Sunday, February 9, 2014

post/digital cultures research

recently, i started a new research project, the post/digital cultures research institute. its goal is to foster theory-practical thinkering (a term borrowed from Erkki Huhtamo) into the realms of our present day culture, where real and virtual worlds merge, borders are not clearly distinguishable anymore, the biological and technological merge more and more and in general technology has become an integral part of our daily lives and bodies.

on the one hand, its goal is to act locally and gather people engaged in digital media of all sorts and make visible all these private efforts; on the other hand, although the city of Linz has a long and strong history of digital media, in it there has hardly been any academic research in this field, not about its histories, no reflections about its present, not much inspirational thoughts about its future.
on the other hand, research in this area is conducted by people and independent institutions internationally, but there are only few occasions, where these interest meet, let alone where they result in a collaborative effort, combining the diverse interests and strengths.

this independent post/cultural research institute will try to - step by step - provide a platform for such local and international efforts and stir discussion about a topic that is simultaneously so diverse and diffuse as well as pervasive as post/digital cultures.

as for now, we have started by creating a facebook group as a kind of "mood board" to initiate discussion, and a blog that lays out the initial areas of research.

from the about-text of our facebook group:
"post/digital cultures research addresses, discusses and shares theories, practices and questions of im/materiality in post/digital cultures. examples from the arts and science context exemplify the shifting conditions of a culture and social life where real and virtual are merged and where it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between these spheres.

In a broad approach, this description follows Mel Alexenberg's concept of post-digital art as a humanization of technology and an interplay of "digital, biological, cultural, and spiritual systems, between cyberspace and real space, between embodied media and mixed reality in social and physical communication, between high tech and high touch experiences, between visual, haptic, auditory, and kinesthetic media experiences, between virtual and augmented reality, between roots and globalization, between autoethnography and community narrative, and between web-enabled peer-produced wikiart and artworks created with alternative media through participation, interaction, and collaboration in which the role of the artist is redefined." (

as a physical space, the post/digital cultures research institute is based in Linz, Austria. It started in late 2013 as a research framework. anybody, Linz-based or not, is welcome to contribute, collaborate or suggest further areas of investigation."

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