Performative sensibility and the communication of things

Keywords: Performative sensibility, Communication of things, Fitbit, Actor-Network Theory


This article affirms the social character of objects and highlights the differences between sociotechnical networks of everyday objects and those of digitally-augmented objects, which characterize the Internet of Things (IoT). This difference between automation processes and IoT networks is called performative sensibility (PS). We also show that PS is not a technical characteristic of sensors and actuators but a property that places the digitally-augmented object in a broader communication network through algorithmic performances and procedures. We explore how PS can be seen as a fundamental key to a conceptual model of the communication of things, including the procedural narratives of Fibit Charge HR2.


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Author Biographies

André Luiz Martins Lemos, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA)

Full Professor, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Senior Researcher (PQ-1A) at the National Scientific Council (CNPq/MCT-Brazil). Coordinator of Lab404. Digital Media, Networks and Space Research Laboratory (POSCOM/UFBA)

Elias Cunha Bitencourt, Bahia State University (UNEB)

Assistant Professor in the Department of Design, State University of Bahia, PhD candidate on the Communication and Contemporary Cultures Program at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Researcher at Lab404. Digital Media, Networks and Space Research Laboratory (POSCOM/UFBA) and at Virtual Community – Game and education research group (UNEB)

How to Cite
Lemos, A., & Bitencourt, E. (2018). Performative sensibility and the communication of things. MATRIZes, 12(3), 165-188. Retrieved from
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