Entangled ethnography:Towards a collective future understanding

Murray-Rust, D. and Gorkovenko, K. and Burnett, D. and Richards, D. (2019) Entangled ethnography:Towards a collective future understanding. In: HTTF 2019. UNSPECIFIED, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781450372039

[thumbnail of Entangled_Ethnography__Towards_a_collective_future_understanding]
Text (Entangled_Ethnography__Towards_a_collective_future_understanding)
Entangled_Ethnography_Towards_a_collective_future_understanding.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (467kB)


In this work, we develop a vision for entangled ethnography, where constellations of people, artefacts, algorithms and data come together to collectively make sense of the relations between people and objects. This is grounded in New Materialism’s picture of a world understood through entanglement, through resonant constellations, through a multiplicity of unique individual viewpoints and their relationships. These perspectives are especially relevant for design ethnography, in particular for research around smart connected products, which collect data about their environment, the networks they are a part of, and the ways they are used. However, we are concerned about the current trend of many connected systems towards surveillance capitalism, as data is colonised, machinations are hidden, and a narrow definition of value is extracted. There is a key tension that while design, particularly of networked objects, attempts to go beyond human centeredness, the infrastructures that support it are moving towards a less than human perspective in their race to accumulate and dispossess. Our work tries to imagine the situations where participants in networked systems are richly engaged, rather than exploited. We hope for a future where human agency is central to a respectful and acceptable collaborative development of understanding.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
Additional Information:
© ACM, 2019. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in HTTF 2019 Proceedings of the Halfway to the Future Symposium 2019 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3363384.3363405
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Mar 2020 13:35
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:34