11. Data in motion for a more-than-human world

Katherine Reilly, Simon Fraser University; Gillian Russell, Simon Fraser Universtiy; Rachel Horst, University of British Columbia;

These panels will feature papers that rethink the notion of 'data' as the driver of knowledge. Data is usually positioned as discoverable fact, a container of meaning, or a solidified agreement about what's assumed to be true. These visions of data suggest a world contained, like a butterfly pinned to a board, ready for inspection. In contrast, relational approaches to data understand the world to be in constant motion and focus on processes of meaning making surrounding observations or experiences. For example, citizen science often uses positivist approaches to count and classify anthropocentric marine debris. In contrast, relational approaches might consider how beach trash makes us feel; imagine our relationships to the ocean under different 'truth' conditions; or explore representations of different marine species in struggles over how to 'know' the world. Relational approaches tell us that the truth of garbage on a beach is not in its existence, but in our mutual and collective subsistence; that data isn't about plastic but rather is plastic; and that data isn't a discrete entity, but rather is enmeshed in human relations. We seek papers about more-than-human approaches to data, information systems, research-creation and knowledge production with a particular focus on human relationships with natural and built environments. We are particularly interested in papers that challenge social processes based in 'containment' views of data (such as data repositories, citizen science, open government, etc.) and papers that explore and experiment with alternative ways of 'doing data.'

Contact: kreilly@sfu.ca, gillianr@sfu.ca, rachel.horst@ubc.ca

Keywords: Method and Practice, Data and Quantification, Environmental/Multispecies Studies

Published: 04/07/2023