I have written this article in 2019 for TOCHI (Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction) and while it was quick in getting it published, it was a long time in the making and synthesises a major shift in my own thinking about creating digital technologies.
This article argues that our intimate entanglement with digital technologies is challenging the foundations of current HCI research and practice. Our relationships to virtual realities, artificial intelligence, neuro-implants or pervasive, cyberphysical systems generate ontological uncertainties, epistemological diffusion and ethical conundrums that require us to consider evolving the current research paradigm. I look to post-humanism and relational ontologies to sketch what I call Entanglement HCI in response. I review selected theories—Actor-Network Theory, Post-Phenomenology, Object-Oriented Ontology, Agential Realism—and their existing influences on HCI literature. Against this background, I develop Entanglement HCI from the following four perspectives: (a) the performative relationship between humans and technology; (b) the re-framing of knowledge generation processes around phenomena; (c) the tracing of accountabilities, responsibilities and ethical encounters; and (d) the practices of design and mattering that move beyond user-centred design.