Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


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Date September 2014 / Category News

The Utrecht Data School has been awarded a KIEM grant from the NWO's exact science program. The grant funds a research project which develops a database for open data projects and possibilities for comparative evaluation of the projects and their social impact.

Date March 2014 / Category News

On 24 and 25 March 2014 The Hague will host the third Nuclear Security Summit. The summit is explicitly concerned with the alleged threat of nuclear terrorism and seeks ways of protecting  nuclear material to fall into the hands of so-called terrorists. The Utrecht Data School seizes the opportunity to map this large event and the various issues revolving around it, as well as the participating audiences as they are displayed in the connected public sphere.

Date October 2013 / Category News

The second edition of the Utrecht Data School has been working hard to analyse data related to three external partners and their research questions: Gemeente Utrecht, Timing and Instituut Rathenau. The results will be presented in a symposium on November 5th.

Date July 2013 / Category News

The recent disclosures of the US American spy program PRISM and its British version Tempora have put the issue of surveillance on the public agenda again. In 1998, the debate revolving around the Enfopol papers had pointed the public interest to surveillance activities of authorities. With the exhibition Ctrl Space in 2001, Thomas Y. Levin provided an overview of the rhetoric of surveillance and the multiple ways artists react to the media practices of observation and privacy invasion (Levin, Frohner, Weibel 2002). The newly revived public interest in state surveillance appeared at a time, when curator and artist Bogomir Doringer was putting together the Faceless show in Vienna's Museumsquartier.

Date February 2013 / Category News

Last year I have been appointed research fellow at the Vienna University of Applied Arts, where I joined the Artistic Technology Research Lab. A first term of research took place during September and December 2012; the next term will start in April.

Tags research

Date July 2014 / Category News

Instead of embracing the efforts of their fans, IKEA tries to shut down their sites. As I write in my book Bastard Culture! this is not a smart idea. Harassing fan sites will do more damage to a brand than these sites can do. Sony found out when they shut down an AIBO fan site back in 2001.

Tags fan sites user participation

Date December 2013 / Category News

Women are crucial in post-conflict reconstruction. They are needed in processes of peace building and peace keeping as research findings support. Often these findings are based on anecdotal and qualitative research. CoolPolitics and the Utrecht Data School received a grant by the Oxfam Novib's Women Peace and Security Program to explore ways of open data and big data research to map the specific role of women in post conflict reconstruction.

Date August 2013 / Category News

The Utrecht based media lab SETUP Utrecht put together a special exhibition featuring the qualities of 3D printing. In collaboration with Utrecht musea makers were invited to 'steal' exhibits by scanning them and reproducing them on a 3D printer. The show is called Digital Art Robbery. I had the pleasure of opening the exhibition with some remarks on 3D printing.

Date May 2013 / Category News

Teaming up with media historian Frank Kessler I was investigating the quality of technical images. With reference to Vilem Flusser's notion of the techno-image we span our discussion from the photographic image to computer simulations. We show that issues of trust in technical images have been discussed in various, yet often similar ways. In the tension between utopian expectations and sceptical interrogations, dispositifs of trust emerge as a result of continuous negotiations regulating the uses these images are put to. The article should have been published in a volume a while ago, but since these processes take up too much time, I share our article now.

Read the article Trust in Technical Images
Download as pdf

Date February 2013 / Category News

Utrecht Data School is a research initiative for students to analyse and visualize data. Using data from social media platforms or analysing hyperlinks of websites reveals social interaction and patterns of communication.

Tags research Teaching

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