Knowledge, Technology and Aesthetics Research Cluster

The issue of scientific practice cuts across all manner of geographic subfields, human and physical. In particular, geographers have long considered the role of various technological apparatus’ in enhancing/extending/augmenting the body’s capacity for information gathering, via sight, sound, touch and so on. For some this has been a matter of developing, and evaluating the knowledge provided by, ever more finely grained measurement, such that individual bodily apprehension becomes a matter of ‘meshing with’ technical specificities, protocols and units of measurement. For others there has been a concern to link the use of such technologies to broader social relations and processes, such as commodification of the natural world, the surveillance of people, and the cultivation of wonder and excitement.

 

Whatever the theoretical underpinning brought to bear, what unites these efforts is:

  1. An interest in thinking through how technology, in the form of both equipment and embodied skills, relates to knowledge production.
  2. An awareness of how aesthetics – that is, the body’s senses – are transformed via technological use.
  3. An appreciation for how diverse approaches to knowledge production – comprising the sciences and humanities – can complement each other.
  4. A desire to contribute towards new ways of thinking and practice that transcend sub-disciplinary boundaries and emphasise a broad-based ‘knowledge-technology-aesthetics’ nexus.

 

Staff involved: Paul Brewer, Sarah Davies, JP Jones, John Grattan, Mark Macklin, Sallie Marston, Catherine Nash, Helen Roberts, Sue Ruddick, Stephen Tooth, Keith Woodward.