EUSSET Colloquium on Bridging and Rethinking

The next EUSSET Colloquium is approaching! It will be held on the 13th of April, from 16:30 to 18:00 CEST. As usual, in this colloquium we will focus on two themes: (1) bridging interactive arts and socially embedded digital technologiesand (2) rethinking methodological issues of designing such technologies.

In the first part of the colloquium, Robb Mitchell, Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, will lead a discussion on what research into complex connections between communities and ICT offer to interactive and participatory arts. The second part of the colloquium will feature a discussion, led by Dave Randall, Institute of Information Systems and New Media, University of Siegen, on what combinations of methods might be appropriate to address emerging trends in designing new and innovative socially embedded technologies. Below you willfind further information on what to expect from each discussion.

Make sure to register by the 11th of April 2022 to be able to participate. You just need to send an e-mail to communitybuilding[at] communicating your interest!

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Bridging Interactive Arts and Socially Embedded Digital Technologies

Robb Mitchell16:30 – 17:15 CEST

What does CSCW or research into complex connections between communities and ICT offer to interactive and participatory arts? And vice versa? Although artistic practice is obviously not a central concern of CSCW, papers from authors like Hornecker, Hindmarsh, Luff, Heath, have drawn upon rich observations of collaborative cultural experiences. But is this a one-way street? How are the potentially valuable insights our research offers creatives in the cultural sector taken up by artists and other practitioners? 

And what else can EUSSET learn from artist experimentation? Many interesting artists arguably work closely with longstanding CSCW concerns like awareness or appropriation but don’t use these exact terms. Can or should some of their ideas be more visible in social-embedded technologies research? 

This session aims to probe possible fruitful intersections between EUSSET concerns and ideas and practices from analogue participatory, community or relational arts, and perhaps the more obvious (and more familiar) new media art experiences. 

At the time of writing, the nearly 14,000 words of the Wikipedia entry for CSCW does not include any words like “art” “artistic”, “artist”, “creative”, “creativity”, “exhibition”, or “installation”. If the relationship between EUSSET concerns and the arts were to summarise in a line or two…What would you, or we like to say? Or what other kind of possible future relationship between EUSSET and the arts do you hope for (or fear)?

Suggested readings:

Kellogg, Wendy A., and Thomas Erickson. “Social Translucence, Collective Awareness, and the Emergence of Place.” In Proc. of CSCW. 2002.

Mitchell, Robb. “Physical contraptions as social interaction catalysts.” In 3rd International Workshop on Physicality, pp. 37-42. 2009.

Snibbe, Scott S., and Hayes S. Raffle. “Social immersive media: pursuing best practices for multi-user interactive camera/projector exhibits.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, pp. 1447-1456. 2009.

The Challenges of Ethnographic Analysis in the 21st Century 

Dave Randall, 17:15 – 18:00 CEST

In 2007, along with colleagues, I published ‘Fieldwork for Design’. It has become increasingly obvious that the book is now out of date and I have, along with said colleagues, been discussing what challenges are out there that might require some rethinking of methodological issues (by which I mean questions about what kinds of data need analysis; what combinations of method might be appropriate, and whether the conceptual policies associated with grounded theory/ thematic analysis give us much (or indeed any) purchase on emerging trends. These trends might include, but are not limited to:

  • Heterogeneous work arrangements.
  • An increasingly problematised global economy with related supply chain issues
  • Our relation to and responsibility for the Global south.
  • The challenges of AI and machine learning

How qualitative researchers might deal with these issues, and what intellectual equipment (or indeed other kinds of equipment) they might need in order to do so will be the topic of my musings and, above all, it would be good to hear the opinions of other people, less sceptical than I.


Randall, D. D., Harper, R., & Rouncefield, M. (2007). Fieldwork for Design: Theory and Practice. London: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-768-8

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