Collectives and Their Artifact Ecologies.

Proc. ACM Hum. Comput. Interact.(2022)

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Computing today happens across multiple devices, applications, users, organizational units, and in the rest of the world outside. Groups and communities come together for different reasons and operate within contexts that may differ from dominant modes of production and consumption. With a foundation in activity theoretical HCI, we develop the concept of collective artifact ecologies. This concept enables us to identify struggles of collective use of computational devices today, delimiting collective artifact ecologies in order to study and explain how they develop and overlap. Through an analysis of three empirical cases, we illustrate the notion of collectives and how they face challenges in establishing, maintaining and negotiating their artifact ecologies. This paper, therefore, contributes a theoretical foundation for analyzing groups and communities as collectives, with a particular emphasis on the multiple tools and artifacts they use. To serve as a starting point for further engagement with these concepts, we provide guiding questions to support the understanding of collective artifact ecologies.
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