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06/15/2023 - 06/16/2023 | Bremerhaven

Knowledge through Digitized Material? - Objects, Images, Perspectives

Together with the Center for Materials and Processes (MAPEX) and the Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM), the German Maritime Museum is organizing the conference "Knowledge through Digitized Materials? - Objects, Images, Perspectives." On two consecutive days, the partners of the SAW transfer research project "Digital Materialities" will discuss with guests from science and culture the aesthetic dimension of digitized material, its evidential function and its barriers.

Digitization allegedly is occupied with a thorough visualization and analytical accessibility of objects. By revealing formerly hidden details and traces, it is intended to better express their ‘true’ form. At the same time, digitization has the potential for paving the ways for a worldwide exchange of knowledge about these objects, making them available on the web with little legal restrictions or technical access barriers. We illuminate, colorize, enlarge, look at details, and comment.

But what different materialities are actually produced in the digital objects? To what extend is a digital object an artifact in its own right, and therefore detached from its ‘analogue’ counterpart? Could it acquire any epistemic value at all without such a distance - be it in the sense of an abstraction or a concretion? And what intrinsic disturbances, distortions, artifacts and biases are haunting technical digitization processes – as ‘ghosts in the machine’ whose analysis, in turn, can unlock great epistemic potential?

Digital images – both in museums and exhibitions and in industry, medicine, or the natural sciences – have a fundamental heuristic function today: Information is derived from them that is decoupled form an empirical verifiability at an incremental rate.

However, still too seldom reflected seem the various processes and forms by which media techniques inscribe themselves into virtual objects. Different digitization media and methods are not simply extensions of our senses, but operate with their own specific media-technical logics. These digitization media and methods in part generate quite 'non-human' sensory data which must first be 'translated' for the human senses. They imply (in a double sense) 'programmatic' decisions that influence the representation of objects and artifacts; and they actively shape our perspectives on them. As a consequence, they also guide the way knowledge is produced.

And last but not least, in museums as well as in scientific or industrial contexts, we have to ask on which levels digital and analog objects can (and should) function, interact and conflict with each other? How do spaces, situations and everyday practices influence the perception of digital objects, and which specific media-technical environments are constituted in these processes?

The conference will address these issues from an overarching perspective as well as through specific case studies from museum and industrial application areas. In doing so, it brings theory and practice from different disciplinary fields into close exchange.

Registration for face-to-face participation is open until April 30, 2023. Registration for virtual participation is open until Mai 31, 2023. Conference language is English.

Information on participating / attending:
Registration for face-to-face participation is open until April 30, 2023. Registration for virtual participation is open until Mai 31, 2023. Conference language is English.


06/15/2023 13:00 - 06/16/2023 16:30

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

June, 15: Depot of the German Maritime Museum/ Leibniz Institute for Maritime (Forschungsdepot), Eichstraße 13, 27572 Bremerhaven

June, 16: Haus der Wissenschaften Bremen, Sandstraße 4/5, 28195 Bremen
27572 Bremerhaven

Target group:

Scientists and scholars



Subject areas:

Information technology

Types of events:

Conference / symposium / (annual) conference




Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven



Event is free:


Language of the text:


URL of this event:

attachment icon Knowledge through Digitized Material? - Objects, Images, Perspectives


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