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Title: Situated dissemination : critiquing the materiality and visuality of HCI knowledges through a local dissemination practice
Authors: Chen, Ko-Le
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This practice-led thesis investigates how research dissemination is currently understood as a practice in HCI. The focus on understanding research dissemination as a practice is motivated by recent debates within HCI communities about the disciplinary basis of HCI, by increasing competition amongst HCI conferences to expand their audiences, and by the emergence of new dissemination forms to accommodate growing interdisciplinary work in HCI. Organisations such as the ACM SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction) regularly promote new dissemination forms, however these top-down calls for submissions have not yet generated critical discussions about the materiality of HCI knowledges, and the impact of new dissemination media on that materiality. This is the focus of this thesis, which investigates the way macro dissemination cultures in HCI impact on micro dissemination practice in an HCI workplace and identifies how the future practice of dissemination in HCI may be implicated. The investigation is carried out through three workplace-based case studies, which draw on ethnographic principles, and are informed by selected feminist critiques of science, theories of representation and by performance arts practice. These case studies form an overarching process of critiquing research dissemination in situ, as well as illustrating the developing methodological approach, which moves from participant observation to performance and practice based engagements. All three case studies are located in Open Lab, Newcastle University, where I worked and where I was based as a PhD student between 2013 to 2016. Chapters 4-6 document and critique how research dissemination is organised as routine work in an HCI workplace, and discuss how reflexive accounts of research may be suppressed or diminished by routinised dissemination practice. I describe the production of CHI videos as a genre of research videos in HCI. I present the results of focus groups and surveys on CHI video, in which I draw from my freelance videography experience and new membership of the HCI workplace to unpick the visuality of CHI videos as a new medium of dissemination in HCI. Secondly, I discuss my participation in the organisation and production of another dissemination artefact, the CHI booklets. I illustrate how the production of the booklets is routinised and carried out by different members of the research group. I draw connections between local dissemination practice to a wider network of the ACM SIGCHI iv community. I discuss how the materiality of HCI knowledges is addressed through the production of dissemination artefacts. Lastly, in chapter 6, I present the process of making research fictions (RF). I develop such making as a concept to engage HCI practitioners in performatively critiquing local dissemination practice. Based on my arts practice I interrogate the materiality of dissemination and utilise the theory of reenactment from performance arts to produce a series of alternative dissemination artefacts in the workplace. In conclusion, I identify the shortage of critical dialogues and methodological resources within HCI for fully understanding and engaging with dissemination practice. Drawing on the case studies, I offer a theory of ‘Situated Dissemination’ (SD) which contributes to the literature in HCI on embodied thinking/interaction/design, as well as extending HCI methodologies on workplace studies. The theory of SD is offered as a framework for critiquing dissemination practice in HCI and as providing innovative alternatives to routinised dissemination practice as situated and embodied practice in HCI workplaces.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Computing Science

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