Algorithms in Art: Displacements with Algorithmic Culture in Danish Art since 1990

Algorithms in Art investigates an until recently peripheral chapter in Danish art history during which contemporary art has evolved alongside the cultural proliferation of algorithms. By tracing, mapping, and analyzing differences in how algorithms have been practiced in art, Algorithms in Art establishes new empirical grounds for critical understanding of art’s evolving relations with digitalization.

The objective of Algorithms in Art is two-fold: Firstly, the project seeks to contribute with a technodiverse trajectory that accounts for the significance of algorithmic technology and culture in art and broadens the canon of contemporary art. This by qualitatively mapping all retrievable works of art produced in the Danish art context since 1990 (until 2020) in which algorithmic technology and practice are central to the work’s production, presentation, and/or mode of existence. Secondly, based on a theoretical framework informed by technoaesthetics, feminist new materialism, and philosophy of technology, the project develops a methodology for technoaesthetic analysis of the variety of ways in which artists have worked with the algorithmic – as theme, technology, and aesthetic technique – to identify differences in the ways in which algorithms are practiced in art. The project pursues these overall objectives through the research questions:

  • How has the algorithm been practiced in art since the proliferation of digital technology in the Danish art context?
  • How do differences in algorithmic practice in art contribute to understanding and discussing displacements in art’s central concepts, trajectories, and operative modes of existence with digitalization?


As a technical concept, an algorithm is a systematic set of rules that processes current and historical data to anticipate or predict future responses, events, or behaviors based on identified patterns and trends. Algorithms in Art situates the concept of the “algorithm” differently, however, in between media art history (theory on algorithmic art) and cultural studies (theory on algorithmic culture). The project employs the term of the algorithm as essentially a matter of cultural practice. This conceptual position informs the project’s methodology, whereby rather than looking at algorithms in terms of isolated coded instructions that enable and control the behavior of an artwork or image, the project examines how the algorithm has manifested in art as a matter of entwinement of technological functionality and cultural practice. Algorithms in Art develops an understanding of technology in relation to art as more than a tool, frame, or a concept of critical response – as a matter of human ongoing negotiation with technology, which broadens critical understanding of productive relations between algorithmic art and anticipative technoculture at large.

The project’s research methods include archival research, analysis of algorithmic models, in-depth artist interviews, and technoaesthetic analysis of artworks retrieved from the archives and records of Danish institutions, organizations, and artists.



RT1: Develop a methodology for technoaesthetic analysis inspired by media art history, cultural studies, feminist new materialist and techno-philosophical theories.

RT2: Retrieve and map algorithmic artworks produced in the Danish art context since 1990 (until 2020) from the records of art institutions, organizations, and artists, to map the different manifestations of algorithms in art.

RT3: Technoaesthetic analysis of how algorithms are practiced in a variety of ways through themes, technology, and aesthetic techniques. Artworks are further unpacked through in-depth interviews with select artists.

RT4: Publication of catalog with the main research results to provide an empirically grounded foundation for nuancing and diversifying discussion on displacements in art with digitalization.



Feminist Memories of Art and AI – Article for exhibition catalog Against All Odds: Historical Women and New Algorithms, 31 August – 8 December 2024, National Gallery of Denmark (SMK), Copenhagen.

(TBA) – Talk at Digital Culture Salon, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, 25 April, 2024.

How research in art and art history brings new perspectives on technological and digital matters - Lecture at Arts and Natural Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Hellerup, 16 May, 2024.

AI Art/Aesthetics: Critical Practices – Research seminar that explores critical aesthetic practices with generative artificial intelligence. Talks by Ariana Dongus, Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm and Hana Yoo, organized by Tanya Ravn Ag, Daniel Irrgang and Mick With Berland, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen.



Name Title Phone E-mail
Ag, Tanya Ravn Assistant Professor +4535321265 E-mail


Project Grant for Research in Art History

Project period: February 2024 - July 2025

PI: Tanya Ravn Ag