Research training group: Lose Verbindungen
Lose Verbindungen: Kollektivität im digitalen und urbanen Raum
The Lose Verbindungen research training group examines the emergence of collectivity at the interface between urban and digital spaces. The question being pursued is what the interaction and permeation (hybridization) of digital-informational and architectural-spatial practices and infrastructures means for the emergence of collectivity.
Digital togetherness is by no means restricted to the digital realm but keeps finding new forms of expression through public urban gatherings such as the Anonymous protests. At the same time, the urban sphere is being increasingly digitalized by location-based media and the omnipresence of smartphones. This enables spontaneous forms of organization, which ultimately brings strangers together: people meet online and on location at the same time.
We assume—and this assumption needs to be verified in empirical projects—that it is precisely the intertwining of urban and digital spaces that facilitates collective action among strangers (“loose connections”) and new forms of taking action. It therefore concerns types of collectivity that do not have recourse to well- and long-established network connections and also has to do with the question of how loosely connected, heterogeneous elements combine to form a powerful unit. The collectivities thus addressed emerge for short periods and specific occasions only and are likely to dissolve as fast they arise. Hence, they can neither be categorized as tried-and-tested “tight connections” such as class or gender identities, nor do they rest upon fixed interests or common histories. But what, despite these difficult conditions, enables collectivities to generate potentially new forms of unity and capacity for action?
Supervised by 8 professors, 8 doctoral researchers and a postdoctoral researcher in the Lose Verbindungen research training group are committed to exploring these questions over the next 3 years. The research training group is funded by the Federal State of Hamburg.