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E-seminar on the Energy and Digital Living website by Sarah Pink et al

February 26, 2015

This is the opening post of the EASA Media Anthropology Network’s 50th e-seminar, convened by Veronica Barassi (Goldsmiths). The session is currently under way. E-seminars are free and open to anyone with a genuine interest in the anthropology of media. To participate please subscribe to our mailing list via this page.

Dear All,

Welcome to the 50th EASA Media Anthropology Network e-seminar! For those of you who are new to this mailing list, these sessions run for two weeks on the list and all subscribers are welcome to participate.

For this special occasion we will not be discussing a paper, but rather a website, which relates to the latest project by Prof. Sarah Pink’s (RMIT University).

Energy and Digital Living

Energy and Digital Living is based on the sensory and digital ethnography methodologies and design research undertaken at Loughborough University, UK, as part of the EPSRC funded Lower Effort Energy Demand Reduction (LEEDR) project (2010-14).

The site aims to disseminate both the ethnographic findings and design interventions developed from our work, as well as the digital-sensory ethnography methodology that we developed as a way of researching energy and digital media in the home. In doing so it makes an argument for a sensory-digital design ethnography, and demonstrates how we both used this approach to research digital media and energy consumption in everyday life, and to develop concepts to inform digital design interventions. The project was an process of learning to work across digital ethnography and digital design and in that sense also offers examples that invite reflections on the ‘next steps’ in bringing together such approaches.

The site is intended to be used by scholars and practitioners from different disciplines who are interested in this field, researchers and designers interested in video methods and digital-sensory ethnography practice and in interdisciplinary work, and has the potential to be used for teaching around a number of areas. It may have other uses. It is not so much a ‘how to’ site, but an example of what has and can be done, from which new ideas might be launched.

Energy and Digital Living was Directed by Sarah Pink. The content was written and produced by the Social Sciences team (Sarah Pink, Kerstin Leder Mackley and Roxana Moroşanu) and the Design Team (Val Mitchell, Tracy Bhamra, Carolina Escobar-Telo and Garrath Wilson). The web site was developed by Paper Giant Chris Marmo and Reuben Stanton. The project would have been impossible without all the people who generously participated in the LEEDR project, and the wider team of LEEDR researchers with whom we collaborated.

Professor Mark Pedelty (University of Minnesota) has kindly agreed to act as discussant, and you will receive his comments tomorrow. Mark Pedelty is a Professor of Communication Studies and an affiliate Professor of Anthropology. His research deals with music and sound as environmental communication.

As always you are all very welcome to contribute comments and questions after we’ve had the presenter’s response to the discussant who will be posting her comments.


Dr Veronica Barassi
BA Anthropology and Media Programme
Department of Media and Communications,
Goldsmiths, University of London

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