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What is new and different about our engagement with digital technologies? Do digital technologies and practices alter or perpetuate existing social relationships, hierarchies and political structures? What does it mean to be off line in a digital age? What kinds of new subjectivities and publics do digital practices bring into being?

The Centre for Digital Anthropology is a leading research hub for the understanding of digital technologies in the rich context of human society and culture. Through teaching, research and a dynamic series of regular events, we encourage a global perspective on the development, structures, and practices of digital technologies. Our researchers work in Trinidad, Peru, Vanuatu, Switzerland, France, Romania, Turkey, Middle East, Brazil, The UK, China, India, Italy and work on social networks, webcams, digital museum collections, big data, digital models, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, with automated work systems, and with mobile phones. 

Digital World Blog

Digital Anthropology in Practice

Monday, 09 July 2018

Jennifer Fu and Gemma Tortella-Procter, MSc. Digital Anthropology at UCL

“What exactly constitutes ‘digital anthropology’?” While the practical projects we worked on may not provide a comprehensive answer to this question (perhaps a ‘comprehensive’ answer doesn’t exist), it provides an idea of the things we care about as digital anthropologists and the direction we hope to push a traditionally text-based discipline in.

As a part of the MSc Digital Anthropology core course, all of the students are given the task and opportunity to “produce a publicly accessible website which will present the results of a mini research project about an instance of digital technology use.” The challenge for the 2017-2018 class was to find a London marketplace and investigate it in the context of its digital mediation.…

Living On Screen: Sondra Perry and Ian Cheng at the Serpentine Galleries

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Like many other London institutions seeking to shore up against an ever-rising digital tide, the Serpentine Galleries have announced a new annual “Digital Seasons” initiative that will recognize the works of artists working across digital media. Inaugurating this are acclaimed American artists Sondra Perry, whose work occupies the intersection between racial identity and techno-political power structures, and Ian Cheng, who creates experiments in live simulation.

Sondra Perry, Installation view, Typhoon coming on, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (6 March – 20 May 2018) © 2018 Mike Din.

Entitled “Typhoon Coming On,” Sondra Perry’s extensive installation spans the breadth of the Sackler Gallery. Walking into the space, the viewer is immediately confronted by a massive blue wall. In many of her video installations 1, Perry wryly employs this hue to evoke the “blue screen of death”— that ever-dreaded Windows error screen that tells the user that their computer is basically f$%#!&—in order to conflate catastrophic system failure with systematic violence against Black bodies.

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