Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers

Karin Fast

Karin Fast (PhD) works as Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Media and Communication at Karlstad University, and as Researcher in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Oslo. Her research covers mediatization, transmedia, geomedia, and disconnection studies. Her latest book is Transmedia Work: Privilege and Precariousness in Digital Modernity (2019, with A. Jansson, Routledge).

 Keynote speech:

Karin Fast (University of Oslo): ‘Remember to unplug’: Expressions of the post-digitalization of work inside and beyond coworking spaces





Currently, we see the growth of a disconnectivity imperative; a normative framework emerging around notions such as “digital detox”, “digital declutter”, or “digital disconnection”. This framework prescribes that we should use our digital technologies less, or at least more deliberately. How does the disconnectivity imperative affect how we work today? How does it materialize in our workplaces, and with what socio-spatial effects?

 My talk synthesizes empirical insights from three ongoing research projects, all of which are concerned with how we work with – or without – digital media: Hot Desks in Cool Places: Coworking Spaces as Post-Digital Industry and Movement (Karlstad University, PI André Jansson); Intrusive Media, Ambivalent Users, and Digital Detox (Digitox) (University of Oslo, PI Trine Syvertsen), and Measuring Mediatization (Karlstad University, PI André Jansson). Based on ethnography in so-called coworking spaces, qualitative interviews with knowledge workers, and survey data on people’s media work habits, I discuss top-down and bottom-up forms of boundary work that produce “disconnected” workstyles and workspaces. 

 I pay extra attention to expressions of what I shall call ’the post-digitalization of work’. By this, I mean the gradual adjustment of contemporary (knowledge) work to ideals and norms that reflect the disconnectivity imperative as well as ‘the post-digital condition’ more generally. In short, the postdigital condition implies that digital technologies become “disenchanted” (Cramer, 2015, p. 12). As I will argue, the post-digitalization of work stems not merely from individuals’ feelings of digital anxiety or overload; it is also a process amplified by the global workplace industry, including digitally orchestrated coworking spaces. Ultimately, my talk arrives at questions about social stratification and power inequalities in todays (work) society.


 Cramer, F (2015). What is ‘post-digital’? In: Berry DM and Dieter M (eds) Postdigital Aesthetics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.





Olivier Driessens

Olivier Driessens (PhD) is assistant professor in media studies at the Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen. His research interests include the study of media- and technology-related socio-cultural change and continuity (see for example his recent publication on continuity in Communication Theory), visibility and attention, and recognition (e.g. recent special issue in Communications).


Keynote Speech:

Mediatization studies’ blind spot: the future as a force in media-related socio-cultural change and continuity




Mediatization studies have produced vast knowledge about the interrelationships between on the one hand changes in a wide variety of social fields, institutions and agents, and on the other hand changes in media, communication and information technologies. The perspective used for analyzing this has mostly been to look at the ways in which past and present social forms are changing when different technologies enter the equation. However, by doing so, I argue in this talk, an important temporal category and explanatory force is missing from mediatization studies, namely the future. The future features only implicitly in the literature and as an era that assumedly will show more and/or deeper mediatization. Except for Andreas Hepp (e.g. in his 2020 Deep Mediatization), mediatization scholars have neglected how future imaginaries, technofutures or expectations about short and longer term technological innovation and adoption significantly inform mediatization processes. Social action and institutional development is not only informed by the past but also by the future through goals, narratives, expectations, and so on. In this talk, I will draw on different literatures on the future (especially from sociology and STS) to demonstrate the future’s relevance for understanding technology-related socio-cultural change and continuity and to suggest a research agenda that includes future imaginaries, expectations, and narratives.











Katalin Feher, PhD, habil

Associate Professor at University of Public Service, Fulbright Alumna, Bolyai Research Scholar at Hungarian Academy of Sciences, founder & PI at AI Media Research; AI-media researcher and theorist of tech-society/business with wide experience in online/remote work.

Keynote speech:

Katalin Feher (University of Public Service, Budapest),

AI domains of mediatization


Have you ever asked ChatGPT what mediatization is? If yes, the answer should be “mediatization is a multidimensional concept to describe the transformative process of media's pervasive influence in different aspects of social life.” This response evokes comprehensive theories that describe mediatization as a concept of how changes in media influence every aspect of our lives (Hjarvard 2008), or how dependent media communication and socio-cultural change (Novak-Teter 2019). However, the answer received from technology does not explicitly highlight the role of media technology. In turn, this dominant discourse is emerging and confirmed by the concepts about the increasing dependence of individuals and societies on media technologies (Kopechka-Piech 2023). Especially, if several related transformative processes have reached “the stage of mediatization in which the analysis of algorithms, data and artificial intelligence become crucial to our understanding of the social world” (Hepp 2020). The tech-based concepts are verifiably valid if the irreversible process of the AI domains fundamentally defines media operation and social impact. The trending domains are generative AI media, synthetic media, conversational media, extended realities or fake media (Feher 2023 and 2022, McCosker 2022, Kalpokas 2021, Zhou 2020). All these represent AI domains in mediatization transforming the previous media, communication and information technologies. Interpreting these domains, the presentation aims to argue in favor of mediatization that can no longer be imagined without generative AI, data-driven decision-making, recommendation systems or distribution chains – see the introduction of this presentation. Accordingly, the goal is to discuss the direction of mediatization: how it is deepening if ChatGPT, Dall-E, MetaHuman or other tools of AI domains send wake-up calls to the transformative and interdependent process of technology and media functions. That’s why I started to ask an LLM about its knowledge for a keynote abstract.