Analog/Digital Cultures: Algorithms & Culture

Clemens Apprich
Institute of Fine Arts and Media Art, Media Theory
2022W, Lecture and Discussion (VD), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04308

Description

What are digital cultures? The question is typically answered by reference to social media platforms, online services, or the computer in general. However, despite the ubiquity of digital media technologies in our everyday culture, a lack of knowledge prevails as to what ‘the digital’ actually is. The lecture series poses this seemingly simple, but all the more complex question by interrogating the ‘deep history’ of the digital in relation to non-digital (i.e. analog) cultures. Based on key references from media as well as cultural studies, we will look into the transition from analog to digital cultures not simply in terms of a linear media change, but rather as a complex, often complicated interweaving between the two – an interrelation which affects the way we think, perceive and act in the world.

This semester, the focus will be on the relationship between algorithms and culture with regard to digital media technologies. Algorithmic cultures can be understood as the 'cultivation' of a certain logic that works by breaking down (continuous) problems into a set of (discrete) steps in order to automatically process them. As such algorithms are indeed "tricky objects to know" (Nick Seaver), not least because they combine technical knowledge with a wide range of cultural phenomena (e.g. sorting, filtering, curating). We will look into the 'black box' of algorithmic cultures and discuss their economic, legal and political implications for our everyday media life with a special focus on data bias and algorithmic discrimination.

Examination Modalities

Students will be responsible to write a final essay or book review (ca. 15.000 characters, including spaces and footnotes, but excluding appendices, references, or figures) by the end of the term. The essay/book review should demonstrate a critical engagement with the topic of the lecture, applying the discussed literature. Further inspiration on the question of what constitutes digital cultures can be found in this interview series.

Comments

The lecture will be held in English. Essays/book reviews can be submitted in English or German. A course outline with assigned readings will be made available online.

Key Words

digital culture, media theory, media history, medientheorie, algorithms, recommendation systems, machine learning

Dates

04 October 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
11 October 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
25 October 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
08 November 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
15 November 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
22 November 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
29 November 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
06 December 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
13 December 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
20 December 2022, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
10 January 2023, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
17 January 2023, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
24 January 2023, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20
31 January 2023, 10:00–11:30 Seminar Room 20

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis 067/003.80

Art Education: subject kkp (Enhancements study): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis 067/003.80

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis 074/003.80

Art Education: subject dex (Enhancements study): Wissenschaftliche Praxis: FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis 074/003.80

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Theoretical foundations: Theoretical foundations 180/003.01

Expanded Museum Studies (Master): Electives: Media Theory 537/080.20

Media Arts: Specialisation in Transmedia Arts (1. Section): Wissenschaftlich theoretische und historische Grundlagen: Medientheorie, Mediengeschichte 566/108.02

Media Arts: Specialisation in Transmedia Arts (2. Section): Wissenschaft, Theorie und Geschichte : Medientheorie, Mediengeschichte 566/208.02

Media Arts: Specialisation in Digital Arts (1. Section): Wissenschaftlich theoretische und historische Grundlagen: Medientheorie, Mediengeschichte 567/108.02

Media Arts: Specialisation in Digital Arts (2. Section): Wissenschaft, Theorie, Geschichte: Medientheorie, Mediengeschichte 567/208.02

Studies in Art and Culture (Master): Electives Area 2: Media Theory 568/006.11

Design: Specialisation in Graphic Design (2. Section): Theoretical Basics: Media Theory and Semiotics 576/203.05

Design: Specialisation in Fashion Design (1. Section): Methodological and Theoretical Basics: Free Elective Pool Methodological and Theoretical Basics 584/103.80

Conservation and Restoration (2. Section): Geisteswissenschaften: Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte 588/204.10

Fine Arts (2. Section): Scientific and Research Practice: Media Theory,Art&Knowledge Transfer,Th. of Architecture,Th. and Hist. of Design 605/202.02

Fine Arts (2. Section): Scientific and Research Practice: Free Electives out of Scientific and Research Practice 605/202.80

Design: Specialisation in Applied Photography and Time-based Media (1. Section): Methodological and Theoretical Basics: Media Theory and Communication Theory 626/103.05

Design: Specialisation in Applied Photography and Time-based Media (2. Section): Methodological and Theoretical Basics: Humanities 626/203.02

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible