Experimental Practice

Technoscience, Alterontologies, and More-Than-Social Movements

Book Pages: 344 Illustrations: 26 illustrations Published: August 2018

Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology > Social Theory

In Experimental Practice Dimitris Papadopoulos explores the potential for building new forms of political and social movements through the reconfiguration of the material conditions of existence. Rather than targeting existing institutions in demands for social justice, Papadopoulos calls for the creation of alternative ontologies of everyday life that would transform the meanings of politics and justice. Inextricably linked to technoscience, these “alterontologies”—which Papadopoulos examines in a variety of contexts, from AIDS activism and the financialization of life to hacker communities and neuroscience—form the basis of ways of life that would embrace the more-than-social interdependence of the human and nonhuman worlds. Speaking to a matrix of concerns about politics and justice, social movements, matter and ontology, everyday practice, technoscience, the production of knowledge, and the human and nonhuman, Papadopoulos suggests that the development of alterontologies would create more efficacious political and social organizing.


"Offering a mix of keen insights . . . Experimental Practice is a book that will be valuable to academics who share the author's questions and frame of reference." — DJ Mattingly, Choice

"Excellent. . . . Experimental Futures pulls together in endlessly inspiring fashion many concepts and ideas that have been to the forefront of engaged scholarship in geography." — Patrick Bresnihan, Antipode

"Experimental Practice is a thorough and practical account of how matter matters, and how we can bring the non-human or more-than-human world into our political calculus and convincingly sets out a case for experimental practices." — Nicholas Beuret, Sociological Review

"The range of case studies that is presented – from AIDS activism, to HSBC advertising campaigns, to the Struggle for Calais – helps to ground Papadopoulos’s theoretical arguments, and to moderate some of the creative licence that comes from his writing of ‘social science fiction.' . . . Consistently and provocatively argues for a reimagination of socio-political organisation and justice in/and the world." — Orlando Woods, Social & Cultural Geography

“A provocative call to craft new forms of life—alterontologies—within and against the biofinancial and technoscientific enclosures of advanced capitalism. Speculative and politically engaged, yet firmly grounded in the dynamic materiality of existing worlds, Experimental Practice introduces us to social science fiction—a mode of research and writing that engages with the forces of matter to imagine new ways of being in common. Dimitris Papadopoulos gives us what we most urgently need: a guide for radical politics in the posthuman age.” — Bruce Braun, coeditor of Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life

"In this insightful work of social theory, science studies, feminist theory, and autonomist thought, Dimitris Papadopoulos asks how we might conceive of the work of demanding social and political change, and how we might revamp the concept of ontological politics. This book offers a set of deeply important, thoughtfully posed, and often brilliant interventions. There is both an urgency and a thoughtfulness to Papadopoulos's work that is sorely needed at this moment.” — Cori Hayden, author of When Nature Goes Public: The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Dimitris Papadopoulos is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Nottingham and coauthor of Escape Routes: Control and Subversion in the Twenty-First Century and Analysing Everyday Experience: Social Research and Political Change.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction  1
1. Decolonial Politics of Matter  11
Part I. Movements
2. Biofinancialization as Terraformation  27
3. Ontological Organizing  49
Part II. History Remix
4. Activist Materialism  79
5. Insurgent Posthumanism  94
Part III. Alterontologies
6. Brain Matter  117
7. Compositional Technoscience  138
8. Crafting Ontologies  160
Acknowledgments  209
Notes  211
References  257
Index  323
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0084-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0065-5
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