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2017 STS Making and Doing Program

Meeting Home | Making & Doing Main | Making and Doing 2017 | Category: Visual and Sensory Approaches STS Infrastructures

The Trial Balloon: buoyancy, embodied media, and patchy planetarity

Battles, Matthew, metaLAB at Harvard/Berkman Center

By slow implacable degrees, modernity's instrumental armature of longitude and latitude gave way to a global vision figured by the Apollo-era images of the blue planet floating in space—a perspective again radically altered by the metadata-driven planetarity of locative metadata and GIS systems, by which landscape has been rendered fungible, addressable, and scrollable, allowing us to consume planetary vistas as so much 'screen real estate.' As Bruno Latour (2013) tells it, 'there is no Earth corresponding to the Globe'; we've discovered that the we're in transit between impossible landing places, caught in passage from an unrecoverable Land to an unreachable, impossible Globe. The Trial Balloon is a structural provocation to help us explore these impossible spatialities: an inflatable enclosure the size of a large tent or a small room, fitted without by short-throw projectors, within which we contemplate a drifting cyclorama of meso-scale aerial imagery, a bird's-eye dérive comprised of natural territories, industrial landscapes, and the feral in-between. A neutrally-buoyant vehicle for expeditions to Gaia, Trial Balloon is built to transit contesting, patchy, interwoven territories, aerial vistas and earthly visages. It enables us to view surfaces of the earth not from above, but from below—not as a disinterested observer gazing down from the Archimedean Point of aerial transcendence, but as an ant or an Atlas caught beneath the glittering, elemental enormities of a planetarity we've only begun to grasp.

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Browse 2017 Projects

Alac: STS Olfactorium

Battles: The Trial Balloon: buoyancy, embodied media, and patchy planetarity

Callahan: Rethinking Citizen Science through doing Citizen Science

Cardoso Llach: Tracing Design Ecologies

Clement: Snowden Surveillance Archive

Cohen: Toward Improving Public Policy for Struct Engrg Design of Bridge, Transport & Marine Infrastructure

Durnova: Politicizing the scientific self through media interventions

Erickson-Davis: What it is to see: a simulation of artificial vision

Gluzman: Feminist Theory Theater

Gomez-Marquez: Construction Sets for DIY Medical Technologies and their Black Box Counterparts

Hidalgo: Collaborative Research Toolkit: a copyleft resource for the co-design of research processes

Hoagland: Getting a Sense of the Place: Navigating FemTechNet’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Workbook

Houston: Collaborative urban sensing with the “Dustbox” air quality monitor

Howell: Emotional Interpretation & Materiality of Biosensing

Johnson: Engineering Comes Home: Co-designing local infrastructure with residents of a London housing estate

Kennedy: Doing STS at the science/policy intersection

Knopes: Integrating STS into Bioethics and Medical Humanities Programs

Lachney: Generative STEM: Circulating Unalienated Value in Education, Labor and Environment

Lawson: (T)racing Eyes and Hearts:  An Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy

Lehr: Undergraduate STSers Learn by Doing in the Trump Era

Lippman: Making Sensible in 360°

Michails: AirTRACS: Community-based Air Quality Monitoring

Mogul: A STS STEM Education Incubator: The Co-Making of Inquiry

Mohsin: QEERI’s Science Majlis

Murphy: Environmental Data and Governance Initiative: Engaged STS Responding to the U.S.Administration

Nafus: Data Sense

Navarro: Our Driverless Futures: Speculating Moral Dilemmas of Self-Driving Cars

Nieusma: STS Design and Innovation: Disciplinary Discomfiture

Onaga: Biomaterial Matters: Fitting Humans into Cocoons, A Speculative Prototype

Ostman: STS approaches to public engagement with science: Synthetic biology

Ostrowski: The Empirical Printing Program

Perez Comisso: Technological theory for all: Teaching experiments on STS in Chile

Rosado Murillo: Pedal Transcriba, an Ethnographic Device of (and for) Qualitative Research

Shapiro: Detoxifying the environment across temporalities

Steensen: Face-off! Platform versus Self: A photobooth experiment

Stern: Zika and Feminist STS: Building a Network, Doing Collective Scholarship

Taylor: Connecting-Probing-Reflecting Spaces: The New England Workshop on Science and Social Change (NewSSC)

Terrell: The making of an undergraduate Sociotechnical Ethics Society

Wentworth: Handholds: making sense of bodies through slaughter

Wong: Design Workbook Variations: Exploring Biosensing Privacy Futures

Wylie: Making and Doing STS with Undergraduate Engineers: The UVA Approach