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February 23 , 2008

Studio Studies

Operations, Topologies & Displacements


Consider the vast array of things around you, from the building you are in, the lights illuminating the interior, the computational devices mediating your life, the music in the background, even the crockery, furniture and glassware you are in the presence of. Common to all these objects is that their concrete, visual and technological forms were invariably conceived, modelled, finished and tested in sites characterised as studios. Remarkably, the studio remains a peculiar lacuna in our understanding of how cultural artefacts are brought into being and how ‘creativity’ operates as a located practice.

Studio Studies is an agenda setting volume that presents a set of empirical case studies that explore and examine the studio as a key setting for aesthetic and material production. As such, Studio Studies responds to three contemporary concerns in social and cultural thought: first, how to account for the situated nature of creative and cultural production; second, the challenge of reimagining creativity as a socio-materially distributed practice rather than the cognitive privilege of the individual; and finally, to unravel the parallels, contrasts and interconnections between studios and other sites of cultural-aesthetic and technoscientific production, notably laboratories. By enquiring into the operations, topologies and displacements that shape and format studios, this volume aims to demarcate a novel and important object of analysis for empirical social and cultural research as well to develop new conceptual repertoires to unpack the multiple ways studio processes shape our everyday lives. 

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