In August 2017 Dr. David Kreps, Reader in Philosophy of Information Systems, University of Salford, was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, to undertake a project entitled, Understanding Digital Events : A philosophical and sociological study of virtual experience in the everyday. This highly prestigious award allows “academics to focus on a major piece of research and to communicate their work to a wider audience, by obtaining time away from teaching and administration commitments.”
This website is the blog dedicated to this project. Here you will find ‘Musings’ concerning the progress and content of the project, ‘News’ regarding various elements of the project, and details regarding the Colloquium, in June 2018.
“The Fellowship will provide the opportunity to a) complete research on digital experience, b) prepare a book manuscript for submission, & c) hold a workshop for academics and practitioners to discuss the notion of an Information Systems ‘Event’. The project examines personal experience of everyday digital tasks – paying a bill online, playing a digital game, receiving smartphone messages – and also new tasks such as tagging photographs, and experiencing people being recognised (or not) in photographs by software. The project seeks to discover if such digital experiences can usefully be re-conceived as a set of ‘events’ within a ‘structure of events’. This ‘structure of events’ approach uses Whitehead’s process philosophy, where the ‘event’ comprises both the subjective consciousness of duration (Bergson’s durée réelle), the dexterity (or otherwise) of our physical gestures, and all the material and virtual artefacts of computing technology, and their interfaces, unified conceptually into a set of Digital Events.”
The funded project ran between 1st January and 31st December 2018. Outputs (conference and journal papers, and books) from the project, however, continue.
See also the University Press Release
Working on the project with Dr Kreps as Research Assistant was Jessica Muirhead, then doctoral student in the Centre for Digital Business, University of Salford, who helped with the sociological study, contributed to participant recruitment, made the mobile application for the diary studies, undertook interviews, and helped to input, code, and analyse the data from the diaries and the interviews. Jessica is now a Lecturer in Computing at Owen Glyndwr University, but continues to work with David on further research connected to the project, and on writing outputs.
At the International Conference on Information Systems in San Francisco, in December 2018, where David presented the first ‘work-in-progress’ paper about the project, Professor Frantz Rowe of the University of Nantes expressed great interest in the project and joined David as part of the writing team producing outputs from the project.