The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC), a disruptive iteration of the Centre for Disruptive Media, brings together media theorists, practitioners, activists and artists. It draws on cross-disciplinary ideas associated with open and disruptive media, the posthuman, the posthumanities, the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene to help both 21st century society and the university respond to the challenges they face in relation to the digital at a global, national and local level. In particular, the CPC endeavours to promote the transformation to a more socially just and sustainable ‘post-capitalist’ knowledge economy.
To this end, the CPC’s research includes projects funded by Jisc, the National Lottery Fund, the EU, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Members of the CPC are involved in editing peer-reviewed journals such as Cultural Studies and Culture Machine, and in developing innovative organisations such as Open Humanities Press and the Radical Open Access Collective.
What Do We Mean By Postdigital Cultures?
The Centre for Postdigital Cultures belongs to the broader digital humanities field. Today, however, ‘the digital’ can no longer be understood as a separate domain of media and culture. If we actually examine the digital - rather than taking it for granted we know what it means - we soon see that digital information processing is now present in every aspect of our lives. This includes our global communication, entertainment, education, energy, banking, health, transport, manufacturing, food, and water-supply systems. The very idea of digital humanities – based as it is on a presumed difference between computing and the digital on the one hand, and the humanistic and human on the other – is therefore somewhat anachronistic and inappropriate.
Attention needs to turn from ‘the digital’ to the various overlapping processes and infrastructures that shape and organise the digital, and that the digital helps to shape and organise in turn. The CPC investigates such enmeshed digital models of culture, society, and the creative economy for the 21st century world.
This is why the CPC has adopted the term postdigital cultures. Postdigital cultures describes what comes: after the digital; after the digital humanities; and after the humanities - including humanism and the human (i.e. the posthumanities).
Research Areas covered by the Centre include:
- Post-capitalist Economies
- Creative Archiving and International Heritage
- Digital Arts and Humanities
- Affirmative Disruption and Open Media
- The 21st Century University and Art School
One of the aims of the CPC is to envisage alternative forms for society in the 21st century world of postdigital media cultures, beyond the all-pervasive algorithmic surveillance and control of market capitalism and its metrics. Exploring issues of collaboration, community, the commons and the ‘Capitalocene’, the goal is to facilitate new articulations of culture and society that call for a radical rethinking of the relationship between the human, technology, the economy and the environment.