In the popular and academic discourses, computers and their networks seem to be in a state of perpetual novelty and chaos. This is evident in the proliferation of buzzwords and new technologies that are constantly about to overthrow existing orders. Discourses about Big Data, social media, cloud computing or the Internet of things present digitalization as a social revolution without end.
There are, however, several reasons to doubt this air of novelty. Worldwide Internet penetration is over 40%, and mobile broadband penetration in the OECD is over 80%. Many scholars consider Internet access to have become a basic human right. Computer assisted fraud has been a criminal practice for four decades, and the incident best approximating international cyber warfare occurred almost ten years ago. So-called digital natives are aging rapidly, and their aesthetic imperative has become mainstream. Whatever their revolutionary potential in the longue durée, computers, their data and their networks have become a mundane, ubiquitous and assumed feature of everyday life.
The purpose of this conference is to reflect on our arrival in digital normality and to better understand the dynamics of digital order and disorder. These would include such topics as the types and characteristics of communication in a digital society, the political economy of media and artistic production, the foundational legal principles and convictions of data and Internet regulation as well as their enforcement, the diffusion of responsibility in algorithmically controlled processes, the topoi of threats and legitimate countermeasures in a cyber-security culture, the social practices and subjectivities produced and assumed in a world of ubiquitous connections and computers, the desiderata and dangers of various models of technological innovation, and the identity groups and cultural forms that have established themselves through digital and networked media.
The conference is jointly organized by the Cluster of Excellence "Normative Orders" at Goethe University Frankfurt and the group Internet TBD at HfG Offenbach.
Call for Papers (the deadline for submissions is 30 June 2016)