Archives for category: Project Team

Transduction: the process by which materials, devices and organisms, humans included, convert of one kind of energy or signal into another.

Check out the Transduction documentary! It serves as a good introduction to the project.

Credit: SunHye Park. Length: 12 min.

For our last class on April 29, we met at the Rotunda to strut and power pose, practicing what we learned from Sophie Trawalter about being at home in spaces, and from the TED Talk by Harvard Business Professor Amy Cuddy “Your body language shapes who you are”.  After that, we went to OpenGrounds for Radical Listening, a wrap up discussion and an over abundance of snacks.  Thank you everyone–students, speakers, faculty and other participants–for a great semester full of many insights and memorable experiences. All the best to the many Transduction graduates and handful of students who will be back next year.

Radical Listening Instructions

From Ram Eisenberg:  We THINK BETTER when someone is listening to us. That’s the basic assumption of radical listening. We are interactional by essence, and Language is an interaction. Putting difficult things into words, happens better with a listener. Just ask them to try it. The key is not to talk about what you know, but to really look for a difficult part, something you DONT KNOW exactly yet, and then talk about it. I also suggest reading Hinreich Von Kleist’s: On the Gradual Production of Thoughts Whilst Speaking. It sets the tone and the basic ideas. 

Discussion Topic:  Consider your vision for the future.  Are there things that struck you this semester—interesting, surprising, useful, that give you ideas, insight—that you can take with you as you realize your vision/work for the future?



The Transduction Team engaged in discussion at a project lab session today, practicing how we can analyze topics through the themes of signals/energies, interactive media, and human interfaces.

Transduction Analysis

Provisional thoughts:

  • It’s complicated.
  • Everything is connected to everything.
  • It’s tough to classify.  A given thing can be a signal, interactive medium and a human interface.
  • It is important to pick a process or system that is reasonably specific with regard to conditions and spatial andtemporal scales, and build up complexity gradually over time. Otherwise, it can become an overwhelming, if not impossible task.
  • It is maybe easiest to pick a particular variable (time, energy, etc) and keep that constant or the focus throughout the analysis.
  • So far, we have mostly been mapping linear processes. A goes to B goes to C and so on.  What about feedback?  What about things that branch out and mutually affect each other?
  • Maybe the categories need revision. They aren’t three parallel, clearly demarcated themes of equal weighting.  Perhaps it makes sense to start with signals and interactive media and consider what is connected to what.  Human is simply a subset or category within media. There can be other kinds of interfaces, besides human interfaces (Note: In the original scheme, interfaces was not qualified with humans to privilege humans, but rather to draw attention to ways that we affect and are affected by processes, to roles, responsibilities, and intentions, even unintended consequences, to individual, social and cultural dimensions. While awareness of human involvement and impacts is central to some fields (e.g. social sciences, creative arts), it is often downplayed or ignored in others (e.g. science).

Please add to this list in the comments below.

The Tesla presentation by Professor Carlson sparked thought.  Evan Wolfe drew connections to physics and shared his ideas with Bernie Carlson, Mike Gorman and Transduction team members Clarisse Abalos and Max Tfirn during the reception after the talk.

Tesla Notes Evan Wolfe

The Box

Transduction is launched!

On Tuesday we held our first introductory session laying out project vision to a packed house in WallSpace, a new interdisciplinary space at UVA. And on Thursday we began discussions of contemporary materials theory, considering new materialisms and Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter. Works by Bruno Latour, Ian Hodder, and Graham Harman are planned for next Tuesday.

The Transduction Project Team is a diverse group of graduate students, advanced undergrads, faculty and staff from many fields across the University. See People for more information. We are becoming accustomed to the new space, setting up resources and tools, making plans for the coming weeks and months, and establishing new ways of working together.