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Bellwether Lecture: Exploring the Materialities of Digital Information

Date & Time:
17:15 - 18:45,
Thursday 26 October, 2017


The Oxford Internet Institute is excited to welcome Paul Dourish from the University of California, Irvine for the Bellwether talk ‘Exploring the Materialities of Digital Information’. The talk will be followed by a short drinks reception.

Social theorists of various stripes have countered the rhetoric of immateriality in the domain of the digital by pointing to the material foundations of digital systems, including their infrastructures and the material resources necessary to produce them. I will present a materialist account of digital forms and representations themselves, and show how practices around digital information are shaped and constrained by representational considerations. These digital materialities interpose themselves into processes of encoding and acting with information. I will illustrate the approach using examples from organizational decision-making and internet protocols.

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  • Name: Paul Dourish
  • Affiliation: University of California, Irvine
  • Role:
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  • Bio: Paul Dourish is Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author, most recently, of The Stuff of Bits (MIT Press 2017). His previous books include Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction and Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing, both published by the MIT Press.