Projects

The lab research community both hosts and serve as an inspirational playground for research projects. We sometimes engage in projects together and at other times create connections beyond the lab.

Ongoing Projects

Learn about the ongoing projects we are currently working with.

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Nordic Approaches to Algorithmic Systems
Centered around a series of three workshops, the project entails to conceptualize a Nordic approach to critical algorithm studies. The project is a collaboration between Tampere University, Helsinki University, Stockholm University, and ITU, working towards contributing to the conversations on automation, categorization, and other key features of human-machine collaborations through a unique understanding from Nordic settings. Participants bring in a broad range of scholarly backgrounds, and further include actors from outside academia. An additional objective is the establishment of a network on the topic with a strong focus on supporting junior scholars. ETHOS contributes to foster an explorative, creative, dialogue across the disciplines and hosts the workshops in Copenhagen.
Erasure Poetry and the GDPR

Beginning in 2018, this project has engaged the new General Data Protection Regulation through the form of erasure poetry. Through events in Denmark and internationally, we have convened academics and publics to create erasure poems from the text of the GDPR. Selections have been published in two erasure poetry collections. The collections are available through the Lab, and have been used in training workshops around the world! For an account of the process, see here.

Making Sense of Medicinal Cannabis Debates
Making sense of medicinal cannabis debates is a 3-year research project about discourses surrounding the current Danish pilot programme for medicinal cannabis. The very introduction of medicinal cannabis is often assumed to be intrinsically linked to the digitalized media landscapes where the “public” voice has a new power to mobilize and build political pressure, which is investigated and questioned by mapping the evolution of the online debate about medicinal cannabis in Denmark. The project combines digital “issue mapping” approaches with qualitative methods and explores how critical inquiry into digital methods can qualify their use.
Unexamined Data - Living with Ambivalences
Research projects often end up with data and empirical material left unexamined. Often, we hold onto these materials with the anxiety and hope that they will become useful someday. Or perhaps we do not know how best to dispose of them. In this project we have stored a black box of empirical data gathered over multiple lab events and workshops without opening it. Through this experiment we live with the ambivalences of unexamined data and consider both institutional GDPR requirements as well as the collective responsibility for its liminal status as material that requires care until its eventual use or disposal.
Student Surveillance Project

During the spring semester of 2021, lecturers suddenly discovered that a new risk algorithm predicting student drop-out was activated in ITU’s online learning platform; LearnIT operating through Moodle software. While the algorithm got deactivated, a student project in collaboration with ETHOS lab started, investigating the naturalisation of surveillance in learning platforms and their connection to how universities get funded.

Monster Writing
‘Monster Writing’ approaches writing as a vulnerable practice marked by an unstable boundary between bodies: bodies of text and bodies of the writer. Drawing on feminist theory on vulnerability, embodiment and the monstrous as well as scholarship on creative writing/experimental methods, we develop and organize writing workshops that engage with these instabilities as well as address experiences of difficulties, anxieties, and uncertainty in relation with the text and writing process. We also publish on these subjects, arguing that this potentially more troubled relationship between writer and text should be explored further in scholarship on writing.
Absent Data
This project considers the ways in which silences and absences are central parts of research relying on automated data collection from social media or the internet. As these research methods have gained popularity within social science and humanities, it becomes ever more pertinent to consider how we engage with digital data, and how both engagement and data are situated, messy and contingent. Based on experiences with ‘missing’ data, the project mobilizes the framework of hauntology to make sense of the relationships we may build with missing data, and how silences haunt research practices. We reimagine absent data not as a limitation, but rather an invitation to reflect on and establish new methods for working with automated data collections.
SSH Knowledge and Business Sustainability Database
This project critically analyses the sustainability efforts of large Danish companies in the face of multiple climate crises. Such organizations are required by law to detail their efforts to combat climate change in their annual reports, and this research project seeks to use this open data to 1) create a research infrastructure with easy access to the data for others to use and 2) analyze what kind of sustainability efforts companies engage in, and what kind of expertise and knowledge they are based on. The project leverages overlapping traditions such as infrastructure studies, digital methods and the emerging field of digital sustainability, exploring how sustainability is being reported and providing a better overview for further research into this topic.
Moving Data, Moving People
The Moving Data Moving People project is a 5 year ethnographic study of the emergent Social Credit System in China. ETHOS colleagues have been involved in early online ethnography, the establishment of infrastructure for Weibo data collection and analysis, and RAs from the project have been based in the Lab. The MDMP project will be exploring experimental methods 2021-2025.
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VIRT-EU

The VIRT-EU project was a Horizon 2020 collaboration between five European research partners the London School of Economics (UK), Open Rights Group (UK), Uppsala University (SE), Politechnico di Torino (IT) and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (DK) hosted at the IT University of Copenhagen. The project aimed to demonstrate how ethical questions can and should be addressed in the development of technology. The project outputs include tool prototypes for self-assessment and for convening conversations about ethics. ETHOS facilitated conversations between the project’s ethnographers and its network analysis scholars, hosted IoT Day with project members in 2018 and 2019.

https://virteuproject.eu/

Nordic Engineers Ethics of AI Report
In 2019, ETHOS facilitated a workshop for the Nordic Association of Engineers to produce a joint statement for Nordic engineers on artificial intelligence and ethics. The report is an outcome of a workshop arranged by ETHOS Lab and ITU researchers, in which Nordic engineers gathered to discuss issues of artificial intelligence and ethics, and put forth policy recommendations and guidelines for engineering practice. You can read the full report here: https://ipaper.ipapercms.dk/IDA/ane/report/#/.
Mapping a Colony

ETHOS Lab is part of a funded Europeana research project called Mapping a Colony, marking the centennial of the sale of the Danish West Indies (present day US Virgin Islands) to the United States. The project was conducted in collaboration with The Royal Library, the Uncertain Archives project, the Past’s Future project, and lead by the author Lene Asp. The objective of the Mapping a Colony project was to create an interactive map to highlight and investigate Danish colonial heritage, and ETHOS took a role in discussing the politics of mapping, creating an interactive map based on the databases, and participating in the interdisciplinary datasprint ‘Representing History Through Data‘.

https://mappingacolony.org

Data as Relation

Data as Relation was a Velux Fonden research project hosted in the TiP group between 2017 and 2020, and focused on digitalization in the Danish State. The ETHOS Lab was a site of methods experimentation in the project, supporting conversations across the PhD projects, hosting “shut up and code” sessions, and a data sprint on Techplomacy. The focus of methodological experimentation in the project was about bringing different fieldsites together in conversation. One way in which this was done was through monster theory, creating a Bestiary of Digital Monsters, as a means of generating conversations across field-sites.

https://dar.itu.dk

Past Projects

Explore a selection of past projects the lab has participated in.

Junior Researcher Projects

Here are the ongoing Junior Researcher projects. We’ve compiled a selection of complete Junior Researcher projects into a flipbook.
Implementation of e-Boks in Greenland
In 2019, three Junior Researchers, Rebecca, Nanna and Clara conducted fieldwork in Greenland on the implementation of the e-boks. Their fieldwork, part of their masters thesis project, involved interviews, ethnography and the study of policy documents, to explore questions of digitalization through a postcolonial lens. Their thesis is available here, and is being built upon by Nina in her masters thesis work in 2021. The project documents anticipations of digital post, infrastructural conditions, and technoptimistic imaginaries as they are tied to new modes of digital governance.