CFP: Afterlives of Data, Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus

Kris Paulsen's picture
Call for Publications
October 1, 2021
Ohio, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Film and Film History, Fine Arts, Humanities

Current Open Call

Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus, invites submissions for a special themed issue:

Afterlives of Data

Guest Editors: Brian Michael Murphy (Bennington College) & Kris Paulsen (The Ohio State University)

The editorial board of Media-N invites abstracts for articles, artist's projects, interviews, and reviews, for a special issue on the afterlives of data. We invite work that explores the increasingly blurred line between the biological body and the data body, and how we attend to the "afterlives" of data: how can we trace the materialization, circulation, preservation, and transformation of data across the thresholds of biological death, format obsolescence, as well as its movement from physical embodiment to digitization. The concept of the “afterlife of data” thus names not only the uses of our data bodies (even after our biological lives have ended), but also the material fate of data that enters into one of many kinds of afterlife, from being left to rot in an e-waste dump, to being preserved in refrigerated data centers and vaults, or literally being sent into the heavens. Media-N seeks submissions engaging how the topic intersects with digital art, media, and culture, though submissions with interdisciplinary approaches will be considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • e-waste and the material afterlife of data
  • afterlives of digital selves, online identities, personal data and biometric information
  • DNA data storage, metabolomic storage, and other formats that merge the digital and biological
  • uploading consciousness, neural nets, AI and cyborgian immortality
  • cryopreservation, the politics of genomic research
  • history of holograms, holographic memorials/reanimations of dead celebrities (i.e. Tupac, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Maria Callas, Whitney Houston, Robert Kardashian), virtual reincarnations
  • NFTs, blockchain and environmental impact, aura and digital art
  • biotechnology and biofabrication
  • data decay and data preservation (time capsules, bunkers, data deposited/stored in space, etc).
  • archival digitization (eg. afterlife of slavery in terms of its data), the digitization of analog archives and the resultant mining made possible
  • prehistories of writing data on and in the body (eg., tattooing prisoners, branding and notching and cropping the bodies of the enslaved)fantasies of permanent data preservation, living repositories for data
  • AI and the encoded afterlife of bias (eg. image training sets that revive outmoded taxonomies of difference)

To submit an abstract for consideration, please send 200-300 word abstracts and a condensed CV to:

October 1, 2021: Deadline for submission of abstracts



  • Article (6-8K wordcount) and artist's project (4-6K wordcount) submissions to this journal are accepted in the context of themed calls, which will be posted to this page and the website of the New Media Caucus.
  • Proposals for themed editions by guest editors are always welcome, and will be reviewed by the Editorial Board. 
  • Submissions of reviews and reports on publications, art works, events or exhibitions relevant to the journal's mission are welcome on a ongoing basis.
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