Living in a Sociomaterial World

  • Eric Monteiro
  • Petter Almklov
  • Vidar Hepsø
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 389)


The Internet of Things (IoT) – the proliferation of networked sensors, gadgets, artefacts and measurement devices – increase the presence, scope and potential importance of mediated information in collaborative work practices. This underscores the material aspects of sociomaterial practices. We study an extreme case where work practices rely heavily, almost entirely, on representations. In line with the research programme on sociomateriality, we acknowledge the performative role of representations. Representations are thus actively embedded in practice rather than passive re-presentation of data. Extending the programme of sociomateriality, we contribute by identifying and discussing three strategies detailing how sociomaterial practices get performed: extrapolate (filling in gaps), harmonise (ironing out inaccuracies) and abduct (coping with anomalies). We draw empirically on a longitudinal (2004-2011) case study of the subsurface community of NorthOil. This community of geologists, geophysicists, reservoir engineers, production engineers and well engineers rely on sensor-based (acoustic, electromagnetic, radioactive, pressure, temperature) data when exploring and producing oil and gas resources several thousand meters below the seabed where direct access to data is difficult and/ or limited.


Sociomateriality performativity representation 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Monteiro
    • 1
  • Petter Almklov
    • 2
  • Vidar Hepsø
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer and Information Science (IDI)NTNUTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Studio AperturaNTNU Social ResearchTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Dept. of Applied GeosciencesNTNUTrondheimNorway

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