The Research Field “Digital Cultural Spaces”

The research field Digital Cultural Spaces (DiCuS) is located at the intersection of digitalization, culture, and space. Interdisciplinary research projects associated with DiCuS are related to at least two of these concepts:

Digital Culture: Culture and society are subject to major change in the context of digitalization. Digital culture provides new formats and processes of cultural education. Research projects may tackle the role of digitally transformed processes of cultural participation and to the role of big data algorithms and artificial intelligence therein. Beyond this, such algorithms may find application as research tools.

Cultural Spaces: Culture is spatially anchored. A deeper understanding of spaces is pivotal to harnessing them for empowerment. This refers both to the role of intangible cultural heritage and to the appropriation of space in different milieus.

Digital Spaces: Digitalization goes along with the intertwining of material and virtual spaces, resulting in post-digital hybrid spaces. In this context, a ‚digital divide‘ is emerging, related to both disparities in access to infrastructure and the availability of digital skills. Related research questions include how digitalization may be harnessed for adding value to regions and to generate new hybrid and digital spaces.

Digital Cultural Spaces: Culture and cultural education are anchored in space and have long since changed as a result of globalization processes. This change is gaining even more momentum through digitalization. Emerging new spatial references are either strongly digitally mediated or completely located in cyberspace. How space is constructed in the digital always has repercussions on the “analog” world. In the same way, the construction of the digital in the social always has repercussions on spatial concepts. This field of tension offers a wide range of research perspectives on political and social geographies. This can relate, for example, to the question of who enforces which interests and how, and who is left out.

Overall, the research field Digital Cultural Spaces investigates theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the digital transformation for cultural education and regional development using both qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods. Ongoing projects focus in particular on rural areas and post-digital, hybrid spaces.