Citizen Sense will be running a panel, Sensing Practices, at the American Association of Geographers 2016 in San Francisco. Details of the call are below:

Sensing Practices: Reworking Experience across Entities, Environments, and Technologies

112th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
San Francisco, CA
March 29 – April 2, 2016

Organizers: Jennifer Gabrys and Helen Pritchard (Citizen Sense, Goldsmiths, University of London)

From sensors used for environmental monitoring to collaborations with lichens to understand air pollution, as well as smart infrastructures that sense and adjust to real-time conditions, the registers and practices of sensing are shifting from an assumed human-centered set of perceiving and decoding practices, to extended entities and environments of sense. New registers of sense are becoming evident as organisms express different and dynamic ways in which environments are changing. And many of these shifts and extended registers of sense are further captured through ubiquitous computing that distributes sensing capacities across environments. Citizen sensing also constitutes a set of sensing practices that is meant to enable and empower people to sense for political effect, giving rise to questions about the politics of sense, and how sensing entities transform into agents of provocation and change.

With these developments in mind, how might it be possible to rethink and rework the practices, entities and environments of sense within this broader context, where the assumed subjects and trajectories of sense are shifting? This panel attends to questions about how sensing and practice emerge, take hold, and form attachments across environmental, material, political and aesthetic concerns. Rather than take “the senses” as a fixed starting point, this panel instead considers how sensing-as-practice is differently articulated in relation to technologies of environmental monitoring, data gathered for evidentiary claims, the formation of citizens, and more-than-human entanglements. How might these expanded approaches to sensing practices recast engagements with experience, and reconfigure explorations of practice-based research?

After hosting a year-long seminar series on “Sensing Practices” (Citizen Sense 2014-15) we are now inviting speakers to address the proliferation of sensing practices that de-center a standard human-sensing subject, and that rethink and rework the sites and entities in and through which sensing is articulated and unfolds.

Papers could explore but should not be limited to:

  • Environmental monitoring, apparatuses of sense, and citizen sensing
  • New sensing subjects and politics of sense, including comparisons and divergences of sensing practices and “affect”
  • Remote sensing, intimate sensing, infra-sensing, and registers of sense beyond the immediately or obviously accessible
  • Practices and entities engaged in queering sense, and which recast processes of perception, including feminist technoscience studies
  • Sensing by and with other organisms, proxy sensing, and sensing through other entities
  • Extended technologies of sensing, and sensing practices that rework what counts as “technology”
  • Environments of sense, emerging milieus of sense, and concretizations of perception and perceiving entities

Please email abstracts of no more than 250 words to Jennifer Gabrys and Helen Pritchard no later than 15 October 2015. The deadline to register abstracts for the AAG conference is 29 October.


Selected References
  • Anderson Ben. Encountering Affect: Capacities, Apparatuses, Conditions. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.
  • Braidotti, Rosi. Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics. Cambridge: Polity, 2006.
  • Chen, Mel. Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.
  • Citizen Sense. “Sensing Practices” seminar series (2014-2015). Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • Cuff, Dana & Mark Hansen. “Urban Sensing: Out of the Woods.” Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery 51, no. 3 (2008).
  • Gabrys, Jennifer. Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
  • Gabrys, Jennifer. “Sensing an Experimental Forest.” Computational Culture 2 (2012).
  • Hansen, Mark B.N. “Ubiquitous Sensation or the Autonomy of the Peripheral: Towards an Atmospheric, Impersonal and Microtemporal Media.” In Throughout: Art and Culture Emerging With Ubiquitous Computing, edited by U. Ekman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012
  • McCormack, Derek. “Remotely Sensing Affective Afterlives: The Spectral Geographies of Material Remains.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100, no. 3 (2010), 640-654.
  • Pritchard, Helen. “Thinking with the Animal-Hacker: Articulation in Ecologies of Earth Observation.” APRJA. 2013.
  • Stengers, Isabelle. Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts. Translated by Michael Chase. 2002. Reprint, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.
  • Suchman, Lucy. “Feminist STS and the Sciences of the Artificial.” In: New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. MIT Press. 2007
  • Tallbear, Kim. “Why Interspecies Thinking Needs Indigenous Standpoints.” Fieldsights—Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology Online. April 24, 2011.
  • Whitehead, Alfred North. Process and Reality. 1929. Reprint, New York: The Free Press, 1985.

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