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


DHIL Interview for the Photoshop Inscription Project

August 17, 2020
Frederik Lesage

I recently had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Sophia Han of the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab at SFU to talk about the Photoshop Inscriptions project. We had an excellent time covering a whole range of topics including how to define something as amorphous as "creative practice". The first half of the interview is posted on the DHIL blog and the second half should be up on the blog eventually.

I really appreciated the opportunity to respond to Sophia's insightful questions - they really helped me reflect on a number of things about the project I hadn't yet considered. It was also a great opportunity to prepare for an upcoming talk at the Digital Humanities Conference at the University of British Columbia hosted by the Public Humanities Hub where I will be presenting the project with the DHIL.

IAMCR conference presentation on "Searching for Tasks"

July 21, 2020
Frederik Lesage

Due to the pandemic, this year's IAMCR conference had to move not once, but twice. It was first shifted from China to Finland in order to deal with the initial outbreak. When the outbreak reached Europe, the Tampere team shifted its entire program to an online format. The team did a wonderful job considering these exceptional circumstances. Sadly, this meant the conference presentations took place entirely through a webportal.

Frederik Lesage and Nicole Stewart presented some of their early findings for the "Searching for Tasks" project in a panel titled "Politics of Platforms, Platforms as Politics" as part of the Communication Policy & Technology section. You can access the abstract here and a link to the paper here (although the latter seems to be password protected). We were very lucky to be a part of this international panel chaired by Julia Pohle of WZB Berlin Social Sciences. The discussant was the, as always, fantastic Professor Robin Mansell from the Department of Media and Communications at LSE whose questions and comments proved extremely insightful.

Affect Probes and the Creative Publics research project

July 6, 2020
Frederik Lesage

The most recent paper based on research with Tara Mahoney of Gen Why Media (and currently a research fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation) has just come out.

The paper, Expectation and anticipation: research assemblages for elections, was published in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies as part of a special issue on emotions, political work, and participatory media and edited by Sudha Rajagopalan and Krisztina Lajosi at the University of Amsterdam. The material for the paper was based on research for Publics: Art-Making Inspired by the Federal Election by Tara, Frederik Lesage and Peter Zuurbier during the 2015 Canadian Federal election. The specific goal of this paper is to show how alternative research assemblages can channel the anticipation generated by participatory politics to yield more diverse and critical forms of participation in the lead up to elections.

An earlier paper, Investigating politics through artistic practices: Affect resonance of creative publics, was published in 2019 in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Both papers draw in part on theoretical and methodological experiments developed in a 2016 book written by Peter Zuurbier and Frederik Lesage titled Masamune’s Blade: A Proposition for Dialectic Affect Research in which the authors explored how to study affect using a combination of critical theory and cultural probes methodologies adapted from design research.