University of Tasmania

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Engaged Autonomy: Digital Materiality, Craft Knowledge and Possibility

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 05:12 authored by Mauro-Flude, MN
This paper, via a case study of two hackspace events, elucidates how a hands-on collaborative, experiential learning approach may be beneficial in understanding emergent technologies both practically and conceptually. A hackspace is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, science and/or digital and electronic art can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. At Hackspace events participants who surface from mainly online communities, come from all over the world to meet up in real life (IRL) and learn about emergent technologies. Specifically the events I point to start with a course in basic hardware. These real life events are important as the organisers’ predominantly only interact on line. The experiential approach is accessible and it encourages the participant to be an amateur in the realm of a technical professional, but instead of the constraint of the later, the former allows them to follow their own enthusiasms that open up new possibilities. I introduce the notion of ‘engaged autonomy’ referring Charles Esche’s (2004) proposal as a way to think of autonomy not as something that is invested in the object itself but rather as an action or a way of working, through thinking things otherwise. Hackspace events pose a new radical set of models, which in turn provides inspiration and new insights to creative learning and engagement with technology and tools.


Publication title

Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools 2010 Conference: Papers






School of Creative Arts and Media


Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS)

Place of publication


Event title

ACUADS: Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference

Event Venue

Launceston, Tasmania

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2010 the Author

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies