Peer review of: The Energy Walk: Experimenting with Aesthetic Methods in STS?
With point of departure in the STS infused ITU research project, Alien Energy, The Energy Walk, the article argues how aesthetics is important for experiences such as The Energy Walk. It also analyses how the walk fulfils the requirements of aesthetics, based on philosopher John Dewey’s work, Art as an Experience from 1934.
In the following quote the author states that Færgegrillen is not the usual place for people interested in renewable energy:
“the harbour-based cafe´ known as Færgegrillen. Whereas DanWec can be said to have obvious interests at stake, Færgegrillen is not the typical place to search for people interested or invested in renewable and wave energy issues.” Line Marie Thorsen (2016)
Taking the audience into consideration, it is difficult to assume that they by default know Færgegrillen and the context of it in relation to renewable energy. A suggestion for a different solution would be to cut out the phrase “Færgegrillen is not the typical place to search for people interested or invested in renewable and wave energy issues”.
The above also leads to another critique point, which is the wide use of emotional narration similar to the below:
“For instance, as you walk up the wooden stairs leading through the dunes, the digital travelling companion tells of energy in its most ancient forms”. (page 144)
The author is being very descriptive and detailed when describing the actual Energy Walk. The end section, with the main argument, is not referring to specific parts of the walk but drawing in theory on aesthetics in an STS-perspective. Because the last section does not relate to the practicalities of the walk, figurative language can be cut down and John Dewey drawn in earlier in the article.
The article is 7 pages long, and the last section, Aesthetic Method?, is 1½ page long, without a clear conclusion. To provide a better overview of the content of the article, it is recommended to shorten down the end-section by, for example, dividing it up and separating the last paragraph starting with “Importantly, this is not to say that…” (page 147), to create a new section with its own headline, which could be “STS in the future”.
The article is split between two things, the urge to describe the actual walk with pictures and emotional expressions, and the theoretical relation to John Dewey and aesthetics, which is the main point of the analysis. It would be more concise and specific, if it was less descriptive and instead referred to John Dewey throughout.