Long time no word … well dear readers, I struggled with my work, ever since I came back from the Participatory Design Conference (PDC) 2012 in mid of August in Roskilde. Now I am sitting in the library of the Copenhagen Business School, just some 30 kilometers away, while the 4S/EASST conference 2012 takes off. I thought this might be a good moment to take up my writing again. I don’t know yet where it will lead me to. We will have to see.
So this message is just for all those of you who wonder if my project has failed or if I am going on with it. Well, yes, it has failed, and yes, I’ll be going on … by reframing, reevaluating and reenacting my research interests and strategies. I think what put me so far away from my project in the last two months has also a lot to do with what I encountered at the PDC 2012. Once again I had to encounter feelings between disillusionment and being overwhelmed. I reacted to that by distancing myself. Now this feelings return – perhaps to some extent also due the fact that I still have to prepare my presentation for tomorrow; a presentation in which I want to talk about feminist epistemology’s theoretically formulated demands for a critically engaged scientific practice and Participatory Design’s aspirations and struggles to implement such demands in actual research practices. At the time I have the feeling that neither my empirical material is rich enough to satisfactorily tell such a story, nor that I will be telling anything new here in Copenhagen. And besides that the first keynote today by Laura Watts, Lucy Suchman and Pelle Ehn further adds to my own discomfort in delineating boundaries, similarities and synergies between STS and Participatory Design (PD). But on the other hand this might just be a logical consequence of what I am aiming for – to destabilize the boundaries between science and public, between the different disciplines and to bring to the fore the political implications of doing STS research. In terms of today’s first keynotes we could also say: because the future could be otherwise. I hope I can elaborate a bit more on that in my presentation tomorrow.
Now, If anything goes just tangentially as I have planned for, I will put at least my presentation online in the next few days. Starting with November I will have to rearrange all my habits anyway, because hopefully I will have a regular 20h+ job again – which means that I even have less time for my master thesis project and this blog. Paradoxically this might motivate me again to start writing more. After all, to have a materially relatively secure life again, including not to have to worry all the time about health insurance and other such materially necessary things, does indeed free a lot of my attention to direct it towards my own research again. As soon as I have figured out how to go on with everything I’ll give you an update here.