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Sensing the Air Pollution Walking Tour at the Barbican Centre by Nerea Calvillo

Nerea Calvillo is conducting a workshop on different forms of sensing the air at the Barbican Centre, as part of the program of Life Rewired Hub, a series of talks and events Curated by Cris Salter about the AI: More than Human show. The Life Rewired Hub will play host to debate and discussion among experts from the arts, computer science, philosophy and neuroscience around questions of machine agency and consciousness.

The workshop aims to understand different forms of sensing air the air and air pollution, from technological devices to embodied practices. Structured around two sensing practices, we first offer a hands-on exploration of a DIY air pollution sensor, where we will crack it open and interrogate its insides, will make visible how sensors work (or not) and will pose questions on measurement and accuracy, citizen science and advocacy. The second practice is a sensing Parcour, a 45 minute walking tour around the Barbican Centre, from the tunnels to the conservatory, to attune our bodies to their environments, and expand the ways in which we can collectively sense the air.

Thu 08 Aug 2019, 16:32

CIM is hiring! Applications are invited for an Assistant Professor.

Applications are invited for an Assistant Professor in Urban Analytics and Visualisation in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM).

Thu 04 Jul 2019, 11:27

Antifascist Silent Disco

This sound and photo installation was created for the 2019 Sommerfest of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, where Naomi Waltham-Smith is a fellow in 2019–2020. The sonic compositions weave together field recordings made at antiracist and antifascist protests and are played through individual headphones from a silent disco kit, with photographs projected onto the walls of the Rocco Schloss. This project explores contemporary modalities of listening that allocate dissent and resistance to either silence or inarticulate noise—which in the end amount to the same thing. Most of the recordings were made in the Parisian banlieue where such listening is symptomatic of a (post)colonial division between insider and outsider. In the broader global context, such listening is apiece with authoritarian variants of neoliberalism which displace economic inequality and crises of democratic representation onto partitions of audibility between heard and unheard. Reflecting on the paradox of the heard unheard or silent noise, the silent disco genre invites participants to experience a certain collective synchronicity in the absence of shared audibility and thus to reflect on the challenges of listening across ever-deepening social divides in the struggle against the resurgent far right.

A teaser trailer for the installation can be found out at

Thu 04 Jul 2019, 09:57

Sounding Literature: Music and the Animal Cry in Cixous’s Jours de l’an

Naomi Waltham-Smith is giving a paper as part of a panel on “Sound and Prose” with Jennifer Rushworth (UCL) and Elizabeth Eva Leach (Oxford) at the Society for French Studies annual conference at Royal Holloway.

If there is one recurring theme in Hélène Cixous writings, it is le cri de la littérature. For her, writing is always l’é-CRI-ture. It expresses itself with a shout, a cry, a laugh, a monosyllabic divine yelp, a non-phonemic sound on the margins of human language. This paper examines a number of passages in which Cixous’s prose can be said to be at once metalinguistic and quasi-methodological insofar as it offers remarks and reflections on what makes it possible to write literary prose and on its effects on the writer and the reader. Music is never far away in Cixous’s prose: explicitly in Beethoven à jamais ou l’existence de Dieu, for instance, where it is associated with the breath that supports the authorial voice and that animates writing, and more subtly in Insister de Derrida where she describes the experience of listening in the intimate phone calls they shared with one another. Responding to Derrida’s book on Cixous, H. C. pour la vie, and David Wills’s recent reflections on the breath in their respective theories of writing, I argue, with Cixous, that the sound of writing, even in the process of its deconstruction, cannot be reduced to silence. Having established the framework within which Cixous theorizes the musicality and sonorousness of writing, the remainder of the paper undertakes a close reading of the opening of Jours de l’an where Cixous’s third-person author invokes Celan’s poem “Cello-Einsatz.” Cixous here figures Celan’s poetry as a musical instrument alongside the cello and the oboe, weaving a complex set of threads between melody, authorial inspiration, loss, and the ambivalence she shares with Celan towards the German language, his mother-tongue and her mother’s tongue. The musicality of prose reveals itself in close proximity to the madness of the maternal and hence plays an important role in opening up space for Cixous’s project of an écritureféminine.

Mon 01 Jul 2019, 19:24

New paper: Multi-Situated App Studies: Methods and Propositions

This article discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focusing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach involves close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, make apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Therefore, engaging with and even staging these situations allows for political-economic, social, and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures to be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. This article offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this multi-situated approach, focusing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages, and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.

Fri 07 Jun 2019, 11:45 | Tags: front-page-2

Michael Dieter and Nathaniel Tkacz join the Apps Studies Initiative (ASI)


CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nathaniel Tkacz are pleased to join the Apps Studies Initiative (ASI). ASI is an international network of academic experts in app-related media research. Comprised of researchers and PhD candidates in the fields of media and communication studies, the ASI engages with the theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges of studying different kinds of apps and their environments. To this end, the ASI also designs methods and software tools:

Mon 03 Jun 2019, 16:30

Performance and the Medical Humanities event

Link to event:

Date and location: Monday 3rd June, 12 to 3pm, IAS Seminar Room

This salon will explore the intersections between performance and the medical humanities. Dr Alex Mermikides, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and editor of Performance and the Medical Body, will deliver a presentation, followed by a conversation with Dr Jonathan Heron (IATL Warwick).

Dr Mermikides’ edited books include Devising in Practice (Palgrave 2010) and Performance and the Medical Body (Methuen Bloomsbury 2016), and she is currently working on a monograph on theatre, medicine, and concepts of the human. Through the arts /research network Chimera, she creates performances on medical themes, often working in collaboration with medical specialists and patients. Recent projects include Bloodlines, about patient experience of stem cell transplant, and Careful, which explores themes of compassion, care and empathy through the perspective of nurses.

An informal networking lunch will be available at 12.00. Dr Mermikides’ presentation and conversation with Dr Heron will start at 12.30 and finish no later than 2pm; there will be further informal networking opportunities from 2-3pm. (It is not compulsory to attend all parts of the event.)

This salon offers the opportunity for medical humanities scholars across all disciplines at Warwick to connect with each other, with the hope of generating new interdisciplinary research collaborations.

A copy of the introduction to Performance and the Medical Body will be made available before the event. If you would like a copy of this text, please email


Mon 03 Jun 2019, 15:54

How did MOOCs become online learning platforms?

Richard Terry investigates in this online article in Discovering Society.

Richard Terry discusses the sociotechnical discourse that prefigured the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as online learning platforms. The article is based on a paper Richard delivered at the conference on Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University, organised by the Culture, Politics and Global Justice research cluster at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge in December 2018. 

The article can be accessed here:

Fri 31 May 2019, 12:30

Car parking in cities: immobility and infrastructure

A Lunchtime Lecture by Dr Karol Kurnicki at Connected Places Catapult

12.06.2019. 1:00pm - 2:00pm; Connected Places Catapult, One Sekforde Street London EC1R 0BE

Cars provide us with flexible mobility, freedom, comfort and experience of progress. But these aspects of automobility are based on cars in movement – a partial picture which misses the fact that usually they remain stationary. As such, they are problematic for drivers, create obstacles for people in public places and have to be managed, often at a great cost, as they take up large portion of urban space.

Looking at parking as a social practice helps to understand it in the context of everyday mobility and production of infrastructure in cities. I want to distinguish parking from driving and see it immobility as it is achieved by people and that requires special set of skills, knowledge and rules. Although rarely seen in this context, parking also relates to a special kind of infrastructure composed not only from car parks and lots, but also temporary or self-made places occupied by vehicles.

The talk will draw on this twofold understanding of parking to show its relevance for everyday experiences of people as well as planning and control of urban spaces. It will discuss its problematic nature and argue that changes in how people practice immobility in cities and create infrastructure are necessary for achieving better urban futures.

Fri 31 May 2019, 08:48

Listening Without Response-ability

Naomi Waltham-Smith discusses her field-recording praxis examining the opposition to the resurgence of the far right and, via the thought of Jacques Derrida, analyses the intimate yet transforming relationship between listening and democracy.




Tue 14 May 2019, 09:40 | Tags: front-page-3

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