Sensing Practices / Week 13 / 26-1-2021

Notable quotes from the readings provided in the lecture.

“By approaching sensing differently, not as the senses or as a human point of mediation, it is possible to begin to account for the ways in which sensing practices resonate with particular entities and relations. Sensing is not a project of a human mind or organs decoding external substantialist phenomena, as Whitehead would suggest, but rather could be understood as the ways in which experience is expressed through subjects. Yet this is also a collaborative undertaking, and so ‘collaborative sensing’ is always a key aspect of sensing practices. Far removed from the Cartesian brain in a vat, here collaborative sensing refers to the ways in which shared worlds are felt, sustained and even created. If we were to return to the air pollution sensor discussed at the beginning of this entry, we find that the initial delineation of a sensor detecting stimuli and converting those stimuli into data is a rather linear and limited configuration of the sensing work that goes on with this technoscientific device. Sensors do not merely capture environmental data, but rather they are involved in collaborative sensing practices for parsing environments and environmental problems, as well as organizing approaches for how to take action and generate political responses through particular forms of environmental citizenship.”
By Jennifer GABRYS and Helen PRITCHARD
“Posthuman Glossary”

“One relationship among elements in the novel may well be that of conflict, but the reduction of narrative to conflict is absurd. (I have read a how-to-write manual that said, "A story should be seen as a battle," and went on about strategies, attacks, victory, etc.) Conflict, competition, stress, struggle, etc., within the narrative conceived as carrier bag/bellyJboxj house/medicine bundle, may be seen as necessary elements of a whole which itself cannot be characterized either as conflict or as harmony, since its purpose is neither resolution nor stasis but continuing process.”
By Ursula K. Le Guin

“Program Earth addresses the programmability of the planet by focusing on the becoming environmental of computation. I understand computation to include com- putationally enabled sensors that are distinct and yet shifting media formations that traverse hardware and software, silicon and glass, minerals and plastic, server farms and landfills, as well as the environments and entities that would be sensed. In other words, I am attending to the extended scope of computation that includes its environmental processes, materialities, and effects. Through discussing specific instances where sensors are deployed for environmental study, citizen engage- ment, and urban sustainability across three areas of environmental sensing, from wild sensing to pollution sensing and urban sensing, I ask how sensor technolo- gies are generating distinct ways of programming and concretizing environments and environmental relations. I further consider how sensors inform our engage- ments with environmental processes and politics, and in what ways we might engage with the “technicity” of environmental sensors to consider the possibility for other types of relations with these technologies.12 But before I unfold these concepts and explain how they are important for attending to the specific capaci- ties of these machines, I first provide a bit more background on the growing sensorization of environments.”
By Jennifer GABRYS
“Program Earth”