04 July 2020
Selected talks from CRC annual conferences are online
A selection of talks from past CRC annual conferences can now be watched on the video portal of the University...
Selected talks from CRC annual conferences are online

A selection of talks from past CRC annual conferences can now be watched on the video portal of the University of Siegen. The 25 videos uploaded so far cover a broad range of topics across the conference themes of “Infrastructures of Publics — Publics of Infrastructures”, “Varieties of Cooperation” and “Data Practices: Recorded, Provoked, Invented”, including keynote talks by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger and David Ribes. The video collection is part of the new CRC public relations strategy in the second funding period which aims at addressing different academic and non-academic publics across various channels of communication, and simultaneously serves as one key element in setting up an institutional archive documenting the discussions on media research in Siegen for the years to come. Additional videos will be uploaded in the following weeks.

Direct link to the video collevction:

22 June 2020
Virtuelle ECSCW 20-Konferenz unter Beteiligung von Wissenschaftler*innen des SFB
Sorry, this entry is only available in German.Jun-Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller (Teilprojektleiterin A05)...
Virtuelle ECSCW 20-Konferenz unter Beteiligung von Wissenschaftler*innen des SFB

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Jun-Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller (Teilprojektleiterin A05) berichtet von einem geglückten digitalen Experiment. Der Bericht ist HIER zu finden.

20 May 2020
Call for Papers: CRC Annual Conference 2020 on Pandemic Cooperation
Annual Conference 2020 Pandemic Cooperation: Media and Society in Times of Corona University of Siegen...
Call for Papers: CRC Annual Conference 2020 on Pandemic Cooperation

Annual Conference 2020
Pandemic Cooperation: Media and Society in Times of Corona
University of Siegen | 27-28 October 2020

While the political reactions to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide have led to disruptions and interruptions of firmly established chains of cooperation in many areas of everyday life, the ongoing development offers unique opportunities for researchers to investigate the highly dynamic socio-technical effects of the corona crisis from various angles, more than ever drawing on the ethnomethodological “unique adequacy requirement” in motion. We are witnessing a controversial public debate about the appropriate measures to contain the health risks, but also the economic, political and social consequences of the pandemic. At the same time, all manner of socio-technical infrastructures are being subjected to considerable stress tests: from the basic healthcare infrastructure and logistics for food and daily consumer goods, to the digital communications infrastructure and issues of privacy protection. Far-reaching restrictions to contact and curfews, travel restrictions, geopolitical distortions, increasing requirements for domestic, elderly and child care work, very acute health risks to citizens – the CRC 1187 understands these developments as a large-scale and unanticipated social breaching experiment that renders visible the everyday ongoing accomplishments of interactional practical infrastructures and technical infrastructures alike. The annual 2020 conference brings together scholars and practitioners from various fields to develop an understanding of the unfolding crisis in media and social theoretical terms.

Thus, instead of asking what the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic might be for society, politics, the economy or the planetary environment as a whole, the CRC annual conference 2020 aims to closely investigate the (micro-)social dynamics and infrastructural experiments unfolding at the present time. The assumed ubiquity of an invisible pathogenic agent affects practices of cooperation on various scales: from the pragmatic interactional challenges of navigating public space while wearing a breathing mask and maintaining distance from other people, via expressions of solidarity towards risk groups (in isolation) and vocal public protests against governmental restrictions on mobility and personal freedom, up to the dimension of international political cooperation between nation-states and supra-national entities. At the same time, a multiplicity of data-intensive media infrastructures and control mechanisms are rapidly being developed to keep track of the spread of the pandemic, to mitigate its effects locally and globally and to offer alternatives to established routines of social cooperation: these range from digital monitoring tools like smartphone contact tracing apps, to escalating innovations of video-conferencing and sensor-based crisis infrastructures comprised of drones and cobots, among others. The intertwined dynamics of publics and infrastructures are accompanied by a deluge of data that serves as the foundation for political decision-making and – in the form of data visualizations distributed widely via social media – as public knowledge resources to reorient individual and collective opinions and behaviors. However, at the same time, the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 is shaping new communities of practice and making the cooperation conditions within a society visible, e.g. when we see how the phylogeography of a virus shapes the conditions and triggers breachings of interactional spaces.

Topics for contribution might include, but are not strictly limited to

  • Practices of living and working under corona conditions: from contact restrictions and social isolation to technology-supported integration and its risks and failure – in public and private spaces, in families, work environments and in caring communities
  • Cooperative media technologies and practices put to the test: the development of contact tracing apps, trials on monitoring social distancing rules with the help of drones, the boom of collaborative robotics in workplace environments, the employment of chatbots for corona support infrastructures
  • The role of data in managing and mediating the pandemic: disputed facts, fake news and disinformation, new metrics and forms of data visualization, as well as challenges to data-based journalism and new formats of science communication like podcasts made by virologists and science influencers
  • The unfolding and breaking of Corona Boundary Objects as infrastructural and public media: We highly welcome case studies and critiques of statistics, dashboards, visualizations, certificates, apps, issues, conspiracy theories, and masks
  • Disruptions to microsocial interactional infrastructures, bodily techniques and relationships of trust between co-present social actors, due to new social distancing rules and the widespread wearing of masks in public spaces
  • Investigating claims of digital sovereignty in relation to an ongoing dependence on global supply chains and coordinated technology developments
  • Attempts to document the crisis in situ and in actu: Corona blogging, (auto-)ethnographic Corona diaries, social media analysis with digital methods and tools
  • Exploring methodological challenges to ethnographic research in an ever-changing global pandemic: exploring alternatives to traditional fieldwork and participatory research designs, inventing, adjusting and evaluating digital tools
  • Historicizing COVID-19 in relations to former pandemics, their infrastructural and public responses to medical necessities, and the social and economic responses to a global spread of diseases

The CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” welcomes contributions by early-stage and senior researchers from various disciplines, from practitioners such as journalists, data analysts, hackers and representatives of public institutions and associations, to artistic interventions dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-technical implications. The conference will most likely itself be affected by ongoing travel and contact restrictions, which is why it will explore new ways of combining pre-recorded virtual talks, moderated online discussion groups, and possibly selected face-to-face (or possibly: mask-to-mask) formats to bring together an international range of scholars, activists, artists and practitioners to investigate the challenges of pandemic cooperation.

Please send your abstract of approx. 300 words and a short biographical note to Dr. Timo Kaerlein by June 30th, 2020. Please indicate which form of presentation you would like to give (video, slides-and-text presentation, artistic format) and which time zone you will be presenting from.

More information will soon be found HERE

23 April 2020
Media of Cooperation in a Global Pandemic
At the beginning of the summer semester 2020, the CRC 1187 "Media of Cooperation" finds itself in an...
Media of Cooperation in a Global Pandemic

At the beginning of the summer semester 2020, the CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” finds itself in an unexpected situation that presents new challenges for collaborative research, both in terms of organization and research. There is a controversial public debate about the appropriate measures to contain the health risks, but also the economic, political and social consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, various social infrastructures are being put under considerable stress tests: from the basic infrastructures of medical care and logistics for food and daily consumer goods to the infrastructures of digital communication. Far-reaching contact restrictions and curfews, travel restrictions, requirements for domestic care work and child care, very acute health risks for employees and students – all of this interrupts the established practices and the usual operation of a Collaborative Research Centre. Routines of research and scientific communication are being put to the test in the current situation: How can well-established formats of scientific communication be adjusted to the new situation, from lecture series with international guests to doctoral colloquia and workshops, to conferences and meetings? How can empirical-ethnographic research be conducted when access to the field is blocked? And especially with regard to the responsibility for the researchers in our joint project: How can we support employees who cannot participate in the research process in the usual way because they belong to a risk group or because personal care of family members has become necessary?

The CRC “Media of Cooperation” meets the challenge of the global COVID-19 pandemic in several ways. The subprojects, which investigate the ongoing reciprocal constitution and practical production of infrastructures and public spheres, also respond to the ongoing crisis situation.

In March 2020, the CRC started to build a Twitter-based social media archive on the topic of the novel coronavirus and related issues. Since the political reactions to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide have led to disruptions or interruptions of firmly established chains of cooperation in many areas of everyday life, the current development offers unique opportunities to investigate the effects of the corona-crisis in social media discourse: This concerns transformations of infrastructures and public spheres in general, the social role of data in the form of case numbers, statistics and test results, but also those of the very concrete research subjects of the CRC’s subprojects in particular (video telephony, contactless payment, personal assistants at home, disruptions in local public transport, etc.). Tweets are collected and made available for analysis in real time using the open source software DMI-TCAT . In the course of the  summer semester 2020, a consortium of CRC members and external partners will begin to view and analyze the data in joint (online) data sessions. The long-term plan is to make the Siegen Corona Archive and the associated research results publicly accessible.

In addition, in March 2020 the new blog Witnessing Corona has been included in the series of boasblogs supported by the CRC. In cooperation with the Global South Studies Center in Cologne and the blog, contributions from numerous countries, including non-European countries, are published here. With ethnographic sensitivity, these contributions register and analyze the everyday pragmatic implications, social dynamics and political-economic distortions of the crisis from the perspective of the social sciences and (medical) ethnology. Clemens Eisenmann (subproject P01) and Ehler Voss (scientific coordination) currently take part in the production of a special edition of Curare. Journal of Medical Anthropology. Here, more extensive material in the form of (auto-)ethnographic corona diaries by authors from 25 countries to date is being compiled to document the dynamics of the crisis in situ and in actu.

Erhard Schüttpelz and Ulrich van Loyen reflect in Merkur on the body and cultural technical implications of wearing respirator masks in Western and Asian countries. Contrary to the Chancellor’s dictum that “at the moment … only distance can be an expression of care”, the authors ask: “Is the opposite also conceivable: A form of care for others would be the expression of the right distancing from oneself?” This change of perspective towards a liberal narrowing of the discourse and the arrogance of the Western world that often goes hand in hand with it is linked to a deeper reflection on “what constitutes civilisation and the need for protection for us and others and for all of us in the world”.

In its ongoing formats of internal and external research collaboration and communication, the CRC “Media of Cooperation” focuses on the greatest possible flexibility, taking into account the special needs of its members and guests. In detail this means:

  • The lecture series “Interrogating Data Practices – Interdisciplinary Perspectives” scheduled for the summer semester 2020 will largely be postponed to the winter semester 2020/21. Individual lectures will be realized as online lectures with an internal CRC audience as part of the CRC Research Forum in order to continue the discussion about ongoing research projects and results of the subprojects in an adapted framework.
  • The doctoral colloquium of the Integrated Research Training Group (MGK) will take place online on May 6th and 13th. This will be followed by an evaluation and a joint decision with the participants as to whether to switch to a face-to-face format or to a hybrid solution with individual participants on site and the possibility of online participation for the following two dates on 10 and 17 June.
  • The first event of the “Werkstatt Medienpraxistheorie” will be held on April 28/29, combining an asynchronous online lecture and a joint online discussion. A decision on further events will be made and communicated in time, taking into account current developments.
  • The Research Tech Lab will take place online on May 5th and 13th. For the following dates on June 5th and July 7th it will be examined, analogous to the doctoral colloquium, whether the changeover to a complete or hybrid face-to-face format is feasible.
  • Workshops and conferences of individual CRC subprojects planned for the summer semester 2020 are equally affected by the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The principal investigators of the respective subprojects are choosing different approaches to deal with this challenge: from postponing the events until the upcoming winter semester, to switching to collective text work or hybrid workshop formats in which international guests cooperate with the researchers from Siegen.
  • At the beginning of the semester, all CRC staff members will be given the opportunity to take part in individual coachings on the challenges of teleworking and the compatibility of family and work under the currently tightened conditions.

At the start of the year 2020, the participating researchers could not foresee the current critical developments. First and foremost, the situation calls for solidarity with the particularly vulnerable groups of the population and with the countries currently more severely affected than Germany. The crisis also means that the ongoing research on media of cooperation in Siegen must prove its relevance and timeliness once more – from the history of video telephony (subproject A01), to normal interruptions of service (A04), the participatory design of autonomy-promoting infrastructures for the elderly (A05), media-supported cooperation in everyday hospital work (A06), the effects of digital media on family interaction orders (B05), the privacy and surveillance implications of digital media use in the
home environment (B06), the use of semi-autonomous systems such as drones as a new crisis infrastructure (B08), and the use and development of digital research tools in decentralised work environments (P03, INF). The CRC is ready to take responsibility to make a research contribution to dealing with the socio-technical consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

16 April 2020
6 Short-Term Scholarships in the integrated graduate school of the CRC from 1 July 2020
At the University of Siegen, as of 1 July 2020 the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1187...
6 Short-Term Scholarships in the integrated graduate school of the CRC from 1 July 2020

At the University of Siegen, as of 1 July 2020 the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1187 „Media of Cooperation“ offers

six Short-Term Scholarships

to promote the work of early-carrier researchers. The duration of the scholarships is 6 months. A longer-term collaboration with the goal of a doctorate within the CRC is envisaged. The basic amount of the scholarship is based on the maximum rate of the DFG (1.365,- EUR). In addition, an allowance for material expenses and, if applicable, a child allowance will be paid. The allocation of the fellowships is subject to the release of funds by the DFG.

The University of Siegen is an innovative and interdisciplinary university with almost 20,000 students, about 1,300 scientists and 700 employees in technology and administration. With a wide range of subjects ranging from humanities and social sciences to economics and natural and engineering sciences, it provides an outstanding teaching and research environment with numerous interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects. The University of Siegen supports a wide range of opportunities to combine work and family life. It has therefore been certified as a family-friendly university since 2006 and offers a dual career service.

CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation“

The CRC is an interdisciplinary research network consisting of 15 projects and more than 60 scientists from the fields of media studies, science and technology studies, ethnology, sociology, linguistics and literature studies, computer science and medicine as well as history, education and engineering. It has been funded by the DFG since 2016. The CRC investigates the emergence and dissemination of digitally networked, data-intensive media and understands these as cooperatively accomplished conditions for cooperation. The research of the participating subprojects focuses on data practices that are explored in the situated interplay of media practices, infrastructures and public spheres.

The newly established short-term fellowship program of the CRC provides national and international doctoral students the opportunity to further develop their research project in the CRC, to get to know participating researchers and to exchange ideas with them. The research projects of the scholarship holders should be thematically related to the subprojects of the CRC, so that their work can be supported by the principal investigators and their teams. Scholarship holders are assigned to the newly established Integrated Research Training Group (MGK) of the CRC and benefit from its structured training program. The CRC offers scholarship holders an international environment for interdisciplinary media research as well as an extensive program of events and training in ethnographic, digital, sensor-based and linguistic methods.

Further information on the CRC’s research agenda and subprojects can be found at

Your Profile

−   Relevant, above-average degree in one of the disciplines participating in or related to the CRC, preferably in media and cultural studies, sociology or in the field of socio- or business informatics, human-computer interaction or information systems (equivalent to a Master’s degree, Magister, Diplom or Lehramt/Staatsexamen Sek. II)

−   Individual research project in one of the above-mentioned disciplines within the subject area of the CRC. Ideally, you can assign the project to one of the subareas of the CRC – infrastructures, publics or praxeology

–   Interest in methods of media research, the analysis of data practices and an affinity for working in an interdisciplinary research environment

–   Willingness to participate in the international event program of the CRC and the MGK

–   Very good written and spoken English language skills

Your Tasks

Expectations of successful candidates:

–   Regular participation and involvement in the events and the training program of the MGK (colloquia, workshops, summer schools, methodology workshops, interdisciplinary groups)

–   Presentation of preliminary results of the individual research project within the MGK colloquium

Equal opportunities and diversity are promoted and actively practiced at the University of Siegen. Applications from women are highly welcome and will be given special consideration in accordance with the federal state equality law. We also welcome applications from people with different personal, social and cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities and those of equal status.

For further information contact Dr. Timo Kaerlein (Tel.: +49 271/740-5251)


Please send your application documents (letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, 3-page outline of a project idea plus bibliography) by 15 May 2020 to Dr. Timo Kaerlein, Herrengarten 3, 57072 Siegen, Germany. Alternatively, you can also send your application in a single PDF file by e-mail (max. 5 MB). Please note that risks to confidentiality and unauthorized access by third parties cannot be ruled out when communicating by unencrypted e-mail.

Information about the University of Siegen can be found on our homepage:

27 February 2020
Erhard Schüttpelz zum Verhältnis von Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften in der FAZ
Erhard Schüttpelz hat in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung einen Beitrag über das Verhältnis von...
Erhard Schüttpelz zum Verhältnis von Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften in der FAZ

Erhard Schüttpelz hat in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung einen Beitrag über das Verhältnis von Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften veröffentlicht. Häufig wird die Ansicht vertreten, der Konstruktivismus begünstige „Fake News“, befeuere die Konkurrenz der Wissenschaften und schwäche die Geisteswissenschaften. Schüttpelz argumentiert dagegen, dass Zweifel und philosophische Vorbehalte, Relativismus und Konstruktivismus gerade heute ein dringend benötigter Schutzschild gegen parteipolitische und kommerzielle Vereinnahmungen der Naturwissenschaften sein können.

Den vollständigen Artikel finden Sie HIER.

27 February 2020
Recent book publication: German Edition of Harold Garfinkel`s „Studies in Ethnomethodology“, Edited by Erhard Schüttpelz, Anne Warfield Rawls and Tristan Thielmann
Harold Garfinkel's work "Studies in Ethnomethodology" once revolutionized the social sciences by throwing...
Recent book publication: German Edition of Harold Garfinkel`s „Studies in Ethnomethodology“, Edited by Erhard Schüttpelz, Anne Warfield Rawls and Tristan Thielmann
Harold Garfinkel’s work “Studies in Ethnomethodology” once revolutionized the social sciences by throwing conventional theories overboard and making everyday human practices the subject of research. His thesis is: Social reality is created by everyday practice. Garfinkel focused on routinized practices, that are usually taken for granted. The book, published in the USA in 1967, has long been one of the great classics of the social sciences. With this volume, the groundbreaking study is finally available in a German translation.

German translation by Brigitte Luchesi.

The publication can be found HERE.
07 January 2020
Recent book publication: “The History of Gulfport Field 1942” by Harold Garfinkel
Figure: Auto pilot mock-up discussed in „The History of Gulfport Field 1942“ This volume makes...
Recent book publication: “The History of Gulfport Field 1942” by Harold Garfinkel

Figure: Auto pilot mock-up discussed in „The History of Gulfport Field 1942“

This volume makes available for the first time an unpublished report of wartime research, titled “The History of Gulfport Field 1942”, written by Harold Garfinkel, for the US Army Air Forces (AAF) in 1943. The report has both historical and sociological significance. It has value as a historical document that presents in great detail how AAF personnel involved in training aircraft mechanics at one site (Gulfport Field, Mississippi) managed to contend with the rapid construction and deployment of training necessitated by World War II, with its accompanying shortages of material and experienced trainers, and surpluses of persons to be trained. In the face of shortages, AAF commanders adopted a set of practical aims for the school that downplayed the importance of conventional instruction and relied more on “hands on” practice and “the will to win”. This strategy emphasized a priority of practice over theory that is particularly relevant to the development of Garfinkel’s program of ethnomethodology, his later hybrid studies of work and science, and their relationship to debates in sociology. The book contains a 48-page afterword by Michael Lynch and Anne Rawls.

You can order the facsimile edition (69,00 € incl. VAT) by sending an email to

03 December 2019
Jahrestagung SFB “Medien der Kooperation” 2019 Nachbericht
Sorry, this entry is only available in German.Autor: Manuel Müller (Teilprojekt Ö) Vom 24. bis zum...
Jahrestagung SFB “Medien der Kooperation” 2019 Nachbericht

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Autor: Manuel Müller (Teilprojekt Ö)

Vom 24. bis zum 26. Oktober 2019 fand an der Universität Siegen die vierte Jahrestagung des Sonderforschungsbereichs “Medien der Kooperation” statt. Unter dem Titel “Data Practices: Recorded, Provoked, Invented” stellten Wissenschaftler*innen aus sieben Ländern Ergebnisse und neue Ansätze im Bereich der sogenannten “Datenpraktiken” vor.

Der Sonderforschungsbereich 1187 “Medien der Kooperation” ist eine interdisziplinäre Gruppe von 15 Projekten mit über 60 Mitarbeiter*innen aus elf Fachbereichen der Universität Siegen. Diese diversen Forschungsgruppen verbindet ein gemeinsames Interesse an digitalen Medien und neuen Formen und Praktiken der Kooperation. Von seiner Gründung an war es ein erklärtes Ziel des SFB, die oft scheinbar unübersichtliche und sich ständig verändernde digitale Welt verständlicher und ihre historischen Kontexte erkenntlicher zu machen.

Ein zentrales Ergebnis der Forschung im SFB ist die Erkenntnis, dass zunehmend alle Medienpraktiken auch als Datenpraktiken verstanden werden müssen. Wer mit digitalen Medien zu tun hat, produziert Daten, sei es als Datenspur von Aktivitäten im Netz, in Form der Kuration von Bildern und Videos auf Plattformen, oder in der Archivierung und dem Teilen von Forschungsdaten durch Wissenschaftler*innen. Diese Datenpraktiken sind für viele Disziplinen interessant. Entsprechend war die Auswahl an Wissenschaftler*innen, die ihre Forschungsergebnisse und neue Ansätze im Verlaufe der drei Tage vortrugen, divers aufgestellt. Die Tagung wurde in sechs Themenbereiche aufgeteilt. Zusammen mit zwei Keynote-Vorträgen entstand so ein Überblick über die weitreichenden Einflüsse und möglichen Betrachtungsweisen von “Datenpraktiken”.

Die Jahrestagung begann am Donnerstag, den 24.10., mit dem Themenbereich “Histories of Data Practices”. Beide Vorträge des Bereichs präsentierten historische Beispiele für Interaktionen zwischen Menschen und Daten, die schon vor der Digita-lisierung vorhanden waren und sich bis in die Gegenwart fortsetzen. Liam Cole Young, Assistant Professor an der Carleton University in Kanada, unternahm dies mit seinem Vortrag “Pop Music Charts and the Metadata of Culture” am Beispiel der “Billboard Hot-100”-Musikcharts. Musikcharts, so Young, seien beispielhaft für den Einfluss von Listen auf bestehende und neue Ordnungs- und Wissenspraktiken. Dr. Tahani Nadim von der Humboldt-Universität Berlin thematisierte in ihrem Vortrag “Capturing data creatures” unterschiedliche Katalogisierungsformen in Naturkundemuseen. Von der historischen Beschriftung einzelner Exponate durch Kurator*innen bishin zum digitalen “Barcode” wurden langanhaltende und komplizierte Verknüpfungen von Entscheidungsträgern, Praktiken und Objekten in Museen erkenntlich gemacht.

In der ersten Keynote sprach Prof. Celia Lury von der Universität Warwick unter dem Titel “People Like You: The distributive uncertainties of personalising (data) practices” über die Beziehung zwischen dem aktuellen Hang zu Personalisierung und Datenpraktiken. An zwei scheinbar unterschiedlichen Beispielen – britischen Brustkrebs-Studien und der #metoo-Bewegung – beschrieb Lury ein Konzept konstruierter “Vergleichbarkeit”.

Der zweite Tag begann mit dem Themenbereich “Automation and Agency”. In den drei Vorträgen dieses Bereichs ging es um die Interaktionen menschlicher Akteure in und mit einer immer mehr von Automatismen und Algorithmen gesteuerten Lebens- und Arbeitswelt. So beschrieb Dr. Nathaniel O’Grady von der Universität Manchester das Beispiel von LinkNYC, einer kostenlosen öffentlichen WLAN-Infrastruktur in New York, und insbesondere deren Rolle als automatisiertes Notrufsystem. Dieses neue System und die damit verbundenen Logiken, so O’Grady, haben enorme Auswirkungen auf bestehende Autoritätskonzepte und Entscheidungsfindungen im Bereich urbaner Sicherheit. Malte Ziewitz, Professor an der amerikanischen Cornell University, beschrieb in seinem Vortrag “Black Hat, White Hat” ethische Problematiken im Bereich der Suchmaschinen-Optimierung (SEO). Basierend auf Feldforschung mit britischen SEO-Beratern schilderte Ziewitz eine vielschichtige Situation, in der die Manipulation von Algorithmen durch Expert*innen neue Probleme von Legalität und Ethik aufwirft. Diese lassen sich nicht einwandfrei in vorhandene moralische Kategorien einordnen. Im letzten Vortrag des zweiten Themenbereichs sprach Eva-Maria Nyckel von der Humboldt-Universität Berlin über Datenpraktiken im Bereich des Prozessmanagements. Anhand der Plattform “Salesforce” untersuchte sie die Auswirkungen solcher Systeme auf medienwissenschaftliche Perspektive – besonders in Hinsicht auf die Registrierung und Kontrolle von Arbeitsprozessen.

Im dritten Themenbereich, “Data Ethnography”, ging es in erster Linie um die Schnittstelle zwischen Datenpraktiken und ethnographischer Forschung. So begann Dr. Emma Garnett vom King’s College London in “Sensing Bodies” mit einer Diskussion über den Nutzen neuer und kostengünstiger Sensortechnik in Studien über Luftverschmutzung direkt am menschlichen Körper. Diese neue, enge Beziehung zwischen Technologie und Mensch wirft Fragen nach der Auswahl und Ethik von Testsubjekten in so bisher kaum untersuchten Feldern auf. Dr. Tommaso Venturini, Forscher am französischen Zentrum für Internet und Gesellschaft, brachte dem Publikum in “Sprinting with Data” ein in den Sozial-wissenschaften noch neues Konzept näher: In sogenannten “Data-Sprints” kollaboriert eine Gruppe interdisziplinärer Forscher an einem gemeinsamen Datensatz. Venturini diskutierte grundlegende Konzepte hinter solchen “Sprints” und gab Hinweise für die Organisation datengetriebener Forschungstreffen. Im dritten Vortrag, “Unexpected openings in data ethnography”, sprach Prof. Minna Ruckenstein von der Universität Helsinki über das Projekt “Citizen Mindscapes”. Die Kollaboration von Ethnograph*innen mit Moderator*innen der Webseite “Suomi24” in der Auswertung von Millionen Foreneinträgen aus 15 Jahren führte zu neuen Ansätzen und Ideen über die Produktion und Nutzung von großen Datenmengen im Internet. Im letzten Vortrag des Themenbereichs sprach Dr. Robert Seyfert von der Universität Duisburg-Essen über Schwierigkeiten in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung von selbstfahrenden Fahrzeugen. Eine überhastete Fokussierung auf noch gar nicht existente Techniken berge die Gefahr der Überschätzung und Fehleinschätzung “autonomer” Fahrzeuge. Seyfert sprach sich für eine realistischere Neuausrichtung der Debatte aus, in der es in erster Linie um die Kooperation zwischen Menschen und Maschinen gehe.

Der vierte Themenbereich, “Digital Care”, beinhaltete Vorträge über die Nutzung von Datenpraktiken in medizinischen Anwendungsbereichen. Julia Kurz und Dmitri Presnov von der Universität Siegen sprachen in “Data Multiple” über die Sammlung und Auswertung komplexer Datenfelder in Krankenhäusern; sie stellten dabei besonders die Integration von Daten in den Arbeitsbetrieb als notwendig heraus. Isabel Schwaninger von der TU Wien brachte in ihrem Vortrag “Older Adults, Trust and Robots” das Konzept des Vertrauens in die Diskussion. Die Beziehung zwischen Mensch und Maschine im Bereich der Altenpflege sei stark abhängig von Vorstellungen über die Vertrauenswürdigkeit solcher Roboter. Durch aktive Konversation zwischen Forscher*innen und Patient*innen könnten Vorurteile abgebaut und Vertrauen geschaffen werden. Zuletzt sprach Dr. Kate Weiner von der Universität Sheffield in “Everyday curation” über die Herausforderungen medizinischer Selbstüberwachung. Ihre Forschung legt nahe, dass Forscher*innen mit einem komplexen Netzwerk aus Entscheidungen, Fehlern und Interpretationen arbeiten müssen, das keineswegs unproblematisch auszuwerten ist. Die Rolle von Patient*innen als Akteur*innen statt als Datenmenge müsse dabei im Vordergrund stehen.

In einem gesonderten Vortrag berichteten Andreas Mertgens und Patrick Sahle über verschiedene Ansätze der Digitalisierung von Archiven, am Beispiel des Nachlasses des amerikanischen Soziologen Harold Garfinkel. Sie zeigten diverse Möglichkeiten, darunter etwa nonlineare Darstellungsformen oder die Nutzung neuer 3D-Scantechniken, um die Inhalte eines so umfangreichen Archivs für die Forschung nutzbar zu machen.

Die zweite Keynote der Tagung wurde von David Ribes von der Universität Washington gehalten. Unter dem Titel “The Logic of Domains” stellte er seine Überlegungen zur Universalität von Domänen und “Domänenunabhängigkeit” vor, die seiner Meinung nach eine wichtige Erklärung für den weitreichenden Siegeszug der Data Science bietet. Deren Fähigkeit, sich scheinbar ohne Probleme in alle möglichen Felder zu integrieren, läge nicht unerheblich daran, dass IT sich als “unabhängige” und modulare Wissenschaft verkaufen konnte.

Zum Abschluss des Tages wurde Prof. em. Dr. Helmut Schanze anlässlich seines 80. Geburtstages mit einer Laudatio und einem Sektempfang geehrt. Schanze war als Germanist und Medienhistoriker wegweisend und begründend für die Medienforschung an der Universität Siegen. Er hatte hier 1985 den Sonderforschungsbereich “Bildschirmmedien” mitbegründet, dessen Sprecher er von 1992 bis 2000 war. Seine Leistungen für die deutsche Medienwissenschaft wurden vor internationalem Publikum besonders geehrt.

Der dritte und letzte Tag der Jahrestagung begann mit dem Themenbereich “Opening Data: Policies and Practices of Research Data Management”. Die drei Vorträge dieses Bereichs behandelten das hochaktuelle Stichwort “Open Data” kritisch und hinterfragten Methoden und Prämissen offener Forschungssysteme. Gaia Mosconi von der Universität Siegen wies in “Three Gaps in Opening Science” auf signifikante Probleme in der Umsetzung “offener Wissenschaft” hin. Inkongruenzen zwischen Konzept und Praxis seien dabei ebenso zu bedenken wie ein Mangel an Werkzeugen und Arbeitsprozessen. Ähnlich kritisch äußerte sich Prof. Wolfgang Kraus von der Universität Wien in seinem Vortrag “Setting up an ethnographic data archive”. Bekannten Prämissen von “Open Data” über Universalität und Eigentümerschaft von Daten setzte er ethnographische Positionen entgegen. Explizit warnte er vor einer “verallgemeinernden” Datennutzung, die Kontext oder Hintergründe der gesammelten Daten außer Acht lässt. Das Konzept der Offenheit selbst kritisiert dann schließlich Dr. Marcus Burkhardt von der Universität Siegen in “Open Equals Good?”. Anstatt “Offenheit” als klar definierte Eigenschaft oder Selbstzweck zu akzeptieren, ging Burkhardt den Schritt zurück zur Frage, ob und wie “Offenheit” als Konzept und Ziel von Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft existieren kann.

Im letzten Themenbereich, “Quantifying Literary Theory”, wurden datenanalytische Methoden im Bereich Literatur und Sprache näher dargestellt. Dr. J. Berenike Herrmann von der Universität Basel fasste in ihrem Vortrag “Lovely! Books” erste Resultate eine Studie zusammen, die über eine Million Online-Buchrezensionen von Laienkritiker*innen mit datenanalytischen Methoden auf Vokabular und Wertschätzungen hin untersuchte. Plattformen wie lovelybooks ermöglichen dabei, so Herrmann, eine neue Form ästhetischer und inhaltlicher Literaturkritik durch eine große Menge an Nutzer*innen. Im letzten Vortrag der Tagung ging es um die Schnittstelle zwischen Sprache und Musik: Prof. Mathias Scharinger von der Universität Marburg erklärte, wie das Konzept der “Sprachmelodik” durch neue Methoden der Datenanalyse wissenschaftlich fassbar gemacht werden konnte. Mehr-dimensionale Ansätze ermöglichen neue Erkenntnisse über Ästhetik und Musikalität im menschlichen Sprachgebrauch.

Damit kam die vierte Jahrestagung des Sonderforschungsbereichs “Medien der Kooperation” zum Ende. In 20 Vorträgen hatte sich gezeigt, wie weitreichend das Feld der Datenpraktiken untersucht werden kann, und wie viele Erkenntnisse für die unter-schiedlichsten Fachbereiche sich aus solchen Untersuchungen ergeben können.

17 September 2019
CRC annual conference 2019 with international guests
The CRC "Media of Cooperation" invites international researchers to its fourth annual conference "Data...
CRC annual conference 2019 with international guests

The CRC “Media of Cooperation” invites international researchers to its fourth annual conference “Data Practices: Recorded, Provoked, Invented” from October 24 to 26. The conference addresses the contemporary challenges of praxeological media research in distributed digital infrastructures in six thematic sections. What constitutes a data practice and how are digital media technologies reconfiguring our understanding of practices in general? Autonomously acting media, distributed digital infrastructures and sensor-based media environments challenge the conditions of accounting for data practices both theoretically and empirically. Which forms of cooperation are constituted in, and by, data practices? What are the historical conditions of the possibility of current data practices? And how are human and nonhuman agencies distributed and interrelated in data-saturated environments? These and other questions are explored in a series of interdisciplinary contributions ranging from theoretical and historical reflections over empirical-ethnographic studies to design interventions.

Two keynote lectures by Celia Lury (University of Warwick) and David Ribes (University of Washington, CRC Mercator fellow 2019) will stimulate a broader discussion. Additionally, the first results of a long-term project to digitalize and visually interface the scientific estate of Harold Garfinkel will be presented by Andreas Mertgens and Patrick Sahle.

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