Disembodied Conduct: Interactional Asymmetries in Video-Mediated Communication
Christian Heath, Paul Luff
Over the past thirty years, there have been numerous attempts to develop audio-visual technologies which
provide real time access between geographically dispersed individuals. As yet, however, these attempts have
met with relatively little success. The videotelephone and conferencing systems were early precursors of such
developments, and in more recent years we have seen the ways in which audio-visual technologies can
support a range of computer-based tools, such as shared meeting spaces, shared text editors and shared
drawing tools. These extraordinary technological innovations have been accompanied by a growing body of
research concerned with the potential contribution of audio-visual technologies to cooperative work. Despite
this work, we still have relatively little understanding of the character of interpersonal communication mediated
through video technologies or the extent to which the media facilitate collaboration in the work place.
Technology in Working Order: Studies of Work, Interaction, and Technology, Graham Button (ed), Routledge, London, 1993, pp 35-54.