Out of Data

Kristin Veel

‘Uncertain Archives: Unknowns, Errors and Vulnerabilities in the Age of Big Data’

February 22nd 2017 | 17.00-19.00 | Room: F1.07 (Engineering Building, University of Warwick)

All are welcome and places are on a first come first seated basis


We are currently surrounded by big data archives that constantly accumulate information from a wide array of activities organized on all levels of society: from global search engines to local smart cities; from public health monitoring to personal self-tracking. While born out of a desire to increase objectivity and eliminate human error, it is becoming increasingly clear that big data archives also bring with them new uncertainties in the form of new bias dynamics, new forms of systemic errors, and new ethical dilemmas. In the research project ‘Uncertain Archives,’ Kristin Veel looks closer at what she term ‘archival uncertainties’. By focusing on the notions of the unknown, error and vulnerability, respectively, we tune in on three types of uncertainty that overlap and intertwine, yet also reveal different configurations of archival uncertainty which we regard as central to the understanding of the conditions of the digitally networked big data archives that envelop us.


Bio: Kristin Eva Albrechtsen Veel, Associate Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. KV’s research has, since her PhD (Cambridge 2008), focused on the imprints of information and communications technology on contemporary culture. She has published extensively on database culture, surveillance and transparency. Since 2013 she has worked on the project Calm Surveillance (FKK grant/Sapere Aude). Also she is co-organiser of the research network Negotiating (In)Visibilities. She has published the monograph Narrative Negotiations: Information Structures in Literary Fiction (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009) and is co-editor of the collected volumes The Cultural Life of Crises and Catastrophes (de Gruyter, 2012) and Invisibility Studies: Surveillance, Transparency and the Hidden in Contemporary Culture (Peter Lang, 2015). KV is PI on the Uncertain Archives project and is in particular interested in the intersections of narrative theory and the epistemological and hermeneutical implications of big data archives.

Timo Arnall "Internet Machine" elasticspace.com

Timo Arnall “Internet Machine” elasticspace.com

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  • Lecture
  • 22 February 2017