SEMINAR: Digital Media Materialities

SEMINAR: Informed Matters — Digital Media Materialities

18 March 2016, 9:30-12:30 — Royal Society of the Arts, London

For a response from one of the participants to this seminar, see
Reading Sloterdijk’s Spheres, alongside Stengers and Barad by Dr Alex Taylor.

A roundtable seminar responding to three philosophical readings chosen broadly to inform matters connected with art, design and communication:

  1. Peter Sloterdijk, (2009) Spheres Theory: Talking to Myself about the Poetics of Space. Harvard Design Magazine, 30, 1–8. Available from:
  2. Karen Barad, (2003) Posthumanist Performativity: Toward and Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 28 (3), 801-831. Available from
  3. Isabelle Stengers, (2012) An Ecology of Practices. Cultural Studies Review, Vol. 11 (1), 183-196. Available from:

Summary Considering Peter Sloterdijk’s rendering of a Heideggerian ‘being-in’ this informal seminar will be a situated reading. The discussion will be located at the Royal Society of the Arts to spatially think through an approach to Peter Sloterdijk’s ‘spherology’ across disciplines. How, where and with what matterings do we embark our daily readings is no trivial matter? Sloterdijk’s writing can both inform and trouble readers and so the adjacent readings from Karen Barad and Isabelle Stengers will open up further questions and provocations. Sloterdijk’s recent publications have been aimed at a design audience (namely architects) and with his media theory the following digital media question will be proposed.  With a broadly experiential and performative approach in mind the discussion will loosely consider spherology in this respect:

  • This formulation opens to the somewhat irreverent question (following Sloterdijk’s own irreverence) of how his thinking can be turned into an app or an application (app displacing application displacing theorisation displacing philosophisation, the last term barely being a word)?
  • How might Sloterdijk’s work be reparatively questioned through a feminist enquiry? How might Sloterdijk’s metaphors engage us intra-actively?

The event brought together members from the Informed Matters Community of Practice (CoP), the DigiLab and the Documentary Photography CoP, with special guests:

  1. Dr Alex Taylor, Researcher at Microsoft Research, and
  2. Ivor Williams, Designer, previously at Fabrica.

UAL Invitations

  1. Allan Parsons, Associate Lecturer, Contextual Studies (design philosophy), CSM
  2. Amanda Windle, DigiLab Fellow, LCC
  3. Andrew Chesher, Lecturer, fine art, CCW
  4. Anna-Mari Almila, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, CSM
  5. Betti Marenko, Lecturer, Contextual Studies, Product Ceramic & Industrial Design CSM
  6. Duncan Wooldridge, Lecturer, photography, CCW
  7. Kenneth Wilder, Course Director, CSM
  8. Weibke Leister, Course Director, photography, LCC
    11. Lucy Kimbell, Lucy Kimbell, Director, Innovations Insights Hub
  9. Lucia Vodanovic, ECR, Journalism, LCC
  10. Claire Robertson, ECR, Fashion Communication, LCF
  11. Carl Grinter, PhD, Film SfX, DigiLab, LCC