On Scratching Your Own Itch

Spencer Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Following Massimo Banzi's comment that the Arduino development board might be seen as a means of ‘scratching your own itch’, this paper explores the concept of affect in relation to physical computing, and investigates the ways in which cybernetic and networked objects could be said to enact a series of process-philosophical and object-oriented tensions. In so doing it addresses the cultural saturation of Arduino and its employment in an array of institutional, artistic and activist contexts, and brings this to bear on the conflict between the process philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and the more directly object-oriented perspectives of Graham Harman, Ian Bogost and Bruno Latour. Framing the enquiry around the at once ethico-aesthetic and speculative realist questions of what it is to ‘scratch' and what it is to ‘itch', the paper examines micro- and macro-political agency in the context of physical computing—contrasting process philosophy's pronounced notion of affective, connective, creative differentiation with the black-boxed, withdrawn objects of object-oriented philosophy, and its quasi-causal mode of aesthetic interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-162
Number of pages20
JournalDigital Creativity
Issue number2
Early online date17 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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