Principal Investigator and active IM scholars
Amanda Lagerkvist is Principal Investigator of the Hub and Professor of Media and Communication Studies in the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University. Professor Lagerkvist is a media phenomenologist and a founder of existential media studies. In 2013 she was appointed Wallenberg Academy Scholar (IMS/SU). As WAF, Lagerkvist headed the research programme Existential Terrains: Memory and & Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. The mandate as WAF was to open a new field of research to explore both benefits and possibilities, as well as risks and vulnerabilities in our age of increased digitalisation and automation. The outcome for the research programme was the birth of a new field called existential media studies. Amanda Lagerkvist is also the initiator and Chair of the interdisciplinary research network DIGMEX. She is the editor of Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture (Routledge, 2019) with a foreword by John D. Peters.
Currently working on a two-year project financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, she is now focusing on the broader merits of existential philosophy for media studies in the context of the digitalisation and the automation of the lifeworld. Her monograph Existential Media (contracted with OUP) further theorizes digital-human vulnerability and pursues the co-existentialist imperatives of a virtue ethics of care and responsibility before the technologies we embrace and the environments we inhabit. She is also interested in the existential repercussions of dataism as belief in data, and the renegotiations of the concept of the ‘person’ in light of biometric AI (e.g. face and voice recognition and the quantification of the embodied self). She is furthermore involved in an environmental humanities project that explores the anticipatory dimensions of AI for Earth. These themes will be her main foci within the Hub in the coming years.
Jenny Eriksson Lundström is Senior Lecturer in Information Systems. She is an experienced PhD Researcher and Senior Level Manager with a demonstrated history of work, leadership and organisational innovation and development in the higher education industry. She is skilled in Artificial Intelligence, Digitalisation, Computer Science, Research Design, and Lecturing. She is a strong education professional with a PhD 2009 focused in Computer Science from Uppsala University, and a University Diploma in Law from Uppsala University. After her PhD in Knowledge Representation and AI, she has broadened her research scope and agenda. She researches, teaches and supervises on digitalisation, managing innovation, IT and practices, materiality and non-use in the post-digital society. She holds the position of Head of the Department at the Department of lnformatics and Media. In addition, she serves as President of the Foundation for Legal Information.
Within the Hub Eriksson Lundström will explore biometric AI’s potential to transcend human limitations and biases, approaching automated decision-making in the legal sphere as fertile ground, or catalyst, for exploring instances when an emergent existentially sustainable ethics can evolve via AI. Precisely because pre-emptive policing exposes humanity to its classical ethical conundrums (Greenstein 2017), datafication and AI force us to emphasise our responsibilities, focusing on how we as moral humans can progress in concert not only with but thanks to AI.
Claes Thorén is a senior lecturer of Information Systems at the department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Sweden. He has a PhD in information systems, and an MA in Cultural Studies. His research, which has been featured in journals such as Organisation Studies, primarily concerns organisational, cultural and social issues of digitalisation and technology.
Within the Hub Thorén wishes to explore pre-emptive policing and other judicial practices increasingly subject to datafication form the theoretical perspective of the ‘post-digital’ and with the help of theories about space and place. The focus is on the vulnerabilities of these emergent techno-social and existential formations. Use of prospective knowledge in this realm – which implies that decisions are based on mediatised data representations – includes risks of proclaiming ‘risky individuals’ (the chasing of potential criminals ranging from potential tax-offenders to terrorists and prejudiced recidivism convictions) or contested spaces (detached from the state of affairs in actual physical space).
Matilda Tudor, PhD, is a media phenomenologist and feminist media researcher. She is currently affiliated as a research fellow and research assistant within the WASP-HS project "BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds", led by Amanda Lagerkvist and situated at the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University. Tudor's work largely focuses on critical and minority perspectives on what it means to live with and through digital media and communication technologies in relation to the micro politics of everyday existence. It includes a particular interest in theories of embodiment and time-space relationships within the post-digital age.
Tudor is the main coordinator of The Uppsala Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence at Uppsala University and coordinator of the DIGMEX network for the study of digital media and existential issues and challenges, and its associated activities including seminars and the Digital Existence III conference to be held spring 2021.
Annika Waern is Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at the Department of Informatics and Media. Annika is a ‘research through design’ academic with a background in computer science and Human-Computer Interaction, who has been researching play and games for about fifteen years. She is most well known for her work on pervasive games, and co-author of the book Pervasive Games: Theory and Design. Currently, she is involved in multiple projects exploring playful learning, immersive museum experiences, and children’s outdoor play.
Within the Hub Waern wishes to develop playful design fiction methods, to explore the human condition in a post-digital society.
Henrik Åhman works at the Department for Informatics and Media, Uppsala University. In October 2016, he defended the thesis Interaction as Existential Practice, which focuses on the philosophy of Mark C. Taylor and its potential consequences for understanding the interaction between humans and computers. His research interests lie at the intersection of technology, communication, philosophy, and religion. He is interested in the way people use technology to navigate in the world, to communicate, to create meaning, and ultimately, to negotiate individual and social identity through interacting with and through technology. Currently, he is involved in the project Managing the digital transformation of physical space, which focuses on how traditional institutions that, to a large extent, have been defined by physical rooms (e.g., the Church of Sweden), are affected by processes of digitalisation.
With an eye to the increasing role and thrust of automation Åhman will within the Hub raise questions about whether such activities can be from transferred from these physical spaces to digital environments without compromising core components of the institution’s purpose and identity.