Media Art 21: Practices, Reflections and Pedagogies of Global Media Art Since 2000

Joanna Zylinska, Professor of Media Philosophy and Critical Digital Practice, has contributed to the development and launch of global project, Media Art 21: Practices, Reflections and Pedagogies of Global Media Art Since 2000, including curating the post-human section and authoring essay, “Nonhuman Creativity”.

MA21 is a Chinese-English bilingual database-driven online resource initiated and produced by the Institute of Sci-Tech Art, Central Academy of Fine Art, in collaboration with the Art + Design Initiative at University of California, Berkeley.

Major funding is provided by the HE ART FUND with additional support by the New Media Art Foundation. 

The inception of the project was catalyzed and went into production in the spring of 2021 during the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic as a pedagogical response to increased online and remote learning due to pandemic-imposed physical separations. From a conceptual point of view, it is an attempt to continue the legacy of the highly influential media art online depository Media Art Net and to extend the theoretical discourse as well as trace the praxis of global media art since the new millennium…

With this release, the project has produced several hundred entries on artists and artworks to address the three essential thematic areas that inform the intellectual direction of the MA21 project, namely: Posthuman, Ecologies, and The Commons. The online project is designed with highly interactive features, employing multimedia technologies to cross reference artworks, artists, and related points of interest. In addition, a body of commissioned essays by leading scholars and curators have laid the foundational work on contextualizing and evaluating the artworks within larger social-economical ecologies as well as art-historical systems. Together, they weave a web of many threads to underscore the complex interdependence and reciprocity between thematic ramifications and artistic experiments.

For inquiries, please email

“The Sim Project” @ the Science Gallery London

Dr Zeena Feldman, Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture, has collaborated with artist/anthropologist Liz Hingley, jewellery designer Sofie Boons, and Frank Menger of the Centre for Print Research, UWE, to develop the innovative “The SIM Project”.

One of five projects encompassed by Testing Ground, an exhibition showcasing projects between King’s College London researchers and creative practitioners, the series reveals how conversations between artists, researchers, and wider communities can change the ways we think about and engage with the world around us.

You can explore their work by visiting Testing Ground at Science Gallery from Tuesday 20th September 2022, for more information about visiting the gallery please click here.

“The SIM Project” views the SIM card as a precious portrait of intimate relationships that connects the vast majority of the world’s population. Interactive workshops are at the core of the SIM Project and lead its direction. Small groups of invited participants explore how the SIM card shapes their sense of identity and community. Through a process using early 19th century photographic methods, digital imagery and silversmithing, participants disrupt the automated nature of smartphone production and create a unique, wearable artwork. 

The exhibition shares a display of cameos that were created in interactive workshops, as wearable artworks in the shape of SIM cards, stamped with QR codes. They are on display in both their physical form as small intimate pieces of jewellery as well as light box images that capture the details of the pieces with the hands that made them. 

These projects have been developed through King’s Artists, a residency scheme which places artists within faculties across the university. Learn more about them here.

Learning Python at the DDH Coding Lab

The following post is from Dr Maryam Ahmed (@_datamimi) who is running the Coding Lab Python sessions at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. She is also a Journalist and Data Scientist at BBC News and was a winner of the Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2021.

Have the topics of political debate changed over time?

Which industries have large gender pay gaps?

Are landlords renting out homes illegally?

This year, students are tackling these questions and more in our Digital Humanities Python Lab. 

The Lab is a free, optional class for Digital Humanities students run in both Semesters, where they learn basic programming skills from expert instructors. 

This complements the formal teaching they receive on their degree programmes in Digital Culture, Digital Humanities, Digital Asset and Media Management, and Digital Economy. 

Why learn to code?

One important way to explore questions in the Digital Humanities is by collecting and analysing large datasets. These could contain text, numbers, or images.

Working with such large datasets can be very difficult and time consuming (if not impossible) to do manually. 

That’s why researchers, journalists and others are increasingly using Python in their research. And it’s why we think it’s an important skill to teach our students.

Over six sessions, students are learning how to:

  • Grab data from the web using APIs
  • Search for trends and outliers in large datasets
  • Make sense of text with Natural Language Processing
  • Tell stories with charts and maps

No previous knowledge of coding or Python is needed, and participants start writing their own code from the very first session. 

Each session consists of taught theory, practical exercises, and time for students to ask questions. 

That sounds very technical…

Our Python Lab isn’t just about calculations and data analysis. Students are also learning how to:

  • Frame sensible research questions
  • Pick the right methods to solve a problem
  • Interpret and communicate their results responsibly

Most importantly we’re encouraging students to be exploratory, playful,creative and reflective in the way they use Python. 

So much of the joy of coding is in tinkering, breaking things, fixing them and experimenting – all of which happens in our lab (together with lots of coffee).

What next?

Feedback has been positive so far, with the room packed to full capacity and students asking thoughtful questions about how they can apply Python to new problems – from analysing their own Spotify listening data to completing coursework.

The Lab will run once in Semester 1 and again in Semester 2, to give all students a chance to attend. We’re excited to see what they do with their new found Python powers!

Queering Digital Cultures, Friday 28th October 2022

Zeena Feldman and Jamie Hakim from the Department of Digital Humanities are co-organising an international symposium, “Queering Digital Cultures“, exploring how queer users and tech workers challenge the inequalities and exclusions of today’s internet. The hybrid event will be held on Friday, 28th October 2022 (11.30am to 6pm (BST)) at both King’s College London’s Strand campus and online.

The event is open to the public and free of charge, but registration is required.

The internet is increasingly regarded by users, regulators and NGOs as a public utility. The UN has gone so far as to call internet access a universal right. But the internet is simultaneously seen as a technological infrastructure linked to – and leveraged for – capital production and accumulation. The Queering Digital Cultures symposium aims to explore what this tension between universal access and platform capitalism means for the sex and gender-based assumptions and exclusions generated by today’s internet. We will focus on how homophobia, sexism and transphobia are reproduced in contemporary digital culture and unpack how this intersects with existing inequalities and ‘digital divides’ around race, class and (dis)ability. We train our analytical lens on the ways that mainstream data production, consumption and circulation practices impact sex and gender minorities. We also consider how queer users, activists and tech workers challenge the inequalities and exclusions (re)produced in today’s internet.

Working to understand these issues is crucial for the future of internet studies. Across its thirty-year history, the discipline has critiqued the ways in which digital technologies impact the social register of everyday life. Yet this intellectual project has failed to substantively consider the experiences of sex and gender minorities, and the resulting intersectional exclusions generated by and in today’s internet. Queering Digital Cultures brings together esteemed scholars who have made important contributions to addressing these blindspots.


Kath Albury (Swinburne University of Technology)

Kevin Guyan (University of Glasgow)

Chloé Locatelli (King’s College London)

Shaka McGlotten (Purchase College-SUNY)

Alexander Monea (George Mason University)

Gaspard Pelurson (King’s College London)

Roundtable on studying Global Digital Cultures, Wednesday 19 October 2022

Please join us in discussing “Going Global”, a roundtable about studying Global Digital Cultures in non-Western contexts.

Over the last academic year, the members of the Department of Digital Humanities have held a series of talks doing research on Global Digital Cultures in non-Western contexts. This emerging Research Cluster covers a wide array of geographies – India, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Somalia and South Africa – and an equally wide range of topics – virtual idols, memes, museums, infrastructures, and more.

We want to warmly invite you to this roundtable discussion, in which we bring together the speakers from last year’s Going Global talk series to reflect on what it means to study Global Digital Cultures. By drawing connections and comparisons between our different topics and geographies of study, the participants will offer insights into politics and problematics of studying digital technologies across the world.

Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Time: 5-6.30pm 
Location: Strand Campus, Anatomy Lecture Theatre, room  K6.29
Participants: Elisa Oreglia, Peter Chonka, Ashwin Mathew, Laura Gibson, Niki Cheong, Rafal Zaborowski, Cristina Moreno Almeida

Registration required:

This roundtable is part of the Digital Humanities Lecture Series. In this lecture series, the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London presents research in progress critically inquiring the implications of digital technologies on our global digital cultures, digital heritage and culture, exploring opportunities for computation in the Arts and Humanities, and enriching the role of these fields in the domain of Computer Science. 

Save the dates for future lectures: 
16 November, 5pm – DH research on Artificial Intelligence 
30 November, 5pm – DH research on Surveillance 

New publication: “Personal Science and the Quantified Self Guru”

DDH professor, Btihaj Ajana, recently published a new chapter, “Personal Science and the Quantified Self Guru”, in book, Digital Wellness, Health and Fitness Influencers, edited by Stefan Lawrence.

Author’s summary of the chapter:

“In this chapter, I examine the ways in which Quantified Self practices can be considered as “personal science,” a term first introduced by Martin and Brouwer in early 1990s and recently adopted by the Quantified Self community to describe its self-tracking activities and objectives. In doing so, I revisit some relevant arguments put forward by the philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer, vis-à-vis the value of the personal and hermeneutic dimension to understanding aspects of health and appreciating the limits of traditional medical methods and their generalising approach. After laying down the basis of the Quantified Self as personal science, the chapter proceeds to examine the example of the Danish self-tracker, Thomas Blomseth Christiansen, who is famous for curing himself of his severe allergies thanks to tracking his sneezes since 2011 and monitoring various other bodily and environmental variables. By drawing on interviews I conducted with Thomas and weaving them into relevant philosophical debates, I provide a critical discussion on the way self-tracking can be seen, at once, as a way of reclaiming autonomy and control over one’s health as well as a form of outsourcing decision-making to technology itself. This discussion leads me to differentiate between active and passive self-tracking, and between members of the Quantified Self circle who build their own tools and the general users who rely on the commercial tech solutions available on the market. Ultimately, I suggest that the Quantified Self community can act as a “guru” for mainstream self-trackers by nurturing a critical and inclusive approach to technological development and use, which can enable users to be involved in the means of production and become experts rather than just users. “

Wikipedia Editathon on “East and Southeast Asians in the UK”, 15th September 2022

How are East and Southeast Asians (ESEA) in the UK represented on Wikipedia? As part of ESEA Heritage Month 2022 the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London’s is co-organising a Wikipedia Editathon on “East and Southeast Asians in the UK” on 15th September 2022, together with friends and colleagues at City University LondonESEA Hub and the Public Data Lab.

The event arose through an ongoing Public Data Lab project on “East and Southeast Asians: Documenting a Category in the Making”. It is inspired by both editathons as formats for involving marginalized knowledge communities, as well as research on Wikipedia grounded in media studies and science and technology studies (e.g. on controversies, gaps, underrepresentation, politics, and socio-technical dynamics).

The event will review ESEA related pages and explore how people who identify with or are associated with the ESEA term can be involved in shaping Wikipedia pages about their communities, histories and cultures.

Further details can be found below and at the following links:

Wikipedia Editathon on “East and Southeast Asians in the UK”, 15th September 2022

Wikipedia is one of the largest and most popular websites in the world. Its pages make their way into the top of search engine results, the answers of smart devices and are widely linked, shared and translated around the world. However, its content has been shown to be heavily skewed by gender and geography.

How are East and Southeast Asians (ESEA) in the UK represented on Wikipedia? While there are pages for various ESEA groups, a proposal to make an “East and Southeast Asians in the United Kingdom” page was rejected in 2015. Amongst those opposing the page were comments that the ESEA term “is simply not used in Britain”, along with suggestions for the page to be renamed with “British Orientals”, a term which is considered problematic and offensive.

Since the pandemic the term ESEA has been gaining traction. There are now several groups and organisations with ESEA in their name. In 2021 East and Southeast Asian Heritage Month received attention and engagement from media organisations, cultural organisations and public institutions. Has status and societal recognition of the ESEA term changed during the pandemic? Should an ESEA page be created? If so, what should it contain?

Inspired by edit-a-thons organised by and for marginalised groups, this event will explore how people who identify with or are associated with the ESEA term can be involved in shaping Wikipedia pages about their communities, histories and cultures. At the event we will review, discuss and edit Wikipedia pages together. Participants will learn how to set up an account and edit Wikipedia. To close we will reflect on the role of Wikipedia, and the web more generally, in ESEA organising during and after the pandemic.

Co-organised by City University London, ESEA Hub, King’s College London and the Public Data Lab.

Cross-posted from

Keynote with Lauren Klein, “What Data Visualization Reveals: Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and the Work of Knowledge Production”, 13th September 2022

Lauren Klein will be giving a keynote talk on her research on data visualization as a feminist method at King’s on 13th September 2022, introduced by Stuart Dunn, head of the Department of Digital Humanities. Further details on her talk are copied below and you can register here (free for both online and on campus attendance).

The keynote is part of a Turing Visualization Group Symposium hosted by CUSP London and the Turing Network Development Award – at King’s College London


Data visualization is not a recent innovation. Even in the nineteenth century, economists and educators, as well as artists and illustrators, were fully aware of the inherent subjectivity of visual perception, the culturally-situated position of the viewer, and the power of images in general—and of visualization in particular—to produce the insights that lead to new knowledge. In this talk, I will examine the history of data visualization in relation to feminist theory, which has also long attended to the situated nature of knowledge and its production Exploring the visualization work of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804-1894), I will show how we might recover her contributions to the development of modern data visualization. I will demonstrate, moreover, that by conceiving of data visualization as a feminist method, we might question the universality of the goals of clarity and efficiency when designing data visualizations, and better value visual forms that encourage sustained reflection and imaginative response. Confirming how visual knowledge is informed by the social, cultural, and political contexts that surround it, this talk will reveal how an awareness of those contexts can lead to more intentional, more effective, and more ethical visualization design.


Lauren Klein is Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Professor in the departments of English and Quantitative Theory & Methods at Emory University, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. She is the author of An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) and, with Catherine D’Ignazio, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020). With Matthew K. Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities, a hybrid print-digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge.

New article: ‘Perceptions and attitudes towards Covid-19 vaccines: Narratives from the UK public’

A new article on public perceptions of Covid-19 vaccines co-authored by DDH professor, Btihaj Ajana, and Elena Engstler, Anas Ismail & Marina Kousta.

The article can be accessed on:



The aim of the paper is to enhance understanding of how members of the public make sense of the Covid-19 vaccines and to understand the factors influencing their attitudes towards such artefacts of pandemic governance.


The paper draws on 23 online in-depth interviews with members of the UK public and builds on relevant literature to examine participants’ perceptions of the benefits and risks of Covid-19 vaccines, the sources that have shaped their attitudes, and the level of trust they have towards the government’s handling of the pandemic through vaccines.


The findings indicate that participants generally felt that the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks and that Covid-19 vaccines are a crucial mechanism for enabling society to return to normal. Vaccine acceptance was, for some, strongly linked to a sense of social responsibility and the duty to protect others. However, some participants expressed concerns with regard to the side-effects of Covid-19 vaccines and their perceived potential impact on fertility and DNA makeup. Participants used various sources of information to learn about Covid-19 vaccines and understand their function, benefits, and risks. The majority of participants criticised the government’s response during the early stages of the pandemic yet felt positive about the vaccine rollout.


Just as with any other vaccination programme, the success of the Covid-19 immunisation campaigns does not only depend on the efficacy of the vaccines themselves or the ability to secure access to them, but also on a myriad of other factors which include public compliance and trust in governments and health authorities. To support an effective immunisation campaign that is capable of bringing the pandemic to an end, governments need to understand public concerns, garner trust, and devise adequate strategies for engaging the public and building more resilient societies.

Barbara McGillivray wins Inter Circle U. Prize

Congratulations to Barbara McGillivray, Lecturer at the Department of Digital Humanities who was a winner of the Inter Circle U. Prize, which aims to “showcase and highlight some of our best examples of inter- and transdisciplinary research”.

More details here and brief summary and video about her project may be found below.

Dr. Barbara McGillivray, lecturer in digital humanities and cultural computation at King’s College London, for the team project “The Language of mechanisation”. 

Her research focusses on computational models of meaning and conceptual change in historical and contemporary texts and she is Co-Investigator of the Living with Machines project.

Her ICUP-winning project, “The Language of Mechanisation” realises an experiment in radically interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration at the intersection between history, computational linguistics, data science, library science and research software engineering. The project aims to leverage the potential of historical digitised records at scale, particularly the British Newspapers Archive, to analyse the impact of mechanisation on the lives of ordinary people during Britain’s rapid transformation into an industrial society.