Networks are becoming more and more digital.
And no, this sentence is not as trivial as it appears.
It does not refer only to online social networks. Literally and technically, a “digital” network is one that either includes an element, or leaves it outside. When it leaves it outside, that element is simply invisible, it does not exist. A digital network provides only two options: I/O, 1/0, in/out.
But how does an element, any element (e.g., a friend on Facebook, an item in a database, your non-native neighbour) come to be included in or excluded from that network?
To answer this question, you need analog tools. That is, tools that can also make visible the steps between 1 and 0. And the consequences of being classified as “1” or “0”.
You need to think analogically to deeply understand the digital.
I have been analog in many fields of activity, from academia to media art, from community empowerment to government. The passion for research, analytical curiosity and fun in reshuffling categories has been the common denominator that made possible to meaningfully undertake such heterogeneous enterprises.
If you are looking for a systematic account, you can read my complete CV.
Currently I am associate professor at the Science, Technology and Policy Studies department, University of Twente, the Netherlands. My research interests are governance by information infrastructures; performativity of data circulation under an STS perspective; computational methods; interactive digital art, especially in urban environments; Actor-Network Theory and semiotics as research methodologies.
Being originally trained in linguistics and semiotics, I moved to the field of digital media and information infrastructures, analyzing them from an STS perspective. I have written on:
- social network’s openness by design, digital communities, and the history of Internet cultures;
- quali-quantitative methods to inquire fleeting online aggregations;
- users/producers relations in traditional and digital media, mediated urban spaces and surveillance, media art
More recently, my research has concentrated on the Governance of and by information Technologies. This line of research was developed starting with the “Translating Institutions” project, funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, Marie Curie Actions. It adopts a performative, materially-grounded framework that conceives of government digitization programs as ideal sites to uncover longer-term phenomena of state transformation and denationalization. I am particularly interested in how relational patterns are inscribed in minor technical details. In this respect, governance by technologies largely overlaps with the Politics of Information Infrastructures, when it comes to IT.
In this context I have also written on governments’ failures in information infrastructures and researched into parliamentary commission workings.
Between 2017 and 2022 I will be the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project “Processing Citizenship: Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe”, which will extend her “Vectorial Glance” framework (Pelizza 2016) to the analysis of the trans-governmental European information infrastructure for third-country nationals registration.
In the past I worked for quite a few years as project manager and ethnographer of large-scale government ICT projects for governmental organizations and engineering companies. In that position, among other things, I developed an innovative method to “measure the degree of satisfaction” of users of online governmental services by using script analysis. And I have also learned to be a fair and successful project and procurement manager, driven by the belief that successful and efficient projects are those that align multiple legitimate interests.
While being involved in the Italian community of neighborhood TV-broadcaster Telestreet, I designed and produced media art performances and installations at different venues Europe-wide (e.g. Transmediale in Berlin, International Film Festival Rotterdam). During my PhD and after I have often collaborated with Ars Electronica, also as a permanent member of its International Advisory Board on Digital Communities.