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Christian Ulrik Andersen

AIAS FORMER FELLOW

Current position: Associate professor, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University. 

During his Jens Christian Skou Fellowship Christian Ulrik Andersen worked on the project 'Vector Space - The aesthetics of contemporary interface culture' 

Project at AIAS

This project lies within the area of software studies and addresses a current shift in computing popularly exemplified by “big data” and in the businesses of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. The shift implies a specific spatial logic – a “vector space” – where any kind of data contributes to generalizable models of anticipation. A vector space allows for new insights into e.g., cognitive processes, the formation of social relations, or the nature of a climate crisis, but also suggests an interplay between technology and mental, social or environmental processes, and a “generalized” media ecology that binds such domains together. 

The project’s outcome is an aesthetics and critique of contemporary interface culture, with a deeper reflection on how our media ecology is intertwined with our cultural practices. The main assumption is that the computational processes are over-layered by, and influence aesthetics: they affect what can be sensed and perceived, and as such, also our cultural forms and behaviors. The interplay between technological and cultural layers is also often addressed in the aesthetic practices themselves. Hence, the project’s suggested critique is based on an outline of contemporary software art practices within the domains of the mind, the social and the environmental. This includes projects that deal with language in social media, public interaction in “smart cities”, or how to represent a climate crisis.

Short bio

Christian Ulrik Andersen is an Associate Professor in Digital Design at Aarhus University, and was a Jens Christian Skou Junior Fellow at AIAS from 2015-2016. His research addresses the intersection between software and cultural performativity – including computer games, urban environments, electronic publishing, and tablet applications. He is also Head of the Digital Arts Initiative at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, a chairman of the PhD committee, and editor of A Peer-Reviewed Journal About.

Project title:

Vector Space - The aesthetics of contemporary interface culture    

Area of research:

Philology, Litterature and Art 

Fellowship period:

01 Feb 2015 - 31 Jan 2016