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Tracking the female body – the impact of self-tracking with a smartphone

Duration: 2016-2019

With the intensive growth of self-tracking technologies to measure various aspects of our health an increasing number of women embrace apps for tracking their female cycle. While constructing new mediated relationships with their menstruating bodies and getting access to a shame-free scope for self-exploration and reassurance, these women also produce valuable data for the tech industry and in that sense become prosumers. Questions of privacy and data ownership surface: Who profits from the data and owns the data? Based on interviews with Danish women using period-trackers in their everyday life my PhD project aims at exploring these intersections of privacy, datafied bodies and menstrual stigma. 

Funding Partners: PhD Arts, Aarhus University 

By Amanda Karlsson

When the smartphone becomes a running partner

Duration: 2014 - 2019

Some people struggle with turning running into a habit because of negative, bodily experiences of exercise: They fear feelings of pain, feel discomfort when running near/with others, cannot structure exercise, and consequently do not regard themselves as recreational athletes. In this research project, Joeb Grønborg investigates how laypeople use and combine different types of smartphone applications (e.g. self-tracking apps, music, training programme apps and game apps) in order to cope with their running struggles. By understanding in more detail when and how technology succeeds in supporting a more active life style as well as a more enjoyable exercise experience, the research project has the potential to inform the design of future technologies that encourage proactive health.

Funding partners: Aarhus University

By: Joeb Høfdinghoff Grønborg

Data Wastelands

Duration: 2018-2020

The past two decades the digitization of anything from library archives to social media information has increased almost exponentially. Both physical objects as well as our own lives have been inescapably intertwined with digital terrains in the form of smart cities, quantified selves and digital infrastructures. For many, digitization is perceived as a neverending process of accumulation. As a consequence, plains of data waste are emerging. Yet, datafication has also brought about new difficult questions about the political, environmental and cultural sustainability of such data wastelands. The concept of “data wastelands” pioneered by this project thus raise difficult questions about our love affair with digitization: what is the cultural logic of digital waste production? Who regulates data wastelands and how? And what is the political geography of data waste in the digital and physical infrastructure of the internet? 

Funding partner: AUFF Starting Grant

Other partner: Uncertain Archives

By Nanna Thylstrup 

Researching the phenomenon of health-related Facebook-groups

Duration: 2013-2018

When struggling with recurring or long term health issues in the digital age, some people use internet resources such as health-related Facebook-groups to acquire knowledge. In this regard, health-related Facebook-groups comprise key objects of orientation in a Danish language context and, consequently, also in the research conducted in this project. More specifically, Ane Kathrine studies the everyday entanglements of health-related Facebook-group use. The objective of the project is to advance our understanding of the raison d’être of health-related Facebook-groups and to generate empirically grounded knowledge about the impacts of new media technologies on culture and society. Furthermore, the research has the methodological scope of developing more ethical and accurate research approaches for studying digital culture.

Funding partners: Faculty of ARTS, Aarhus University

By: Ane Kathrine Gammelby

Emotional Data Lab Aarhus (EMDAA)

Duration: 2016-now

Emotional Data Lab Aarhus (EMDAA) has been established as an interdisciplinary research and knowledge platform concerned with topics and innovation within emotion and affective data analysis and cognitive computing. EMDAA emerged from an individual Sapere Aude postdoc project entitled "Making Sense Of Data” (2014-18), which investigated recent developments in experimental data visualization and sonification methods. Thomas' current research in emotion and affective data is focused on the impact and application of such computational models and techniques in the field of digital marketing communication and consumer behaviour analysis. In particular he is occupied with the automation of voice and speech-based platforms and what he refers to as the progression from “assistive” to “addictive” technologies.

Funding partner: The Danish Council for Independent Research

Student researchers: Matilde Nesheim, Lasse Hansen & Sebastian Scott Engen

By: Thomas Bjørnsten

Accusatory rhetoric on social media

Duration: 2018–2022 

This project takes as a point of departure the observation that accusatory rhetoric, e.g. complaints, accusations and allegations, has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in public debate on digital social media. Already in the thinking of Aristotle and Quintilian it was clear that no defense arises out of nothing but is a reply to its counterpart, the accusation. However, a current interest in apologia studies and crisis communication has devoted little attention to the accusation. The aim of this project is therefore to contribute to our understanding of the forms and functions of accusatory rhetoric in a digital context and the way this kind of rhetoric is presented, shared and remixed across digital social media platforms.

Funding: PhD Arts, Aarhus University