Accepted Paper:

Reconfiguring comparison: how 'novelty' is enacted through materialities, stories and bodies  


Julian Stubbe (TU Berlin)

Paper long abstract:

This paper proposes to reconfigure comparison as a method for innovation studies. It

explores how two objects, an installation and a robotic hand, are configured as novel

through the complexity of materialities, stories and bodies. In focus are small-scale

interactions, which are significant for how technological objects and their stories are

related, and how these relations are enacted. Its methodological approach stresses the

construction of comparability and the perspective from which is compared. Through two

configurative moments - 'rendering imaginative objects' and 'material referencing' - the

article delineates how the installation and the robotic hand materialise imaginaries and

how they articulate stories of their 'difference'. The proposed reconfiguration avows

novelty as a concept through which analogies can be drawn just as it acknowledges the

locality of its articulation in different forms. Its perspective is local as it immerses in the

net of materialities, stories and bodies, just as it moves on and re-arranges what is

understood and what needs understanding.

Panel S13
Distributed creativity: Materials, technologies and topologies in media art and design