Digital Intimacies #7: Conflict in My Outlook - call for papers and sessions
DATES: 6 & 7 of December 2021 at UQ in Brisbane, TBA virtual sessions.

Hosted by The University of Queensland’s School of Communication and Arts and UQ Art Museum. Supported by the Digital Cultures and Societies initiative and UQ Node of the Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

Digital Intimacies #7 now invites abstracts and ideas for sessions by 15 August 2021.

We intend to run the symposium on-campus at UQ on December 6 and 7 in a hybrid format - live streaming sessions and enabling remote presentations.

Like 2020, we’re also interested in proposals for digital experiments and virtual sessions during, before and after the on-campus event.

Following the Digital Intimacies tradition, we welcome papers across disciplines and approaches that explore all facets of the entanglements between our intimate experiences, feelings, affects, experiences, bodies and digital media and technologies.

You can see the programs of past past Digital Intimacies 5 and Digital Intimacies 6 here.

The on-campus event will be run in partnership with UQ Art Museum’s Conflict in My Outlook: Don’t Be Evil exhibition. The Art Museum will host a tour of the exhibition from Curator Anna Briers during the symposium.

The symposium will conclude with a public keynote lecture by AI ethics scholar Kate Crawford on the subject of her new book Atlas of AI: Power, Politics and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence in partnership with UQ Art Museum and State Library of Queensland.

We’re open to typical abstracts for papers and sessions, but also encourage experimental and non-traditional sessions. These might be collaborative, platform-specific (e.g. a chat-based session), longer-term collaborations (e.g. a wiki project), or creative experiments that engage with digital intimacies.

Papers are welcome to address and engage with the themes of the exhibition (but don’t have to).


Conflict in My Outlook
A major exhibition featuring work by Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, Kate Crawford & Vladan Joler, Simon Denny, Xanthe Dobbie, Sean Dockray, Forensic Architecture, Kate Geck, Elisa Giardina Papa, Matthew Griffin, Eugenia Lim, Daniel McKewen, Angela Tiatia, Suzanne Treister, and Katie Vida.

Lifted from Google’s original corporate motto before it was insidiously removed in 2015, Don’t Be Evil considers the all-pervasiveness of networked technologies on our everyday lives. With a focus on the techno-politics that define our age, participating artists investigate how the Internet has reshaped social relations and information flows, capitalism and democracy, through forces that we as individuals have very little control over.

This exhibition seeks to materialise the invisible power structures operating beneath the surface of our devices: complex interfaces of bodies and data that are propelled through satellites, fibre optic cables and server farms into machine learning initiatives and tradable futures. The exhibition correlates the extractive infrastructures that continue settler-colonial legacies through the mining of data, human labour and finite resources.

Don’t Be Evil is the second iteration of the Conflict in My Outlook series, preceded by the web-based exhibition We Met Online.

This year’s theme references the Conflict in My Outlook series, we hope the artworks in the exhibition stimulate engagements with how our lives are entangled with digital media, how digital media proliferate and obliterate intimacy, and the back and forth between our kaleidoscopic invention and creation with digital media (see Xanthe Dobbie’s Wallpaper Queens or Kate Geck’s rlx:tech – digital spa) and the way that so much of our intimate lives now transits through platforms we do not control (see Zach Blas and Jemyma Wyman’s i’m here to learn so :)))))) or Daniel McKewen’s The ‘ideo-log’ Project).


What to submit
Abstracts or session outlines of 200-250 words are to be submitted via email to digitalcultures@hass.uq.edu.au

We are open to traditional papers and panels. We also encourage you to think broadly and creatively and submit something you wouldn’t normally present at a symposium. We encourage collaborative and experimental work that helps us to collectively engage with the conference theme and digital intimacies research more broadly.

If you’re unsure or want to discuss your ideas, you’re welcome to email us at digitalcultures@hass.uq.edu.au


What to expect
Like last year Digital Intimacies will proceed without a registration fee. This means it won’t be fully catered, but we hope to provide some catering - such as a main meal on both days.

We’re doing this to be as inclusive as possible on participation and responsive to an ever-changing situation with restrictions on travel and gatherings.

Once all abstracts and session ideas are in, we plan to announce a program by end of September. If this is tricky for you, in relation to travel funding or something else, please let us know.

We look forward to your submissions,


Nicholas Carah, Anna Briers, Kiah Hawker, Caroline Wilson-Barnao, Alex Beven, Mo Engel, Giang Nguyen
Digital Intimacies #7 team

Xanthe Dobbie
Harriet, 2018
still from the series ‘Wallpaper Queens’
digital collage and BuzzFeed quiz
dimensions variable
image courtesy of the artist