Together with my Maastricht University colleague Karin Wenz, I will edit the fourth issue of the Digital Culture & Society journal. The issue will be dedicated to the topic: “Hacking and Making: Meanings, Practices, Spaces”. We look forward to receiving exciting submissions to our call for papers:
In 2014, hackerspaces in the Netherlands issued an open letter to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (PPS): In this document, members of hacker communities from Amsterdam, Heerlen, Utrecht and other cities called upon the governmental institution to revise the definition of ‘hacking’ as it was presented on its website. While the PPS defined hacking as “breaking into computers without permission”, the hackerspace members highlighted that hacking means to creatively engage with technologies and to explore them in ways which were not foreseen by their original producers. Opposing the reduction of hacking to illegal activities, they described hacking as exploration of technological boundaries and possibilities.
The inaugural issue of Digital Culture & Society on “Digital Material/ism” has just been published (October 2015): It presents case studies as well as methodological reflections and theoretical insights into digital materiality and materialism. The issue contains articles by Tim Barker and Conor McKeown, Till A. Heilmann, Stefan Werning, Laura Forlano, Grant Bollmer, Ashley Scarlett, Yuk Hui, Moritz Hiller, Evelyn Wan and Sabrina Sauer.
Moreover, for the first issue I have interviewed media theorist Jussi Parikka about his book “A Geology of Media” (2015), the relevance of new materialism and the need for critical, digital humanities. My Maastricht University colleague Karin Wenz spoke to sociologist Tim Jordan about his book “Information Politics” (2015), reflecting on issues of power, control and politics in digital culture.
The Media Fields journal recently published the latest issue on “Spaces of Protest“. It includes papers on drone vision and zones of protest (Anthony McCosker), the Gezi-movement – with regards to the “politics of being-there” (Sinem Aydinli) and “intertopian space” (Çağrı Yalkın and Suncem Koçer) – and urban art as playful protest (Sam Hind).
Together with Pablo Abend, I contributed a paper on the role of (field) researchers during and after the Occupy protests. When writing the paper back in 2013, we were wondering:
Google Flu Trends and the Methodological Shift from ‘Supply’ to ‘Demand’
In June this year (2014), transcript published an edited volume on “Big Data“. I contributed a chapter to this publication, on a topic which fascinates me: data obtained through search engine queries – and hence based on the digital traces which users leave behind. While I have looked into this topic more generally with regards to Google Trends before, this paper analyses Google Flu Trends and the connection between Big Data and epidemiological surveillance more specifically. The paper is in German, but I recently discussed the topic with Max Haiven and Anna Sauerbrey at the SLOW Politics conference in Berlin. Below you can find a summary of the paper and a video of our discussion.
For our project “Hacking Heritage”, Karin Wenz and I are organising a cultural hackathon. The event will take place in Maastricht on February 7 and 8 (Saturday/Sunday). You can now register for the hackathon on hackheritage.org.
Digital Material/ism: How Materiality shapes Digital Culture and Social Interaction – First Issue of Digital Culture & Society
Abstract deadline: February 1, 2015
The idea of a society, in which everyday smart objects are equipped with digital logic and sensor technologies, is currently taking shape. Devices connected as learning machines to the “Internet of Things” necessitate further research on issues related to digital media and their materiality. In this context, media, culture and social theories, dealing with the materiality of digital technology, have gained increasing relevance.
Together with my colleagues Pablo Abend, Mathias Fuchs, Ramon Reichert and Karin Wenz, I recently initiated the publication of a new journal:
Digital Culture & Society is a refereed, international journal, fostering discussion about the ways in which digital technologies, platforms and applications reconfigure daily lives and practices. It offers a forum for critical analysis and inquiries into digital media theory. The newly established journal provides a publication environment for interdisciplinary research approaches, contemporary theory developments and methodological innovation in digital media studies. It invites reflection on how culture unfolds through the use of digital technology, and how it conversely influences the development of digital technology itself.