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23 MARCH 2013

Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A development in culturalist theorizing

"This article works out the main characteristics of 'practice theory', a type of social theory which has been sketched by such authors as Bourdieu, Giddens, Taylor, late Foucault and others. Practice theory is presented as a conceptual alternative to other forms of social and cultural theory, above all to culturalist mentalism, textualism and intersubjectivism. The article shows how practice theory and the three other cultural–theoretical vocabularies differ in their localization of the social and in their conceptualization of the body, mind, things, knowledge, discourse, structure/process and the agent."

(Andreas Reckwitz, 2002)

Andreas Reckwitz (2002). "Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A Development in Culturalist Theorizing", European Journal of Social Theory; Vol.5, No.2; pp. 243–263 DOI: 10.1177/13684310222225432 [http://est.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/2/243]

TAGS

2002 • Andreas Reckwitz • Anthony Giddens • background practices • bodily engagementbodyCharles Taylor • conceptual alternative • conceptualisation • cultural-theoretical vocabularies • culturalist mentalism • culturediscoursediscourse and practice • European Journal of Social Theory • interpersonal interactions • intersubjectivism • knowledge • mental representations • Michel Foucaultmind • mind and body • Pierre Bourdieu • practice theory • shared understandingsocial agency • social and cultural life • social and cultural theory • social theory • textualism • theory of things • things

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 FEBRUARY 2013

Metamedia at Stanford

"Metamedia ia a studio and lab that pursues research and pedagogy in design history and media materialities.

It is located online, in Stanford Archaeology Center, and has worldwide affiliates.

Metamedia combines archaeology and media, with an archaeological and long–term focus on how people get on with things, with media(works) treated as modes of engagement between people and things. Media as artifacts and prostheses as well as systems to convey meaning: we emphasize the materialities of mediation at the heart of design – the way the steel was burnished, the clay was turned, how the vessel connects makers and materials, users and contents in genealogies of containment, portage, representation ... whatever work gets done."

TAGS

archaeological media lab • archaeological sensibility • archaeological view • archaeology • archaeology and media • archiveartefactsbetween people and things • constantly revisiting the past • contemporary experience • designdesign history • genealogies of containment • historicity • how people get on with things • makers and materials • material modalities • material modes of engagementmaterialitiesmaterialitymeaning making • media materialities • media works • mediationmemory • Metamedia (archaeological media lab) • modes of engagement • portage • prosthesis • re-presentation • re-presenting • research lab • reworking • sense of history • Stanford Archaeology Center • Stanford Universitythe pastthingstraces

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 FEBRUARY 2013

Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past

"Archaeology is what archaeologists do. This answer is not a tautology. It refers us to the practices of archaeology. And to the conditions under which archaeologists work – the institutions and infrastructures, the politics and pragmatics of getting archaeological work done.

Archaeologists work on what is left of the past. Archaeology is about relationships – between past and present, between archaeologist and traces and remains. Archaeology is a set of mediating practices – working on remains to translate, to turn them into something sensible – inventory, account, narrative, explanation, whatever.

Archaeology is a way of acting and thinking – about what is left of the past, about the temporality of remainder, about material and temporal processes to which people and their goods are subject, about the processes of order and entropy, of making, consuming and discarding at the heart of human experience.

'Archaeological Sensibility' and 'Archaeological Imagination' are terms to summarize components of these mediating and transformative practices. Sensibility refers us to the perceptual components of how we engage with the remains of the past. Imagination refers us to the creative component – to the transforming work that is done on what is left over."

(Michael Shanks)

TAGS

archaeological imagination • archaeological sensibility • archaeologist • archaeologybetween past and presentclassificationconsumingconsumptioncultural significance of objects • discarding • entropyephemerahuman experienceinterpretationinventorymakingmaterial processesmaterial worldmaterialitymediating practices • Michael Shanks • orderremainder • remains • remains of the pastsymbolic meaning • tautology • temporal processes • temporality • the discipline of things • theory buildingthingstraces • transformative practices • useful significancewhat is left of the past • what is left over

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
01 JUNE 2009

Things Magazine

"things magazine was originally founded in 1994 by a group of writers and historians based at the Victoria & Albert Museum/Royal College of Art in the belief that objects can open up new ways of understanding the world.

Now an independent magazine, things has built a reputation as a home for new writing – essays, reviews, short stories and poems – about objects and their meanings. The website contains a weblog, photography galleries, special projects, searchable archives and the occasional on–line only article."
(thingsmagazine.net)

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TAGS

1994archivedatabase • essays • magazinematerial culture • new writing • objectsphotography • poems • repositoryreviewsRoyal College of Artsearchshort storiesthingsThings Magazine • thingsmagazine.net • Victoria and Albert Museum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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