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Re-Calibrating DIY: Testing Participation across Digital Sensors, Fry Pans and Environmental Media

Pritchard, Helen; Gabrys, Jennifer and Houston, Lara. 2018. Re-Calibrating DIY: Testing Participation across Digital Sensors, Fry Pans and Environmental Media. New Media & Society, 20(12), pp. 4533-4552. ISSN 1461-4448 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

An increasing number of low-cost and do-it-yourself (DIY) digital sensors for monitoring air quality are now in circulation. DIY technologies attempt to democratize environmental practices such as air quality sensing that might ordinarily be the domain of expert scientists. But in the process of setting up and using DIY sensors, citizens encounter just as many challenges for ensuring the accuracy of their devices and the validity of their data. In this article, we look specifically at the infrastructures and practices of DIY digital sensing. Through an analysis of urban sensing in London as an environmental media practice, we consider the specific techniques and challenges of calibrating DIY digital sensors for measuring air pollution in order to ensure the relative accuracy and validity of data. We ask: How are DIY calibration practices expressive of particular political subjects and environmental relations—and not others? And how might we re-calibrate DIY as a digital practice and political commitment through engagements with the multiple genealogies and counter-genealogies of citizen-led inquiry?

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818777473

Keywords:

DIY, digital sensors, environmental media, citizen sensing, participation, communities, digital materiality, calibration, air pollution, feminist technoscience

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
30 January 2018Accepted
3 June 2018Published Online
1 December 2018Published

Item ID:

23125

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2018 13:49

Last Modified:

16 May 2019 11:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/23125

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