«In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice+’ Approach to Studying Media»
Are there limits to thinking with, and through, practice? Scholars across media studies talk variously of ‘everyday’, ‘situated’, ‘digital’, and ‘media’ practices as well as, increasingly, ‘app’ and ‘data’ practices. But what do we gain from thinking about practice, or through the lens of praxeology? Alternatively, what might we lose from thinking only about practice, or only through praxeology?
The publication «In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice+’ Approach to Studying Media» started as a dialogue between media scholars wrestling with these questions, in which the value of practice and praxeology is explored. The aim of the publication is to discuss how the limits to practice might be, and indeed are being, studied, and potentially re-drawn – especially by those working with, in, and beyond, media studies.
The publication project was initiated by scholars of the Graduate School «Locating Media». It is published as part of the Working Paper Series edited by the Collaborative Research Centre «Media of Cooperation». The collection attempts to establish novel connections that potentially bring new life to the study of practice, by exploring new concepts, thinkers, energies, methodologies and disciplinary traditions. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, social media APIs, automotive navigation systems and health data apps.
The publication does not intend to cast doubt on the value of studying practice – long an interest of media scholars based in Siegen. Instead, it discusses how everyday, situated, digital, media, app, and data practices – as identifiable phenomena – are nonetheless modified by other things they meet, from bodily affects that ‘pre-code’ or modulate practices, to broader technical, material and social infrastructures that likewise facilitate or constrain how practices are performed.
As a provocation, the publication offers what might be productively referred to as a ‘practice+’ approach. In doing so, the authors emphasize how practices (as phenomena) and praxeological approaches (as lenses) can be engaged with materially, discursively, and affectively. The contributions discuss how practice+ approaches are enhanced by a supporting cast drawn from aesthetics, political discourses, technical representations or cognitive concepts. Moreover, the discussion draws attention to alternative theories that define practice differently such as queer and feminist studies, computer science or theatre studies.
Christoph Borbach (Locating Media) | media studies
Magdalena Götz (Locating Media) | art, media, and gender studies
Sam Hind (Media of Cooperation, former: Locating Media) | media studies
Danny Lämmerhirt (Media of Cooperation, former: Locating Media) | critical data studies
Hannah Neumann (Locating Media) | theatre & cultural studies
Ana Och (Locating Media) | media linguistics
Sebastian Randerath (University of Bonn, former: University of Siegen) | design and media studies
Tatjana Seitz (Locating Media) | platform studies
The edited collection “In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice+’ Approach to Studying Media”, is published as part of the Working Paper Series of the Collaborative Research Center 1187 „Media of Cooperation“ (No. 18, June 2021). This collection is (guest-)edited by Magdalena Götz, Sam Hind, Danny Lämmerhirt, Hannah Neumann, Anastasia-Patricia Och, Sebastian Randerath, and Tatjana Seitz. For a printed version of this edited collection, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The CRC Working Paper Series promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research and provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research located at or associated with the CRC. The purpose is to circulate in-progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. All Working Papers are accessible via the website https://www.mediacoop.uni-siegen.de/de/publikationen/working-papers-media-of-cooperation/ or can be ordered in print by sending an email to: email@example.com
Publication of the series is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).