METTE SIMONSEN ABILDGAARD
TANT RESEARCH GROUP MEMBER
Phone: +45 99409955
Mette's blog about her postdoc project regarding Phone Culture is available here.
I basically take part of what happens in the lab to learn from and work with my colleagues and the collaboration partners we invite into the lab. I am interested in what questions other people ask of the material they work with and what tools they use to answer them – and maybe trough that bring new ideas to the issues I face in my own work. For instance, with my background in cultural studies/media studies, the establishment of vast archives of digitized audio-visual material has certainly opened up new possibilities for studying our cultural history, but I am still trying to figure out how we can produce relevant and specific analyses on such a large scale.
For me, the lab is an occasion to play with tools I I don’t usually use and issues that are new to me. I do that through participation in data sprints and talks, which is also my way of supporting the lab as a much-appreciated place to meet and learn something new.
Back in 2006, I was studying Modern Culture and Cultural Communication and enrolled in a course called ‘Touching and being touched’ about the significance of ubiquitous computing for the contemporary culture, taught by Ulrik Ekman. I became entirely fascinated by digital art and notions such as ‘telepresence’, the sensation of technologically mediated presence from a distance. I returned to the idea of experience as co-constituted by technology some years later, as I was writing my PhD on the of the Danish youth radio program ‘P4 i P1’, and listened to the changing character of the intimate telephone conversations and answering machine messages from radio listeners. Perhaps then already proto-techno-anthropologist, I officially became part of the group of that name when I moved here to do a postdoc project on the cultural appropriation of the telephone in the late 20th century.