Past activities

  • 13 November 2018, 13:00-15:00

    Migration, Image, Activism

    Lecture and seminar by Thomas Keenan (Bard College).

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  • 2 October 2018, 19:30-21:00

    I am Queen Mary

    Artist talk + Open forum with La Vaughn Belle & Jeannette Ehlers.

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  • 7 June - 9 June 2018

    Surveillance Beyond Borders & Boundaries

    CALL FOR PAPERS. The 8th Biennial Surveillance Studies Network Conference. 7-9 June 2018. Aarhus, Denmark

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  • 5 June - 6 June 2018

    Drone Imaginaries and Society

    Organized by Kathrin Maurer, University of Southern Denmark.

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  • 23 May - 24 May 2018

    Towards a Politics of Withdrawal?

    This event is part of the project Disconnectivity in the Digital Age (Pepita Hesselberth, 2015-2018) and made possible due to financial support from the Danish Council for Independent Research (FKK).

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  • 21 August - 22 August 2017


    Workshop about the changing role of the archive as political technology has impacted the understanding and conduct of contemporary warfare.

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  • 24 May 2017, 10:00-12:00

    Computer Vision workshop with Adam Harvey

    The goal of this workshop will be to develop a more technical understanding of remote biometrics through a direct experience with the algorithms. Biometric enrollment is optional. No previous coding experience necessary.

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  • 22 May - 23 May 2017

    The Uncertain Image

    This workshop discusses the aesthetic uncertainties that accompany the contemporary development of more and more graphic, photographic, and moving images and new kinds of images.

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  • 6 April - 7 April 2017



    The ubiquities of sensors that track and capture our habitual movements have turned our life-world into a latent archive. Big data developments have expanded the capturing mechanisms at work in contemporary control societies, minimizing the areas of our lives in which our movements are unknown to the archive. Most of this data is produced by ourselves: more and more people share the belief that gathering and analysing data about their everyday activities can help them improve their lives — an approach known as “self-tracking”, “body hacking” or “self-quantifying”. We readily track ourselves to improve ourselves; and in that process we build up enormous personal archives attesting to our habits and whereabouts – archives we often do not control.

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  • 13 March 2017, 10:00-11:30

    La Vaughn Belle

    Uncertain Archives featuring La Vaughn Belle

    Archives are instruments and sites of memory that intertwine past and present, here and there, in dizzying ways. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the archival collections that were culled from the Danish rule over the US Virgin Islands. While the archival material – and the colonial regime that produced it – is often framed as things of “the past”, the working of the archive also shows how the past nevertheless remains a present fact in both the former colonies as well as former colonial regimes.

    We will discuss these issues with artist La Vaughn Belle in relation to her ongoing archival work, focusing on questions of authority, authenticity and subjectivity.   

    La Vaughn Belle is a leading multidisciplinary artist from the US Virgin Islands whose work has centered around creating narratives that challenge colonial hierarchies and narratives. She holds a MFA from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba and an MA and BA from Columbia University in NYC. She has taught Humanities and Visual Arts at the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands. Her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, the USA and Denmark such as the Museo del Barrio in NY, the Havana biennial, the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen and the Whim Plantation Museum in St. Croix. Over the last 10 years her work has focussed on the colonial legacy of the US Virgin Islands. Having changed hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States the question of coloniality has been a central theme in her work. She looks at history, architecture and other aspects of  material culture to create a space to explore collective narratives, memory and identity. Her work is often presenting alternative narratives of resistance and agency and the power of the imagination to redefine our understanding of our world.

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  • 3 March 2017, 13:30

    Cute Small & Deadly

    A symposium on aesthetics and political forms

    We live in strange times. Isis, an international terrorist organization, uses kitten pictures to soften its public image. A right wing ideologue rises to the U.S. presidency via Twitter, a media platform that miniaturizes public speech and thrives on one liners. Meanwhile, nations wage war using tiny flying cameras that are also bombs, and the iconic symbol of resistance is a pink knitted hat with ears.

    Join us for an afternoon of presentations and discussion with an international group of cultural critics. And learn about two important new books: Compact Cinematics (Bloomsbury) andThe Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness (Routledge). At 17.00, following the presentations, there will be a wine reception.

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  • 22 February 2017, 17:00-18:30

    Kristin Veel: Uncertain Archives-Unknowns,Errors and Vulnerabilities in the Age of Big Data

    Out of Data Seminar, Center for Interdisciplinary Methodologies

    The modern world is into data, but what is out and what is coming out of data? Facts and figures, to be sure, but what else? New methods for seeing, acting and shaping our world? New cultural forms, experiences and artefacts?

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  • 13 February 2017, 14:00-16:00

    Florian Sprenger: Continuity and Disconnection, Flows and Bursts - On the Interruption of Communication

    In this talk Florian Sprenger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) will explore the prehistory of the discourses of connectivity that we are confronted with today. The lecture will show how early electric telegraphy was conceived as a medium of immediacy and thus fostered a phantasm of connectivity. By taking into account that media theories themselves are fascinated by immediacy, it becomes obvious that concepts of community are concepts of connectivity that neglect disconnection. [This event is made possible with the support of the Danish Council for Independent Research, and part of the project on Disconnectivity in the Digital Age.]

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  • 22 November 2016, 17:00-20:30

    Do:Topia screening of "HyperNormalisation"

    Imagine a system that doesn’t work. A failed project which is nonetheless upheld by hapless politicians with no idea how to fix it. A world tolerated by a populace, equally aware of the downwards spiral, with no idea how to escape. Imagine a world with Brexit, and where a man like Donald Trump can win the American presidential election. We’re in it, right now.

    DO:TOPIA will be screening the new documentary from director Adam Curtis, HyperNormalisation. The film explores parts of the history and the events that have led to a world, where we don’t know what's right and what's wrong. But also a world, where we through the internet can facilitate mass movements, and where there may be unimaginable opportunities, if only we dare look beyond the horizon.

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  • 14 November - 15 November 2016


    The promise of big data archives to reveal an objective truth spoken by data involves a hope to rectify the errors inherent in previously trusted statistical methods, such as sampling. Yet, what is omitted in the big data craze is the realization that archives are essentially structured by error as sites of both risk and promise. This assertion fundamentally challenges the dominant understanding the archival purpose, and its raison d’être as linked to reason and order. 

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  • 7 November 2016, 14:00-16:00

    Uncertain Archives afternoon feat. Evelyn Ruppert

    Uncertain Archives afternoon featuring Evelyn Ruppert

    Where are the political subjects of Big Data?

    Prof Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths, University of London

    I pose the question of where are the political subjects – who I will refer to as data citizens - of Big Data in two senses. The first concerns conceptions of and relation between online and offline lives, and between ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ spaces. To pose the question of where are data citizens involves problematizing these conceptions and then asking where is the space of their becoming? The second concerns conceptions of agency and power and assumptions that subjects are either controlled or free. To pose the question of where are data citizens involves problematizing this binary and then asking through what processes do data subjects become data citizens? Those are my questions for my talk and they start from the proposition that studies of Big Data are proliferating, yet we lack concepts for framing and interpreting what these mean for political subjectivities and their relation to the data that are generated and interpreted. My objective is to provide a theory of digital acts and digital citizens that builds on this proposition to provide an approach that attends to the uncertainties of political subjectivity that involve power relations between and amongst embodied subjects who act through the Internet and in doing so are part of the making of data. By attending to this uncertainty I seek to articulate the potentialities and possibilities of acting and what this means for how we come to interpret Big Data.

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  • 4 November 2016, 14:00-16:00

    Uncertain Archives afternoon feat. Ben Kafka

    The CEMES group ”Bureaucracy in Europe" and the research project Uncertain Archives invite you to a seminar with Professor Ben Kafka (NYU):

    The Not-So-Enigmatic Signifier

    The psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche proposes the concept of the "enignmatic signifier:" the subtle, typically unconscious, powerfully conflictual messages communicated to the child by its mother, messages that the child must then struggle to translate in its own mind. In this talk I want to look at some of the not-so-enigmatic signifiers that proliferate in bureaucratic contexts, and ask about what sorts of unconscious dynamics may be at work there.

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  • 1 October - 10 December 2016

    Representing History through Data

    The Royal Library and IT University of Copenhagen invites employees and students to join the exploration of the maps and images and to bring analytical skills and know-how to visualize the material in three datasprints. Technical know-how is not a premise.

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  • 9 September 2016, 13:00-15:00

    Liberalism, neoliberalism and the critique of governmentality

    In the aftermath of the First World War two paradigms of governance emerged that were to have a decisive impact on Western statecraft in the 20th century, The Welfare State and Neoliberalism. Thought of as two non-reconcilable political rationalities, they are known for their different inherent economic strategies in shorthand often referred to as “fiscal policy” respectively “monetary policy”. Providing a different perspective, French philosopher Michel Foucault undertakes an analysis of neoliberalism, not as a particular economic school, but as a critical form of governmentality articulated in opposition and as an alternative to that of the Welfare State. Part of the archaeology of the contemporary that informed Foucault’s work, the 1979 lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics remain a thought-provoking take on the latencies of 20th century political rationality. The article discusses the three major themes in Foucault’s genealogy of contemporary politics: The market, competition and human capital.

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  • 18 April 2016, 14:00-17:00

    Digital Representations: Cultural, Social and Legal Critiques

    Seminar, 2pm - 5pm on Monday, 18 April 2016

    Room 27.0.47, University of Copenhagen at Amager


    Digital technologies are changing our past, present and future. This seminar presents critical perspectives on issues including mass-digitization of cultural heritage, machine reading and bits-to-atoms transformations such as 3D-printing. Cultural, social and legal implications of applied digital technologies will be considered by the speakers who cover a broad range of disciplinary expertise.

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  • 18 March 2016, 14:00-15:30

    Uncertain Archives afternoon feat. Keller Easterling and Thomas Mical

    Archives are predisposed to accumulate. This is not least the case for big data archives. Hence, archival loss is often logged as archival failure. But what would it mean to think about archival subtraction, not as a mode of failure, but rather as a meaningful political act? We will discuss these questions with architect and writer Keller Easterling in relation to her recent book Subtraction (Sternberg Press, 2014). 

    Sign-up required at Reading material will be distributed to participants beforehand. 

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  • 16 March 2016, 13:00-14:00

    Talk by N. Katherine Hayles: Rethinking Cognition: Implications for the Humanities

    The question of whether machines can think has been a controversial subject now for more than half a century, with seminal contributions by Alan Turing, John Searle, Daniel Dennett and others.  These controversies have received fresh impetus with the advent of the digital humanities, with some scholars, notably John Guillory, saying there is an “immeasurable gap” between what human interpretation can do and what machine analysis can achieve, and others such as Franco Moretti making a strong case for “distant reading” using machine analytics.  This talk offers a fresh perspective by changing the focus from thinking to nonconscious cognition, arguing that computational media perform many sophisticated cognitive tasks.  The implications for this changed perspective are explored for the digital humanities and their potential contributions to humanistic discourse.

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  • 14 March - 15 March 2016

    Love's Archives

    The conditions and codes of romantic love once extolled by romantic fiction in modern European contexts can be seen to be rapidly evolving. Reasons for this may include: new forms of media; rapidly differentiating social sub systems; extended and increasingly fragmented family groups; acceptance of non-hetero relationships; acknowledgement of gender as a non-binary condition; and digital platforms that make public what could previously remain marginalised. Today, genetic techniques that bypass physical mediation may reframe associations of love as a prerequisite of procreation. How much of love is something that can be learned, and how much is innate? How have our understandings or expectations of love changed with the cultural shifts of the past several decades? How do we reconcile loves romantically incalculable aspirations with its increasing capacity to appear calculable, algorithmic and commodified?

    In this workshop, we begin to explore aspects of love in the context of the contemporary postdigital milieu. Perhaps ‘love’ today no longer pertains to the totality favoured by modern disciplinary societies. Or its penchant for simplified binary opposition that suggested our absent half be located in order to become complete. If love can be thought as a way that bodies are consensually disciplined toward economic and social goals of the state, then it latterly describes increasingly episodic, precarious, discrete, or distributed conditions.

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  • 7 January 2016, 18:00-19:30


    Med afsæt i Thorbjørn Laustens brug af videnskabelige data inviterer Overgaden til paneldebat om datavisualiseringer.

    Denne aften sætter vi fokus på, hvilken rolle de digitale billed- og datastrømme spiller i vores forståelse og sansning af verden i en tid, hvor informationsteknologien i stigende grad dominerer. Hvilken indflydelse har det digitale på vores forståelse af begreber som objektivitet og repræsentation? Hvordan kommer den teknologiske udvikling til udtryk i kunsten, og hvilke samarbejder på tværs af videnskab, kunst og teknologi påkalder og muliggør denne udvikling?

    Panelet består af Pernille Leth-Espensen, postdoc på Kunsthistorie ved Institut for Kommunikation og Kultur,  Aarhus Universitet; Morten Søndergaard, media art curator og lektor i mediekunst ved Institut for Kommunikation på AAU i København; og Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, postdoc ved Institut for Kunst- og Kulturvidenskab på Københavns Universitet.

    Moderator: Rasmus Vestergaard, kurator på Kunsthal DIAS – Digital Interactive Art Space.

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  • 7 January 2016, 14:00-16:00

    Online Art Archives: Shifting from Storage to Dynamic Circulation

    An Uncertain Archives Afternoon Seminar with Annet Dekker With the advent of the web, museum archives gradually changed from a storage depot for physical objects to a data set of digital files. With this change, visitor attention shifts from physical to ‘virtual’ environments, radically transforming how we experience the objects themselves. In other words, an archive’s traditional relationship to social identity, agency, history and memory is challenged by the distributed, processual and ambiguous nature of networked media, and a new set of values emerges but remains unarticulated. To answer how the transformation of the archive into a networked device is changing how archives are curated, experienced and preserved, several art projects are presented in which challenges and the potential of the digital archive are explored. In the process, this research seeks to develop an understanding of the relationship between the software practices and cultures by which online archives are maintained and the socio-political, commercial and organisational practices of what is still considered the preservation of documents and objects.  Annet Dekker is an independent curator and researcher. Currently she is researcher digital preservation at Tate, London, visiting lecturer at London South Bank University/The Photographers’ Gallery, London, fellow at Het Nieuwe Institute, Rotterdam, and tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. She publishes widely on issues of digital art and preservation in international peer reviewed journals, books and magazines, and edited several publications. Previously she worked as Web curator for SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Domain, 2010–2012), was programme manager at Virtueel Platform (2008–2010), and head of exhibitions, education and artists-in-residence at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (1999–2008). In 2014 she completed her PhD on strategies for conserving net art at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London. Thesis title: Enabling the Future, or How to Survive FOREVER. A study of networks, processes and ambiguity in net art and the need for an expanded practice of conservation. Please sign up by sending an email to:

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  • 10 December 2015, 14:00-16:00

    Screening: Harun Farocki

    Harun Farocki is one of the most articulate explorers of contemporary life, its myriad depredations — war, imprisonment, surveillance, capitalism — and the visual stimuli that attend them. In December, the research network Uncertain Archives screens four of his movies. First we show Farocki’s series Auge/Machine I-III in which Farocki explores the advent of “operational images” made by algorithms and image-making machines. Secondly, we show Nicht ohne Risiko (2004), which ventures into the world of venture capitalism and “risk economy”. The screening is in German without subtitles. 

    Attendance is free. Please sign up with

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  • 12 November 2015, 13:00-15:00

    Seminar with Paul du Gay

    Seminar with Professor Paul du Gay (CBS) about the social and cultural dynamics of bureaucracy. 

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  • 3 November 2015,

    Archival Times

    10am-1pm:  Venue: KUA room 27.0.09 Big data archives offer us a previously unknown sense of security; for one, the huge bodies of information that internet archives contain can augment our human capacities to those of prosthetic gods at the click of a button. Meanwhile the mass collection of data by corporations and agencies of the state promises to make the world’s populations increasingly traceable and, it is hoped, predictable or even preemptable. As the archive moves from a regime of existent truth to one of future anticipation, we seem to have garnered command of the future in the form of cultural fluctuations, flu epidemics, criminal acts, environmental disasters and terrorist attacks. Yet, do the predictive possibilities of digital storage institutions provide a false sense of security? Recent scandals, including the Wikileaks and NSA revelations, have caused experts and observers to question not only the statistical validity of the diagnoses and prognoses conjured from big data, but also the broader implications of their large-scale determination of knowledge. On the one hand, big data raise questions that are well known to the theoretical regime of the archive as it developed at the height of poststructuralism; the theories of archival structuration and function that were explored by such cultural theorists as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in the late twentieth century thus provide a unique entry-point to our investigation of the cultural politics of big data. On the other hand, the new digital forms of the big data archive present urgent, cultural and epistemological challenges in need of contemporary theorization. This inaugural event brings into focus the question of archival temporality. It focuses on archives not only as places of documentation but also of speculation, asking: What happens when we reconfigure the archive from a place that tells us about previous historic events to a machine that projects futures back onto our presents?  Filmmaker Manu Luksch will deliver the keynote MoonWalk in RealTime that will set the stage for ensuing discussions with Professor Frederik Tygstrup and the audience. Manu Luksch is an artist and filmmaker who interrogates conceptions of progress and scrutinises the effects of network technologies on social relations, urban space, and political structures. Her widely acclaimed speculative fiction film FACELESS (2002–07), compiled from CCTV footage recovered under the UK’s Data Protection Act, was also voiced by Tilda Swinton, and translated into nine languages. Her upcoming film Dreams Rewired which will premiere on CPH DOX later in November traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. As revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, an end to war. But then, too, there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, morality. Using rare (and often unseen) archival material from nearly 200 films to articulate the present, DREAMS REWIRED reveals a history of hopes to share, and betrayals to avoid.

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  • 29 October 2015, 15-17


    PRÆ-SCREENING + EFTERFØLGENDE DEBAT  Facebook vil have at du deler al din personlige information, men hvor meget information er de villige til at dele med dig? Ny dokumentarfilm går tæt på Facebook, dets love, magt og betydning for privatlivet og retten til at ytre sig. Forskergruppen Digital Culture præ-screener Facebookistan og debatterer efterfølgende filmens vigtigste tematikker i samtale med instruktøren med fokus på territorium, privatliv, offentlighed og algoritmer.    Trailer: Program 15-16: Visning af Facebookistan 16-17: Debatpanel:   Jacob Gottschau, instruktør af Facebookistan Nanna Thylstrup (postdoc, Institut for Kunst og Kulturvidenskab): Facebook som territorium Bjarki Valtysson (lektor, Institut for Kunst og Kulturvidenskab): Facebook som offentligt rum Jens-Erik Mai (Professor, Informationsstudier): Facebook som privat rum Taina Bucher (adjunkt, Film og Medievidenskab): Facebook som algoritmisk rum Chair: Henrik Chulu, Bitbureauet  Om filmen: Facebook taler for og lever af, at brugerne skal være forbundne og åbne, men selv er de lukkede og uigennemsigtige. Med 1,4 mia. brugere er Facebook i dag verdens største offentlige rum og virksomheden opbevarer personlige data i et hidtil uset omfang. Filmen går tæt på Facebooks forretningsmodel og måde at operere på. Flere personer og organisationer rammes hårdt af Facebooks politik, arbejdsbetingelser og magtbeføjelser og de mulige konsekvenser af Facebooks magt er enorm. Filmen undersøger via eksempler på sager og 'outlaws i Facebookistan', hvordan forretningen Facebook udfordrer to af demokratiets grundlæggende principper - retten til at ytre sig og retten til et privatliv. Filminstruktør Jakob Gottschau har lavet et anklageskrift mod Facebook med interessante og relevante protagonister som Peter Øvig, der kom i Facebooks censurmaskine med sine bøger om Hippie- tiden og de dertilhørende nøgenbilleder, Sister Roma, der som vigtig repræsentant for queer-scenen i USA blev diskrimineret mht. hemmeligholdelse af identitet og filmens hovedperson Max Schrems – en østrigsk aktivist, der har lagt sag an mod Facebook og grundlægger af gruppen ’Europe vs. Facebook’. Øvrige visninger: 8. nov. kl. 16-18 i CPH:DOX-telt i Vognmagergade inkl. debat m. bl.a. Peter Øvig og instruktør Jakob Gottschau. Yderligere 1-2 visninger under CPH:DOX datoerne 5.-15. nov Visning på DR2 slut nov./start dec. 2015.

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  • 6 May 2015, 15:15-17:00

    Trying to Think Electronic "Thinking"

    Professor Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University For the "Humanities," i.e. the cluster of academic disciplines traditionally trusted with thinking about thinking, the electronic age implies the provocation [or is it a humiliation?] of a new type of thinking  emerging from outside their field of competence. At the same time, this different type of thinking is beginning to have a transformative impact on the classical forms of "human" thinking and their arrays. Therefore, a central challenge for the "Humanities" today lies in an attempt to describe and perhaps even to understand this transformative impact. But is it possible to live up to this task if the other thinking, the thinking processed by machines, remains out of reach? Venue: Room: 27.0.17 Programme: May 6, 2015 15.15-15.30:  Introduction, Professor Matthias Christandl, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen: "Do electrons think?" 15.30-16.15 Professor Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University: "Trying to think electronic 'thinking'" 16.15-17 Discussion and wine reception Registration: Organized by: “Uncertain Archives: Adapting Cultural Theories of the Archive to Understand the Risks and Potentials of Big Data” (YDUN) at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen

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  • 9 March 2015, 09:00

    Constructing, coding and curating digital archives

    Academic symposium held in collaboration with the activist archival event: ”WeCanEdit Copenhagen: Feminist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” March 8 2015

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