“The Energy Walk: Experimenting with Aesthetic Methods in STS”, by Line Marie Thomsen

Summery:

The article is covering an issue on the energy resources we are familiar with today and the development of new energy and it’s potential. The research group Alien Energy” has created “The Energy Walk”, a walk that takes its participants alongside the harbour area of the Danish town of Hanstholm while telling stories of energy and infrastructures, bot the visible and invisible infrastructures concerning energy resources. The walk is a merge of ethnographic method and intervention experiment, made into an aesthetic experience in showing the potential of new energy sources and convey information on the known resources.

Points of critique

 

  • The form

 

The article is introduced as a scientific paper. Reading through the article, the project is explained through a detailed description of the area Hanstholm and the walk made from complete field notes. The intention of merging the scientific point of view, the fact the The Energy Walk is being categorized as an aesthetic method and the fieldnotes is not properly used, as it makes the sections seem parted from each other. The individual sections is well functioning, but the shuffle between them makes the article a bit “cluttered”. A more detailed progression, could have helped taking the reader by the hand and made the arguments of the article much stronger. A stronger introduction of each section, focusing on the merging between the scientific thoughts and the walk in practice, could have outlined  the connection between the sections and the outcome of the article.

 

  • Quotation: “Listen… to my voice. […]”

 

Within the paper you are presented to quotations about the area and from the participants. The goal of these quotation is to set the stage for the reader. The chosen quotation is placed to emphasise the beginning of The Walk. It seems like the quotation could be shorten a little bit, as the first sentence makes such a strong argument on how that The Walk is built up. To me, the use of quotation in this article is not making her argument stronger, as it does not add up to her scientific thoughts. Implement this quotation, as well as the other used quotations, more into the text, by shortening it and use it active in the content, would have make the quotation stronger and contributed to a more organized and strong outcome.

 

  • Argument from the text: “Intervention as ethnographic method”

 

The argument is presented in the introduction and is not mentioned again until the end, although not those exact words, but as a part of discussion where the method is questioned. In last section “Aesthetic Method?” they question the method, but doesn’t mention the argument from the introduction, which makes the argument more vague then it would have been if it was present in the last paragraph. This is making the statement on what “The Energy Walk” could be classified as, as a method, a bit indistinct. The argument in itself is strong, and I think you could argue that, it is the same thing described in the paragraph “Aesthetic Method”, which is why a clearer state of mind from the author, sticking to her choice of method, could be combined in the section, to make et clearer on what the author is classifying the research as. The last paragraph could thereby be a conclusion instead of a new perspective to the project.

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