Centre for Digital Cultures

The di­gi­tal shift re-shapes the cul­tu­ral and crea­ti­ve sec­tors, and, in­de­ed, ever­y­day life, po­li­tics, law, and eco­no­my. Me­dia for­mats, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­ti­on pro­ces­ses, and re­gimes of va­lue get re­con­fi­gu­red. Who­le in­dus­tries and so­cie­tal tasks such as pu­blis­hing or pu­blic ser­vice me­dia have to be con­stant­ly re-thought. New forms of par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on and ci­ti­zenship ari­se. Me­dia have be­co­me ubi­qui­tous, per­sis­tent and per­va­si­ve, and the me­dia­ted so­ci­al pro­du­ces new forms of con­nec­ting, re­la­ting, sharing and com­pe­ting. The ques­ti­on is: How can we un­der­stand and shape this epo­chal shift?

The Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res (CDC), af­fi­lia­ted to Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Lüne­burg and evolved in 2012 from the research concentration on Digital Media within the Lüneburg Innovation Incubator, scru­ti­ni­s­es this shift through re­se­arch in di­sci­pli­nes such as me­dia, cul­tu­ral and so­ci­al stu­dies, through know­ledge crea­ti­on and trans­fer, as well as through ex­pe­ri­men­tal and in­ter­ven­tio­nist me­dia prac­tices. It sets up a net­work and an ex­pe­ri­men­tal space, whe­re part­ners from in­dus­try, aca­de­mic re­se­arch, and ci­vil so­cie­ty not only talk and think with each other, but also co­ope­ra­te and de­ve­lop new con­cepts, for­mats, ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons, and in­ter­ven­ti­ons.

We be­lie­ve that we need to crea­te a con­du­ci­ve, pro­duc­tive and, in many in­stan­ces, ex­pe­ri­men­tal re­se­arch en­vi­ron­ment in which re­se­ar­chers and prac­ti­tio­ners, ac­tivists and theo­rists, ar­tists and pro­du­cers, ha­ckers and de­si­gners bro­ker and live dy­na­mic con­nec­tions bet­ween di­gi­tal cul­tu­ral prac­tices, and new forms of know­ledge pro­duc­tion. This in­clu­des the de­ve­lop­ment of ad­van­ced theo­ry and in­no­va­ti­ve cour­ses, as well as the crea­ti­on of soft­ware, me­dia for­mats and di­gi­tal plat­forms, which un­leash new forms of collec­tive ex­pres­si­on and ex­pe­ri­ence. Our re­se­arch is pla­ced in re­gio­nal, na­tio­nal and in­ter­na­tio­nal con­texts ali­ke, and tra­ver­ses boun­da­ries bet­ween aca­de­mia, art, in­dus­try, ac­tivism and ci­vil so­cie­ty – not by ne­glec­ting dif­fe­ren­ces of vi­si­ons and tra­di­ti­ons, but by sta­ging en­coun­ters, de­ba­tes and co­ope­ra­ti­on, ma­king them pro­duc­tive for mul­ti­ple agen­das.