Smartphone-Communities. Dynamics of Resistance in Relations of Participation
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Isabell Otto (University of Konstanz)
Relations of Participation, which are facilitated by smartphones, are constituted by a dynamic interplay between resistant practices and resistant power structures. The subproject examines these dynamics with the concept of resistance, in order to elucidate the manifold operations of defiance or immunization. The guiding research question focuses on the temporalization of participation in smartphone communities. The subproject studies media participation within dynamics of resistance through its processuality and temporary stabilizations. The definition of the smartphone message (mit-teilung) as the connecting-separating relation of participation under the conditions of mobile and digitally connected media is the foundation for the subproject’s case studies and theoretic systematizations of participation processes. The dynamics of resistance are questioned for their capability of opening and closing playing fields of participation. The facilitation of peripheries, niches and subcultures of smartphone communities as well as the immunization strategies of power centres are described in the subproject as gestures of (re-)structuring or (re-)formation and thus as dynamic relations of participation, that are constantly occurring in the mutual influence of temporary positioning and the dissolving of positions.
The subproject’s three remits address particular situations, in which the resistances of participation processes become more tangible and thus observable: The first area of research “Fabricating. Pop-Cultural attributions in television series and their fan cultures” examines narratives of (the critique of) smartphone communities and therefore addresses the temporalization of participation relations as temporary stabilizations, serializations and shifts in meaning. The research field “Formating. Playing with the smartphone as an open object” secondly takes practices, such as tinkering or hardware-hacking, through which the device acquires new functionalities into focus, as well as the simultaneous efforts of closing the device for economic interests. “Positioning. Politics of crisis in smartphone communities” thirdly considers the facilitation of smartphone communities in contemporary circumstances and precarious constellations. The aim is to comparatively examine the dynamics of resistance and immunity through these situated and detailed analyses and to then be able to grasp processes of participation more thoroughly and formulate media theoretic concretizations and systematization. To do so, the subproject pursues the case studies and with them the elaboration of concepts and termini, with which different facets of temporalization become explorable: repetition, anticipation, deferral, retrospectivity, postponement, serialization and temporary stabilization. All case studies address the question, how resistances can be momentarily facilitated or overthrown through the operations, iterations and practices of the smartphone.