Chronicling the vernacular and the middlebrow in post-digital culture.



Frederik Lesage
Creativity, Critique

We’ve been working with Dr. Alison Powell of the London School of Economics to set up one of her Data Walking workshops. Alison also recently launched a fantastic website that gives more information about this approach to data collection: (designed with the help of Marianela!). The event takes place on the 7th of June. Here’s the invitation:


A workshop with Prof. Alison Powell (LSE)

June 7, 2017, 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Vancouver Public Library – Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street in the Alma VanDusen room

What data might people want to create to start a new conversation about the future of Vancouver? How might data about the city empower people? These are the questions guiding a workshop developed by Alison Powell of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in collaboration with the School of Communication at SFU. Using the Larwill Park Site (the future location of the new Vancouver Art Gallery) as a starting point, participants in this public workshop will have the opportunity to explore and reflect on the rapidly changing urban fabric of downtown Vancouver and data’s role in its coming into being.

Data walking is a research process for producing radical data through collaborative walks. Data walking creates a process for observing, reflecting on and seeking to intervene in how data influences civic space. By playing roles as photographers, note-takers and map-makers, participants develop ways to think about and reflect on what data might be, and what role it plays in key social issues. 
For more information about data walking, see .

This workshop is open to anyone interested in participating but spaces are limited. For more information or to reserve a place, please contact Frederik Lesage at .

Dr Alison Powell is Assistant Professor in Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and directs the MSc Programme in Data & Society. Her research examines ethics in technology design and experiments with ways to create new ethical relationships to data. She has held posts at Telecom ParisTech and the Oxford Internet Institute, and has a PhD from Concordia University in Montreal Canada. 
Her most recent collaborative funded research is VIRT-EU, a Horizon 2020 project examining ethics in practice among Internet of Things developer communities. Other funded research has considered the role of civic technology advocates in developing WiFi networks in cities around the world, and examined knowledge cultures and governance processes of hardware hackers and citizen scientists. 
She is currently working on several projects related to citizenship, cities, data and ethics, and is fascinated by how we think of machines in terms of ethics, morals and values.

Made possible through the generous support of SFU’s FCAT Dean’s Office.


Frederik Lesage
Creativity, Lesage, Photoshop, Technical Communication

We just returned from a fantastic trip to the Computer History Museum ( where we had the chance to view the new software exhibition Make Software: Change the World! . The trip was part of a more ambitious project to examine how Adobe Photoshop has recently gained the attention of museums, particularly the CHM which announced it was making Photoshop version 1.0.1 available for download from its website ( /adobe-photoshop-source-code/ )  in 2013. We’re currently working on a review of the exhibition as well as putting together some insights from the discussions we had with some of the people who work there. In the meantime, here are a few pics:


Frederik Lesage
Affect, Creativity, Critique, Event

After a lot of hard work, my collaboration with Peter Zuurbier on a book that details a different approach to conducting affect research is out! A big “thanks” goes out to everyone at Peter Lang and the editors of the Counterpoints series for their help getting this project published. Here’s the abstract:

Affect is so powerful and represents such ripe territory for study that, in its infancy, conventions of research need to be established that attend to its particular motion and shape. Masamune’s Blade: A Proposition for Dialectic Affect Research outlines an original research method for the study of affect known as affect probes, and proposes the establishment of a new knowledge project based in affect. The book begins with a call to discursively reshape research using affect, after which the authors develop a unique conceptualization of affect, one that brings it into the realm of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The theoretical foundation sets up the affect probe method, which involves giving participants a package of small activities that require fun, easy, and creative participation. The activities are intended both to inspire affects and to mark their presence. Strategies for analysis are outlined and a series of critical interventions are woven throughout the text to situate the ideas.

And the link to Peter Lang’s page for the book if: