Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Session: Spatialities of Co-Creation, Collaboration and Peer Production in the Digital Age. Organisers: Dr Penny Travlou (University of Edinburgh), Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield) and Marc Garrett (Furtherfield) Chair: Dr Penny Travlou This session looks at novel models of creativity in reference to collaborative practices, co-creation and peer production focusing on their spatiality within a transglobal and digitally-fused environment. Within this context, creativity is understood as a synergy of spaces, practices and artifacts, interlinked in such a manner that their singularity(-ies) form an assemblage. We can consider creativity, and subsequent knowledge formation, as forms of social interaction rather than the outcomes of social activities. Whilst we commonly perceive creativity as the product of the individual artist, or creative ensemble, from this perspective creativity can also be considered an emergent phenomenon of communities, driving change and facilitating individual or ensemble creativity. Creativity can be a performative activity released when engaged through and by a community. Creativity, thus, can be also regarded as an emergent property of relations, of communities. As James Leach (2004), the British anthropologist, suggests creativity can be proposed as a collective becoming where the creation of new things, and the ritualized forms of exchange enacted around them, function to “create” individuals and bind them in social groups, thus “creating” the community they inhabit and generate new places in the landscape. Following this theoretical framework, this session looks at the spatiality of novel forms of creativity presenting examples of creative landscapes. The selected papers focus and reflect on one of the following issues: 1. Case studies on spaces of collaborative and co-creative practices such as hackerspaces, fablabs, co-design studios, co-working offices, online forums and collaborative platforms, social innovation hubs, DIY biohacking labs etc. We will particularly welcome papers that reflect on spaces of co-authorship and co-production where authority and voice of the persons involved may shift towards horizontal structures of power and control. 2. The methodological framework(s) that best accommodate(s) these insights on the spatialities of creativity as an emergent property of assemblages (e.g. collaborative & peer-to-peer ethnography, co-design and prototyping, research by design, digital research methods, multi-sited fieldwork). 3. Insights and reflections on the current theoretical approaches on co-creation and peer production in the digital (network) age: collaboration, Do-It-With-Others (DIWO), hacktivism, open source and free software movement, heterarchy, peer-to-peer culture and the commons. Special focus will be on the linkage of the above concepts to current theoretical debates within cultural geography. The session also includes a fieldtrip to Furtherfield Gallery and Furtherfield Commons in Finsbury Park. Furtherfield is a "dedicated space for media art", providing a platform for "creating, viewing, discussing and learning about experimental practices in art, technology and social change" ( Unlike commercial private galleries, however, Furtherfield functions as a non-profit artist-run space, aiming to "initiate and provide infrastructure for commissions, events, exhibitions, internships, networking, participatory projects, peer exchange, publishing, research, residencies and workshops" ( The scope of the field visit is to look at a ‘creative’ space that champions co-creative and peer production practices where digital artists, audience and local communities work together through cultural practices and creative processes exploring ways to establish contemporary commons.
Period27 Aug 2014
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburghShow on map


  • cultural geography
  • ethnography
  • networks
  • co-creation
  • peer production
  • creativity
  • digital arts