PhD Course Description


The PhD course contributes to and takes place prior to and after the international conference “Politics of the Machine: Art and After” (May 15-17 2018 in Copenhagen). The attendees participate in a workshop where they will generate mandatory online and offline outputs related to the conference theme. The conference is centered on questions about how machines impact and contextualise artistic production and perception and in doing so welcomes submissions that take an innovative approach to the politics of the machine. Likewise, this workshop aims to engage research in a broad sense of the word and thus invites artistic and practice-based as well as theoretical and historical approaches to the subject.

The course will take place at the CATCH space at the CLICK festival, Hal 16, 3000 Elsinore. The practice-base results from the workshop will be exhibited in the Catch project space during the Click Festival.

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Patricia Reis, Patrícia J. Reis (b. 1981, Lisbon, Pt) is an installation artist based in Vienna (At) whose practice encompasses different formats and media to examine our relationship with modern technology. She holds a Ph.D. in Art (University of Évora, Portugal, 2016). Reis was a fellow researcher from National Science Technology Foundation of Portugal (2011-2015). From 2006 to 2012, she was lecturing Photography, Video and Digital Arts at the Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal, as a full-time Assistant Professor. Currently she lectures at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and at the Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria.

María Antonia González Valerio (PhD) works within the research line of ontology-aesthetics and the interdisciplinary line of arts, sciences and humanities, specifically in the field of art that uses bio-media. She has PhD in Philosophy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with postdoctoral studies in the area of aesthetics. Full-time professor of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature and of the postgraduate programs in Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Art History and Fine Arts UNAM. She is the head of the research group Arte+Ciencia (Art+Science) which gathers artists, scholars and scientists in an interdisciplinary work that produces education at an under and postgraduate level, specialized theoretical research, artistic creation and exhibitions. She has published several books, recently Cabe los límites. Escritos sobre filosofía natural desde la ontología estética (México: UNAM/Herder, 2016). She has also edited, coordinated and contributed to various publications, and led research projects, such asComplexity and natural philosophy at the intersection of art and science, linked to the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature UNAM.


Majken Overgaard, program manager of CATCH, Center for Art + Technology

Jonas Jørgensen, PhD, IT University of Copenhagen

Course responsible:

Laura Beloff, associate professor, IT University of Copenhagen

Morten Søndergaard, Aalborg University


The overall topic of the workshop is openness in/of machines and the potential political and social effects of opening up the machine. The workshop is organized along two thematic tracks:

  1. Open Structures, Open Machines – Production of Futures

Open hardware has paved the way for a different approach to the machine and the way we think about labor and production. How can the  instruments of labor be reclaimed and repurposed with the aim of developing novel alternatives to existing structures of organizing production and consumption? We will investigate how artistic approaches can be implemented into, extend, or disrupt production, distribution, and financial processes.

  1. Open Bodies, Open Machines – Future Pleasure Objects

The machines developed to stimulate human bodies, beyond visual pleasure and medical applications, often reproduce a traditional binary of woman/man. You can purchase stimulators and devices derived from stereotypical understandings of gender and sexuality. Can we build machines that deconstruct these? Can machines help develop future human and more-than-human genders? Can machines become objects that stimulate and resonate with the body and its Umwelt and not just the genitals?

Learning goals

When you have completed the course you will be able to:

  • analyze and explain examples of how machines impact and contextualise artistic production and perception
  • understand how artistic approaches can be implemented into, extend, or disrupt production, distribution, and financial processes
  • understand how machines can help develop future human and more-than-human genders
  • use artistic methodologies to disseminate a joint project that combines your individual research

Expected workload

Participation in the course includes the production of a blog entry prior to the workshop, dialogue and co-production online with other participants, the production of a joint project, and a joint presentation of this output at the Click Festival. PhD students can be awarded 2.5 ECTS for their full participation. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to submit regular papers for the conference and attend the conference events.

The workshop can accommodate up to 20 participants, groups will consist of 3-4 persons. Selection will be based on how well the submitted project fits within the overall theme of the conference and course topic and also aimed at generating variety within the group (in terms of research subject, disciplinary background, practical/theoretical approach etc.).


The course runs from April 1 to May 18 2018. To pass the course and be awarded credits (2,5 ECTS), students must participate in the online collaboration and workshop in Elsinore.

The results from the online and offline workshop process must be presented at the joint exhibition under the title “Politics of the Machine” in the Catch project space during the Click Festival. We will open the exhibition Friday 18th and Saturday 19th (optional) you will present your work to the festival audience either through a talk, performance or a panel discussion. The talk or panel discussion will be evaluated as your oral exam evaluated as a pass/fail exam.  

Students are expected to come well prepared to the online collaboration and to read, study and discuss the material provided at an advanced level. Results and discussions generated by the course are documented in a digital archive (Basecamp). Students are strongly encouraged to also participate in the conference.