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DIGITAL WORLDMAKING

Co-leads:  Kat Jungnickel (Sociology) (k.jungnickel@gold.ac.uk) and Mirca Madianou (Media and Communications) (m.madianou@gold.ac.uk)

The research stream captures how being-in-the-world involves evermore relations between humans and digital devices and data that are generative and part of the making of social, cultural, economic and political worlds. What we do, how we associate, where we go, what we say, how we understand and communicate and what we create all happen and are transformed through our relations with digital devices, platforms and data that are not separate but part of the becoming of different worlds. By digital devices we mean material objects and systems, but also techniques and abstractions.  Research at Goldsmiths engages with the digital through creative practice, experimentation, politics, art, method, critique and speculation that do not treat them simply as tools but as embodied and constitutive of our being in the world. It works with and fosters productive tensions about the possibilities and risks of our increasingly digitized worlds in ways that are both critical, creative and radical.

The Digital Worldmaking Stream holds regular events. For example, in 2018 it held a one-day symposium on the role of digital communication technologies and data for humanitarian practice. The symposium, Reimagining Digital Humanitarianism, brought together practitioners from the humanitarian field and researchers in the fields of Anthropology, Computing, Design, Media and Communications, Sociology and Visual Studies in order to develop a multisectoral and multidisciplinary dialogue.

The symposium addressed the claim that digital communication technologies and data have catalyzed a new era of humanitarianism ‘in a networked age’ (UNOCHA, 2012). Yet, systematic evidence about the consequences of digital technologies for humanitarian practice remains scarce. The aim of the symposium was to advance the critical inquiry about humanitarian practice and digital developments. The symposium included screenings of documentaries by Goldsmiths staff as well as a parallel exhibition of installations and interactivehttps://www.opendemocracy.net/hri platforms in the Atrium of the Professor Stuart Hall Building (PSH).