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[Xmca-l] Fwd: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

This message may not have made it through to the list. We are working on
the connectivity.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
Date: Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
To: mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
Cc: Rolf Steier <rolfsteier@gmail.com>, "lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu" <

 Hi Mike and all,

 thanks for recommending our article for discussion, and thanks to
anyone who wishes to participate. We really appreciate it! I can try to say
a bit about the article.

Rolf and I did our PhD as part of two different projects that had a science
museum and an art museum as settings for the design of technology-enhanced
learning environments. Early on in the PhD, we begun talking about notions
of space as central in our respective projects. During the last year, we
shared office and had much more time to discuss. We had always wanted to
write something together and the MCA special issue on Leigh Star seemed the
perfect occasion.

The design meetings involved many participants from different backgrounds,
from education to architecture and software engineering, and sometimes it
was difficult for the teams to advance towards definite solutions. I
remember watching the videos from the first months of design work, hoping
to find something for writing a first paper. I found different interesting
issues to pursue, but one episode clearly stood out from the rest. It was a
design meeting, after many meetings with lots of disagreements and dead
ends, in which a discussion that concerned a wall in the museum space
unexpectedly appeared to trigger lots of good ideas in the design team. It
stroke me that something as banal and simple as a wall had been important
in making it possible for the participants to achieve shared perspectives
on the task and go on. I remembered then to have read something about
boundary objects, and it was then that the figure of Leigh Star begun to be

In this paper, the aim was to consider boundary "objects"  from the
perspective of the participants' "bodies," which stood out in our analyses
as particularly relevant for the achievement of co-operation despite lack
of substantive agreement. Rather than shared substantive understandings,
what seemed to allow the participants to proceed was being able to orient
towards and perform specific situations that were lived-in (experienced,
gone through). We recur to the notions of place-making and place-imagining
to emphasize this per-formative aspect that has to do with inhabiting a
place and finding one's ways around it.

We wrote the paper as we were finishing our respective theses/defenses, and
we wanted to do something that should feel fun and free. We felt that
Star's work was broad and were encouraged to connect different ideas from
different scholars. The schedule was tight, and, although I think we
managed to put together some ideas, we may have taken many risks in
bridging across the different frameworks. I hope that those risks taken may
now open space for questions/comments to emerge in the discussion, and I
look forward to learn a lot from them.


*From:* lchcmike@gmail.com <lchcmike@gmail.com> on behalf of mike cole <
*Sent:* 14 July 2015 19:17
*To:* eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
*Cc:* Rolf Steier; Alfredo Jornet Gil; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
*Subject:* The Emergence of Boundary Objects

  If my information is correct, both Alfredo and Rolf have some time in the
upcoming period to discuss their article on the emergence of
boundary objects.

 So, to start the discussion.

 I am finding this article enormously generative of ways to think about
some perennial issues that have recently been on my mind. The entire
discussion leading up to the formulation of transforming spaces into places
(and recreating spaces in the process) locks in
directly with our current work on the 5th Dimension, which i have been
writing about for some time as a tertiary artifact and an idioculture, but
which most certainly fits the concept of a boundary object.

 Secondly, I have become really interested in "practices of imagination"
and that is just how Alfredo and Rolf characterize their two
installations and the professional teams that cooperate to create them. And
they make a new linkage by referring to distributed imagination, which is
most certainly going to require imagination to fill in the ineluctable
gaps, and provide us with some insight insight into the processes involved.

 Those are my issues for starters. What strikes others?


For those of you who missed this topic, the article is attached.


Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
Ecological Niche, 2008)


Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
Ecological Niche, 2008)