/Digital Making

The work of making—producing something that requires long hours, intense thought, and considerable technical skill—has significant implications that go beyond the crafting of words. Involved are embodied interactions with digital technologies, frequent testing of code and other functionalities that results in reworking and correcting, and dynamic, ongoing discussions with collaborators to get it right.

— Katherine Hayles, in How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012, p.19)

I am a firm believer that social and humanities research can benefit from hands on experimentation with the techniques and technologies that are under investigation. The pretense divorce between critical thinking, often taken as a mental and intellectual process, and physical making, often described as goal oriented work, can be bridged to generate innovative, critical hands-on experimentation with concepts and materials.

The projects featured on this page are examples of multimodal research and teaching practices I am/have been involved. As described in my teaching philosophy, I privilege lesson plans that welcome material engagement with technologies, that are informative and reflexive about how socio-technological arrangements emerge, while at the same deconstruct and open up new articulations for how we relate to technology and society. Similarly, on my research practices I focus on “thinking through making” as a strategy to foster innovative research in the methods inception, as the process of collective making often presents possibilities to open new avenues of articulations for how we relate to technology as a form of knowledge.

Truth or Dare: a mobile moral compass for ethical living

ToD is an interactive installation based on an add-on application for Twitter that measures whether a statement is true or false through biofeedback readings. ToD is part of a broader research project on pervasive computing and biotechnologies developed during my doctorate in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. It was exhibited at the CRDM Symposium in 2013, and at the Interface Interference exhibit at the Carrack Museum, in 2014, Durham, NC.

The Sentient Room

An interactive installation developed by Fernanda Duarte, Brent Simoneaux and Samara Mouvery.





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 The Sentient Room Project illustrates modulations between multiple dualities: materiality of the physical space and immateriality of global flows, tangibility of the interface and intangibility of code, totality of control and human agency.  It was exhibited at the International Joint Conference for the Pan-American Mobilities Network and the Cosmobilities Network in 2012 at NC State University.

The Sentient Chair

A physical and critical game developed by Fernanda Duarte, Brent Simoneaux and Samara Mouvery. The Sentient Chair consists of a chair installed with a piezzo element in the seat, a sequence of LEDs in the armchair, a sonar and a speaker in the back. If the participant manages to sit still, a sequence of LEDs  lights up. In a sense, what the Sentient Chair proposes is an exercise of domestication of the body, in which the participant is ‘taught’ to be immobile to receive a reward.

Self-reflexive no.1: a recreation of bP Nichol’s poem

A data visualization project created by Fernanda Duarte, Brent Simoneaux and Samara Mouvery. It was first exhibited at the Computers and Writing Conference (Architexture: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces), at North Carolina State University in 2012. It consists of a recreation of bpNichol’s programmed poem ‘Self Reflexive No. 1.’ Originally designed in Apple II language, the poem consisted of the sentences ‘Dream you Lost,’ ‘Toss all Night’ blinking and moving down the screen. Our recreation of the poem consisted of reprogramming the poem in processing.











Arduemgers: a research group in interactive systems at the School of Design’s Fab Lab, State University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

The research group was created in 2015 to explore physical computing platforms for research and product development in design. It is composed of undergraduate students and faculty in Design, Computer Science and Communication who are interested in the appropriation of open hardware/software as creative and critical tools for design practice. The group is coordinated by Fernanda Duarte since March 2016 and meets on Tuesdays (2-4pm for planning and discussion) and Saturdays (10am-1pm for prototyping).