The performative character of digital methods
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The performative character of digital methods

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  • 1. The performative characterof digital methodsDr. Astrid MagerInstitute of Technology A-1030 Vienna, Strohgasse 45/5Assessment astrid.mager@oeaw.ac.atAustrian Academy of www.astridmager.netSciences www.oeaw.ac.at/ita AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 2. Internet as (democratic) NETWORK visualcomplexity.comAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 3. Internet as (democratic) NETWORK blog.socialflow.comAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 4. Google asGATEKEEPER gigaom.comAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 5. Google as GATEKEEPER digitaltrends.comAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 6. METAPHORS„metaphors structure our most basic understandings ofour experience, they are “metaphors we live by“”(Lakoff& Johnson 2003) AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 7. Performativityof METHODSmethodsmake „certain (political) arrangementsmore probable,stronger, more real, whilsterodingothersandmakingthemlessreal“(Law 2004: 149)„thetermontologicalpoliticssuggests a link betweenthe real,theconditionsofpossibilitywe live with, andthepolitical“(Mol 1999: 86)Are thereoptions&howto handle choice incorporated (Mol)? AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 8. CASE STUDY: Biofuelcontroversy What web realities do link networks and searchengineanalysesenact? Whatisemphasized, whatishidden? Whatisthe „ontologicalpolitics“ ofthese digital methods? Whatchoicescould/ shouldbemade? Bywhom? Howto handle „choice incorporated“? AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 9. Web as link NETWORKAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 10. Web as link NETWORKAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 11. Google as GATEKEEPERAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 12. Google as GATEKEEPER policy „biofuel“ industry academia media policy„biofueldebate“ industry media media social media “super green car bonus” AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 13. Google as GATEKEEPERAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 14. „Ontologicalpolitics“Link networksdepictthe web as a de-centralnetwork of websitesperpetuatedemocraticutopia of the webmaycreatedesirefor alternative technologies and toolsGoogle analysesdepictthe web as a hierarchicalindex of websitesperpetuatecorporategatekeepersmayprovidebasisforsearchenginecritique AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 15. (Political) choices?Choicesbetween different „digital“ methods? – „followthe medium“(Rogers 2009)Choicesbetween different web realities? – „realities do not merelyco-exist; sometimestheyclashordepend oneachother, sometimestheyarefoundinsideoneanother“ (Mol 1999)Who getstomakethesechoices? Researchers? Research fields?Fundingbodies?Doestheincrease in visualizationtoolsmirrorthegrowthof innovative„digital research“? Ordoesitrathercorrespond tobudgetcutssincesoftwaretoolsprovide instant results, while qualitativeweb research of „bigdata“ wouldtakeforever? AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
  • 16. Thanks! astrid.mager@oeaw.ac.at www.astridmager.netAUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT