Life in Pixels series

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Life in Pixels hosts an ongoing series of transdisciplinary conversations thinking about how we can make sense of, and live with, our computational social condition today. Considering sociocultural, aesthetic, politicoeconomic, environmental, racial, and historical registers of technology together, the series will bring together people who think and do technology beyond disciplinary boundaries. The events are all designed as an ongoing series of conversations between scholars and practitioners in Media Studies, Science and Technology Studies, History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Critical Digital Studies, and Literary Cultural Studies.

Life in Pixels is generously sponsored by the Ruth and Paul Idzik College Chair in Digital Scholarship, the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society, the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, the Department of English, and the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame.


Friday, March 24th, 2:00 pm EST (zoom book talk)

Henning Schmidgen is Professor of Media Studies and the History of Science at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. He studied psychology, philosophy and linguistics in Berlin and Paris. From 1997 to 2011, he was postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Dept. Rheinberger). Between 2011 and 2014 he was professor of media aesthetics at the University of Regensburg. Schmidgen has worked extensively on machines in the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari, concepts in Georges Canguilhem’s epistemology, and the problem of time in physiology and psychology. His research is published by journals such as Isis, Grey Room, and Theory, Culture and Society. Among his books are The Helmholtz-Curves. Tracing Lost Time (2014), Bruno Latour in Pieces (2014) and The Guattari Tapes (Leipzig 2019). Together with Rebekka Ladewig, he edited a special issue of Body & Society, devoted to "Symmetries of Touch. Reconsidering Tactility in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing“ (2022).

Chris Salter is Professor for Immersive Arts and Director of the Immersive Arts Space at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He is also Professor Emeritus, Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and former Co-Director of the Hexagram network for research-creation in arts, cultures and technology which he led between 2014-2022 and Co-Founder of the Milieux Institute at Concordia. He studied philosophy and economics and completed his PhD in theatre studies with research in computer music at Stanford University. His artistic and research work is at the intersection of media arts, performance theory, STS and media studies. His artistic work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Barbican Centre, Berliner Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, ZKM, Kunstfest Weimar, Musée d’art Contemporain, Muffathalle, EXIT Festival and Place des Arts-Montreal, among many others. He has given over 100 talks internationally and is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance ( 2010), Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (2015) and Sensing Machines (2022), all from the MIT Press.

Registration required for this event must take place prior to the virtual book talk.


Tuesday, March 28th, 4:00 pm EST (zoom book talk)

Lorraine Daston is Director emerita at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and regular Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She has written on a broad range of topics in the early modern and modern history of science, including probability and statistics, wonders and the order of nature, scientific images, objectivity and other epistemic virtues, quantification, observation, algorithms, and the moral authority of nature. Her most recent books are Against Nature (MIT Press, 2019) and Rules: A Short History of What We Live By (Princeton University Press, 2022).

Registration required for this event must take place prior to the virtual book talk.


Wednesday, April 5th, 4:00 pm EST (zoom book talk)

Tung-Hui Hu is the author of A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press, 2015) and Digital Lethargy: Dispatches from an Age of Disconnection (MIT Press, 2022), as well as three books of poetry. For the 2022-23 academic year, he is a Rome Prize Fellow in Literature at the American Academy in Rome and a Humboldt Fellow at the Martin Luther Universität Halle, Germany. A former network engineer, he is now an associate professor of English at the University of Michigan.

Registration required for this event must take place prior to the virtual book talk.


Thursday, April 20th, 4:00 pm EST (in-person & virtual book talk)
246 Hesburgh Library

Nick Seaver is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Tufts University in Medford, MA. His ethnographic research on the developers of algorithmic music recommendation has appeared in Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Big Data & Society. He is co-editor of Towards an Anthropology of Data (2021) and author of Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation (2022). His current research explores the rise of attention as a value and virtue in machine learning worlds.

Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan is Reader in the history and theory of digital media at King’s College London. An overarching theme of his research is how “cultural” sciences shape—and are shaped by—digital technologies. This concern spans his writing on the mutual constitution of cybernetics and the human sciences, ethnicity and AI, and the role of mid-twentieth century military vigilance in the development of interactive, multimedia computing. His attention to cultural factors in technical systems also figured in his work as a curator, notably for the Anthropocene and Technosphere projects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. 

Registration required for this event must take place prior if you plan to participate virtually.


Thursday, April 27th, 4:00 pm EST (zoom book talk)

Chris Wiggins is an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia University and the Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times.  At Columbia he is a founding member of the executive committee of the Data Science Institute, and of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics as well as the Department of Systems Biology, and is affiliated faculty in Statistics.  He is a co-founder and co-organizer of hackNY (, a nonprofit which since 2010 has organized the hackNY Fellows Program, a structured summer internship at NYC startups.  Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia he was a Courant Instructor at NYU (1998-2001) and earned his PhD at Princeton University (1993-1998) in theoretical physics.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a recipient of Columbia's Avanessians Diversity Award.  His book Data Science in Context: Foundations, Challenges, Opportunities, with Alfred Spector, Peter Norvig, and Jeannette M. Wing, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.  His forthcoming book How Data Happened: A History from the Age of Reason to the Age of Algorithms, with Matthew L. Jones, will be published by Norton Press in 2023.

Matthew L. Jones is James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization in the Department of History, Columbia University, New York. He will be joining Princeton University in summer 2023. Norton has just published his How Data Happened: A History from the Age of Reason to the Age of Algorithms, written with Chris Wiggins. He has published two books previously, Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking about Thinking from Pascal to Babbage and The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution: Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz and the Cultivation of Virtue (both with Chicago). He has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among others.

Registration required for this event must take place prior to the virtual book talk.