COLLABORATING AT MICROSCOPIC AND MASSIVE SCALES: THE CHALLENGE AND VALUE OF COVID ISOLATION FOR CRITICAL INTERNET STUDIES
AbstractGlobal events like a pandemic or climate change are massive in scope but experienced at the local, lived, microscopic level. What sorts of methodologies and mindsets can help critical internet researchers, functioning as interventionists or activists, find traction by oscillating between these levels? How can we push (further) against the boundaries of research methods to build stronger coalitions and more impactful outcomes for social change among groups of scholars/researchers? This panel presents four papers addressing these questions based on a large scale online autoethnography in 2020. This “Massive/Micro” project simultaneously used and studied the angst and novelty of isolation during a pandemic, activating researchers, activists, and artists to explore the massive yet microscopic properties of COVID-19 as a “glocal” phenomenon. The challenge? Working independently and microscopically through intense focus on the Self but also working with distributed, largely unknown collaborators, in multiple platforms. The emerging shape of the project itself showcases the challenges and possibilities of how research projects at scale can (or don’t) reflect and build social movements. The panel’s four papers situate the project through a kaleidoscope of perspectives featuring participants from 7 countries, who variously explore: the value of the project for precarious or early career researchers, how MMS worked as both collaborative space and critical pedagogy, how non-institutional or playful experimentation in asynchronous collaborations can lead to new synergies; and how MMS developed an independent life of its own, beyond studying COVID to generating multiple communities of future digital research practice.
How to Cite
Herman, A., Markham, A., Luka, M., Carlson, R., Dilkes, D., Stirling, F., Pronzato, R., & Sarwatay, D. (2021). COLLABORATING AT MICROSCOPIC AND MASSIVE SCALES: THE CHALLENGE AND VALUE OF COVID ISOLATION FOR CRITICAL INTERNET STUDIES. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12116