Sensing Methods

The Digital Writing and Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin is excited to announce our second annual Digital Field Methods Institute (DFMI). DFMI hosts a series of workshops, talks, and scholarly discussions, and offers new and established researchers invaluable practice collecting, analyzing, organizing, and publishing digital data. The institute helps researchers cultivate techniques for responsible, accessible, sustainable, and inventive research projects that work with and through digital media by examining these general principles for digital research through a singular concept.  

DFMI 2019 will focus on research techniques and technologies for sense. We will think about questions such as: How do we sense in our environments? How do our embodied senses create and sustain environments? In addition to the five senses, how does sense of direction, orientation, balance also contribute to our research projects? How do digital technologies activate sense or use senses themselves? How do digital devices inhibit or amplify sense? How can we cultivate research methods around sensing practices? The greater attention paid to more diverse modes of sense along with the rise of low-cost modular computing equipment has inspired novel ways of collecting data which has gained critical interdisciplinary attention via theory and practice.

Much of our discussion and practice will be inspired by and build on the creative methodology offered by researchers such as Jennifer Gabrys, Sarah Pink, Helen Pritchard, and John Hartigan Jr. We are also compelled by recent work in rhetorical theory and digital rhetorics on rhetorical field methods, attunement, transduction, circulation, resonance, ecologies, multisensory listening, practice, and rhetorical touch. These scholars and their critical attention to ways of being will all animate and influence our work this year.

Workshops will include robust discussions about digital methodology, hands-on practice with digital tools for collecting sensor-based research data, and offer structured practice for processing that data for analysis. Alongside embodied techniques, we’ll be working with modular digital devices (arduinos) and processing software to creatively collect and select data for creative scholarly research. Towards these ends, participants will also receive support when the workshop has ended with assistance in composing work into forms suited for publishing.

DFMI 2019 will take place both online (July 1-5) and on-site at the University of Texas at Austin (July 8-12). The online portion will offer a range of shared readings, tutorials, discussions, and project consultations. See the menu above for specific information about our program.

General inquiries about DFMI 2019 should be directed to DWRL Director, Casey Boyle (casey.boyle[atsign]

Archive of 2019 Materials


2019 Schedule, Readings, and Useful Info (pdf)

2019 Online Schedule and Readings (html)

2019 Onsite Schedule and Readings (html)

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