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Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland’

4(S) Meeting, Cleveland, November 2-5, 2011.
Energy: Place, Politics and Justice (Phadke and Mulvaney)
My paper: Sites of Regulatory Power in Flux


11/5: evening — Arriving at SFO airport and receiving a call from Biliana Stremska demanding that transportation on the BART would lead directly to Balboa Station — a short walk from the Croation Cultural Center in South San Francisco, where this evening Bulgarian musician, Theodosii Spassov would be performing.


Hesitation. A long flight, having to walk through rain, arriving hungry, foolish looking, carrying bags.

In addition to the celebrated Bulgarian musician and the star quality of Theodosii Spassov, there was local singer, known for her vocals on film Avatar, the beautiful and talented, Radka Varimezova.



11/4: Hotel room television in Cleveland.


5PM: Drinks with Dustin Mulvaney, David Hess + others. David wrote the Science Technology Studies primer Science Studies. We chatted on the topic of Pierre Bourdieu‘s Habitus.

Candis Callison, now at UBC in Vancouver, working on the Arctic and climate change, has walked in.  She expresses an interest in mushrooms, to which Dustin broke out his IPad to show photos of all variety of mushrooms in the Santa Cruz mountains. Hugh Gustafson was with us until around 2AM.

3PM: Remote Presence, Present Futures. Princeton University’s Janet Vertesi is giving on ethnography of space scientists, and the coordinating activity on Saturn and on Earth by space projects. Janet uses the term fleeting alignment (difficult to reproduce, difficult to pin down), to describe the multiple overlapping infrastructures (knowledge, practice) that create moments of distinction bringing together different spaces of coordination (space-craft-time) that permit local activity of action at a distance. Lucy Suchman from Lancaster University is now talking — applying Walter Benjamin‘s insight about modern industry’s heavy impact on the body, increased repetition of actions, etc. cites Karen Kaplan‘s piece on visual targeting which appeared in the very cool journal titled Vectors.


MIT’s Zira Mirmalek is summing up the panel, suggesting the work was oriented toward compressing distant practices, actors and knowledges and in some cases the work of compression takes place in such compelling ways, that offer new forms of the mundane. Sensory insulation? or Censory insulation. Remote presence allows persons to inhabit far away places that place humans in jeopardy.



11/03: Chit-chat.

A Plenary with Gabriel Hecht and Hugh Gustafson talking about Fukushima. Gabriel gave a fabulous talk on the divide between exceptionalism and banalism that continually defines nuclear power. Accidents such as the Fukushima reactor need to be understood under the so-called normal conditions of the nuclear industry.


11/2: Hotel life.

Taxi Ride.
At the airport gate and checking out a plaque on tennis star Rosie Casals, the Women’s singles for 11 consecutive years ranked #1. When who should be sitting there but UC Berkeley’s Dr. Mary Sunderland, also going to Cleveland for the 4S, and fiddling with her presentation. She mentions to me at this moment, that on this very plane is Chris Jones, Dustin Mulvaney and Alister Iles, to name a few Science Technology conference goers.

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