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The Lab Book: Situated Practices in Media Studies

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportBookResearchpeer-review

  • Darren Wershler, Concordia University, Canada
  • Lori Emerson, University of Colorado Boulder, United States
  • Jussi Parikka
From the “Big Science” of Bell Laboratories to the esoteric world of séance chambers to university media labs to neighborhood makerspaces, places we call “labs” are everywhere—but how exactly do we account for the wide variety of ways that they produce knowledge? More than imitations of science and engineering labs, many contemporary labs are hybrid forms that require a new methodological and theoretical toolkit to describe. The Lab Book investigates these vital, creative spaces, presenting readers with the concept of the “hybrid lab” and offering an extended—and rare—critical investigation of how labs have proliferated throughout culture.

Organized by interpretive categories such as space, infrastructure, and imaginaries, The Lab Book uses both historical and contemporary examples to show how laboratories have become fundamentally connected to changes in the contemporary university. Its wide reach includes institutions like the MIT Media Lab, the Tuskegee Institute’s Jesup Wagon, ACTLab, and the Media Archaeological Fundus. The authors cover topics such as the evolution and delineation of lab-based communities, how labs’ tools and technologies contribute to defining their space, and a glossary of key hybrid lab techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationMinneapolis
PublisherUniversity of Minnesota Press
Number of pages303
ISBN (print)978-1-5179-0218-6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

    Research areas

  • Media labs, Media Theory, Media Archaeology, Laboratory, Humanities Lab, Digital Humanities, critical making

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