograph: Umbrellium.

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TAGS

2014 • act together • acting as a group • actions have consequencesartwork • Assemblance (artwork) • Barbican Centre • beam of light • big data • capacity to connect • collaborative action • collective culpability • collective responsibility • creating things together • data sharing • data-sharing network • digital artdigital art exhibitiondigital art form • digital context • digital practicedigital revolutionDigital Revolution (2014) • Dot Samsen • economic flowsflowsFukushimaGoogle DevArtimmersive experienceimmersive worksindividual and collective activities • innovative software • interactive artworks • interactive light fieldinternet of thingslightlight artlight installationlight sculpturemediated interactionmediated reality • modern digital world • new ways of working together • Pachube • part of a networked whole • participationphysical and digital interactionPongresponsive light installation • sandcastle • shared environment • trustUmbrellium • Usman Haque

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2013

Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln: Department of Hybrid Space

"A new interdisciplinary field of design, researching the transformations of architectural, urban/regional space of the emerging 'information age', explores the dynamic interaction of architecture/urbanism and the space of mass media and communication networks. It develops scenarios for the interplay of public urban and public media space. The products of these alliances of urban/regional and media networks, of architectural and media space, are bastards: ambivalent spaces that are at the same time analog and digital, tactile and abstract, material and immaterial, expanding hyper–sensuality in the time– and placelessness of media flows. These hybrid spatial morphs act simultaneously in urban (local) and media (global) space and mediate between them, unfolding the undefined space between the local and the global, occupying the vacuum between local place and global space. Within the inversions of identity (communication), within the fluid ever–changing densities in the knitted networks, fused analogue/digital cultures are idensified."

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TAGS

Academy of Media Arts Cologne • ambivalent spaces • analogue and digital • analogue and digital cultures • architectural conjecturearchitectural space • architectural transformations • architecturebastard • changing densities • Colognecommunication networksdesign coursedesign field • Elizabeth Sikiaridi • embodied interactionsflows • Frans Vogelaar • global space • glocalglocalizationhybrid spaces • hybrid spatial morphs • hyper-sensualityidentityidentity constructionimmaterialinformation ageinformation flows • interdisciplinary design • interdisciplinary field • knitted networks • Kunsthochschule fur Medien Koln • local place • local space • mass mediamaterialitymedia arts • media flows • media networksmedia spaceplacelessnesspublic space • public urban space • regional space • tactile experience • undefined space • urban spaceurbanism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 FEBRUARY 2012

The materiality of financial flows and digital networks

"Ours is an existence characterized by cultural flux and political economic flows, by the virtualization of place and the acceleration of time, the disembodiment of labor, the fluidity of identity, the 'conceptualization' of art, the etherealization of communication. Yet even these financial flows and digital networks rely on physical supports, on material storage devices and infrastructures, and embodied interactions with human actors. This seminar examines media as material objects, as things, as symbolically charged artifacts, as physical supports for communication. In the first third of the semester we'll explore various theoretical frameworks and methodologies – from 'thing theory' to media archaeology – that can be useful in studying the material culture of media. The second third will be dedicated to custom–designed 'plug–ins' that pertain to students' individual research interests. And in the final third, we'll work collaboratively on the creation of (an) online exhibition(s) of material media – an endeavor we'll approach as a form of 'multimodal scholarship,' an alternative means of performing and publicizing academic work. The particular format of our project will also provide an opportunity for us to think through the central concepts of our class: what does it mean to mediate the materiality of media objects, and to create a virtual exhibition that addresses their physicality?"

(Shannon Mattern, 2010)

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TAGS

2010 • acceleration of time • conceptualisation of art • cultural flux • digital networks • disembodiment of labour • economic flowsembodied interactionsethereal • etherealisation of communication • financial flowsflowsfluidity of identityglobal capital flowsmaterial culture • material culture of media • material media • materialitymedia archaeologymedia as material objects • mediate the materiality of media objects • multimodal scholarship • online exhibition • performativityphysicalphysicality • political economic flows • publicising academic work • Shannon Mattern • symbolically charged artefacts • thing theory • things • virtual exhibition • virtualisation of place

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 FEBRUARY 2012

Overcoding, Coding, and Recoding

"...The social axiomatic of modern societies is caught between two poles and is constantly oscillating from one pole to the other. Born of decoding and deterritorialization, on the ruins of the despotic machine, these societies are caught between the Urstaat that they would like to resuscitate as an overcoding and reterritorializing unity, and the unfettered flows that carry them toward an absolute threshold. They recode with all their might, with world–wide dictatorship, local dictators, and an all–powerful police, while decoding – or allowing the decoding of – the fluent quantities of their capital and their populations. They are torn in two directions: archaism and futurism, neoarchaism and ex–futurism, paranoia and schizophrenia. They vacillate between two poles: the paranoiac despotic sign, the sign–signifier of the despot that they try to revive as a unit of code; and the sign–figure of the schizo as a unit of decoded flux, a schiz, a point–sign or flow–break. They try to hold on to the one, but they pour or flow out through the otaxher. They are continually behind or ahead of themselves."

(Deleuze and Guattari 1983, 260)

TAGS

a point-sign • a schiz • all-powerful • archaism • capital • continually ahead of themselves • continually behind themselves • cultural code • decoded flux • decoding • despot • despotic • despotic machine • deterritorialisation • dictatorship • ex-futurism • Felix Guattariflow • flow-break • flows • fluent quantities • FuturismGilles Deleuzeglobal capital flows • local dictators • neoarchaism • oscillating • overcodingparanoia • paranoiac • pole to pole • police • populations • pour • Recode • resuscitate • reterritorialising unity • schizo • schizophrenia • sign-figure • sign-signifier • social axiomatic of modern societies • societies • threshold • torn in two directions • unfettered flows • Urstaat • vacillate between two poles • world-wide dictatorship

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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