In addition to a conference program of panels selected from an international call for papers, MEDIACITIES will feature keynote presentations from speakers with work germaine to this year’s theme. These include:

Benjamin H. Bratton

Benjamin H. Bratton is a theorist whose work spans Philosophy, Art and Design. He is Associate Professor of Visual Arts  and Director of D:GP, The Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. His research is situated at the intersections of contemporary social and political theory, computational media & infrastructure, architectural & urban design problems, and the politics of synthetic ecologies and biologies. Current work focuses on the political geography of cloud computing, massively-granular universal addressing systems, and alternate models of ecological governance. His next book, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, is forthcoming from MIT Press. Most recent selected texts include: “What We Do is Secrete: On Virilio, Planetarity and Data Visualization,”“Geoscapes & the Google Caliphate: On Mumbai Attacks,” “Root the Earth: On Peak Oil Apohenia” and “Suspicious Images/ Latent Interfaces” (with Natalie Jeremijenko). More texts here.

Mike Crang

Mike Crang is a professor of geography at Durham University. He has worked on the social and spatial effects of information technologies in the urban arena for 15 years. Early books like ‘Virtual Geographies’, work examining the transformation of associative spaces in the city focused on the transformations of proximity that new technologies enabled. With Steve Graham, he then explored the possible rise of the multi-speed city and the effect of technologies on the logistics of everyday life in produce differential social outcomes. This they pursued into asking about the transformation of agency with increasingly embedded calculative capacities in the sentient city. Other work looked at the ways information technologies were leveraged as both infrastructure and functioned as rhetorical devices in the competition between cities functioning as hubs in the global economy. He has also worked on issues of temporality, editing the journal Time & Society for a decade, and issues of social memory and heritage. Studying the representation of cultural landscapes and their mediation in various institutions led to a work on touristic understandings of places. From looking at preservation he has come to be interested in discard, disposal, decay and decrepitude.

Stephen Kovats

Stephen Kovats is a cultural and media researcher, formerly artistic director of transmediale, Berlin’s festival for art and digital culture, and international program curator at V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam. His interests are focused on the dynamic relationships between media, political, and electronic space and their application on the transformation of societal and cultural landscapes.
In the 90′s he initiated and directed ‘ostranenie – the international electronic media forum’ at the Bauhaus Dessau which examined the role of media art and broadcast culture within the transformation process in Eastern and Central Europe. Other major projects included a yearly series of Central European Media Art Picnics, the Archi-Tonomy workshops and the biannual ‘DEAF’ festival in Rotterdam.
r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation.