Accepted paper:

Verfremdung & empirical prints - Making an aesthetic surprise


Kasper Ostrowski (Aarhus University)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

A central theme within STS is a search for ways of enacting (often mundane) artifacts and materials in surprising ways, rendering them re-present and nudging us to include and/or reconsider them.

Utilizing a novel concept for collecting and presenting empirical materials called 'Empirical prints' I aim to propose 'Verfremdung' - coined by the German playwright Bertol Brecht - as a theoretical 'cushion' which might fruitfully supplement our STS vocabulary. The concept of Verfremdung investigates multiple ways of making the known defamiliarized and 'Empirical prints' is a unique artistic/academic endeavor developed for the 2014 IDC (Interaction Design and Children) conference in Aarhus, Denmark. In collaboration Aarhus University, The Empire (Patron for research-related interventions) and Drucksache (An Aarhus based printer) have developed an investigative concept combining academic rigor with artistic relief prints.

The collection of empirical materials

For the 13th edition of IDC, 42 of the around 200 international participants will be asked to bring a random object found outdoors. During the conference these empirical materials will be annotated, documented, and turned into relief prints.

The session's theme

This way of working with empirical data-collection and presentation has close tie-ins with this session focus on straight science communication.


The concept is still being refined and adjusted, but at EASST I will present a regular paper and (if possible) provide a small display of prints made during the IDC conference.

Word count: 229

Inspirational examples:

panel C1
Studying science communication