As part of its Wednesday research afternoons, the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research recently hosted a talk from Katrina Sluis of London South Bank University.
Katrina Sluis is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Arts, Media and English at London South Bank University where she leads the BA (Hons) Digital Media Arts. Her scholarly interests include critical theories of photography, digital memory and contemporary fine art practice. As a visual artist, she works with photography and digital media to explore materiality, archiving and transmission in relation to the digital image.
Her paper was entitled ‘Digital Material Archives: Web 2.0 and algorithmic memory’.
In her paper she drew attention to the materiality of the databases and algorithmic calculations that lie behind the ever-expanding domain of the internet and the huge variety of material it supports and allows us to archive. The nature of how information is managed and monitored, of how it determines what we find as much as aids us in our determinations in online activity raised a number of important cultural and political issues. What constitutes the digital archive, its scope, value and meaning were at the core of her talk which was a model of interdisciplinary research, covering cultural memory as much as the mathematics of databases and the ecology of Google servers.
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