Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL)

The Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL) aims to further develop, systematize and internationalize the research area of digital media, already a distinctive feature of Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and to expand the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) into a transdisciplinary, systematic and internationally renowned centre of research. The Research Lab’s work is therefore closely connected to the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM) and the German Research Council-funded Institute of Advanced Studies on ’Media Cultures of Computer-Simulation‘ (mecs). It is funded by the ’Niedersächsisches Vorab‘ program of the Volkswagen Foundation.

The term ’Digital Cultures‘ denotes a fundamental and epochal change in everyday life, one that places new demands on the generation of theoretical and practical knowledge. We understand digitality as the characteristic technical feature of the heterogeneous and rapid dynamics of contemporary media artefacts and applications – and cultures as distinct ways of ’world-making,’ which include forms of sensation and communication, of practices and processes of sense-making. In Digital Cultures, digital media have thus become the driving force behind profoundly new forms of perceiving, expressing and organizing the social, the political and the economic. These media-cultural upheavals challenge us to understand, encounter and shape them.

The Digital Cultures Research Lab follows a transdisciplinary research approach, seeking to combine the research efforts and methods of different research traditions and approaches – stemming from cultural and social theory, media studies and computer science as well as non-academic sources – in order to tackle the pressing contemporary phenomena and consequences of living in Digital Cultures.

As depicted above, the proposed program will therefore comprise four fields of research (on the technological condition, sociality, the political and methods), which are associated with twelve specific research units. It will bring together acclaimed international fellows, talented junior researchers and Leuphana-based academics.

The Digital Cultures Research Lab is funded by the “Niedersächisches vorab” program of the Volkswagen Foundation .