Experimenting with worlds

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At the heart of many approaches in the fields of STS, design and participatory research are mutual engagement and involvement with others. Follow the actors, mutual learning, ecologies of practice are some of the famous credos of this concern. Engagement and participation arguably presume some sort of shared ontology or worlds with those that we engage with and undoubtedly, we do share ontologies. But which ontologies or worlds do we in fact share or how might we explore and experiment with what is shared and what is not? Inspired by recent work in STS and social anthropology and specifically and among others the work of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Marilyn Strathern, Jon Bialecki and Bruno Latour, I wish to discuss how we can think and practice participation and engagement as ‘experimenting with worlds’. For instance, inspired by de Castro and his amerindian ontology, we could propose that instead of researchers and participants having different practices, but share what ‘technology’, ‘workshop’ and ‘post-it’ is, we might inversely propose that we share the same practice, namely ‘work to accomplish something’, but what ‘technology’, ‘workshop’ and ‘post-it’ is, are entirely different things for the parties involved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event4S Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science - Toronto and World-wide, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 6 Oct 20219 Oct 2021


Conference4S Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science
LocationToronto and World-wide
Internet address

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