Thumbnail Image

‘It’s on the tip of my Google’: Intra-active performance and the non-totalising learning environment

Technologies that expand the learning environment to include interactions outside of the physical space of the classroom, such as the use of Google as an aid to memory, represent one aspect of learning that occurs within several seemingly decentralised spaces. On the other hand, it can be argued that such interactive technologies are enclosed in what Bruno Latour calls a ‘Black-box’: a ‘totalising’ enclosure that delimits interaction and channels users towards yet another form of centralised learning space. Used as a starting point, the focus of this article rapidly shifts from the constraints of the ‘Black-box’ towards a type of engagement that embraces material agency: an engagement with materials and fragments of knowledge that emerge from the ‘non-totalising’ assemblage. To assist in this trajectory, Karen Barad’s concept of intra-activity is employed, where agency is seen as distributed between human and non-human actants. The space in which this engagement between human and materials occurs, as a non-totalising learning space, is the concern of this article, which uses an interactive audio/visual performance event called Bingodisiac as a case study to examine various ways in which we can learn to move beyond the constraints of totalising structures. Bingodisiac is a project initiated by the researcher in 2002, as an informal collection of musicians who are assembled for a one-off improvised performance. This article draws upon interviews and journal notes collected at the time of the performances to explore the analogy of ‘noise music’ and how this can be related to ways in which the learning space of the classroom and the types of knowledge produced have become decentralised.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Snake-Beings, E. (2017). ‘It’s on the tip of my Google’: Intra-active performance and the non-totalising learning environment. E-Learning and Digital Media, published online February 17, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1177/2042753017692429
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: E-Learning and Digital Media. © 2017 Sage.