13. Haptics

Haptic Creativity and the Mid-Embodiments of Experimental Life

  1. Frances E. Mascia-Lees
  1. Natasha Myers1 and
  2. Joe Dumit2

Published Online: 14 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444340488.ch13

A Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment

A Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment

How to Cite

Myers, N. and Dumit, J. (2011) Haptics, in A Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment (ed F. E. Mascia-Lees), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444340488.ch13

Editor Information

  1. Rutgers University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Departments of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, York University, Canada

  2. 2

    U.C. Davis, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405189491

Online ISBN: 9781444340488



  • haptics, and haptic creativity - mid-embodiments of experimental life;
  • Henri Bergson's (1991) Matter and Memory - theory of perception;
  • affinities among practices of biologists - visualizing living cells;
  • looping video, not treated - as a stand-alone representation of cell;
  • experimentation, risky enterprise - unpredictable, uncharted “labyrinths”;
  • embodiment, experimental agency - and the middle voice;
  • middle voice - grammatical form lost to most present languages;
  • use of grammatical definitions of “voice” - in no way limiting analysis to linguistic speech;
  • articulating excitable habitus - of experimentalist;
  • visualization programs, and database structures - responsive manipulation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Leaning into the Data

  • Embodiment, Experimental Agency, and the Middle Voice

  • Articulating the Excitable Habitus of an Experimentalist

  • Seeing, Scaling, and Story-Making: Haptic Creativity in Responsive Media

  • Conclusions

  • References