1. 2.3.

Ann Arbor Spark

Living a Digital Life: Objects, Environments, Power

from Thursday, May 09 2019 at 10:00am - Friday, May 10 2019 at 5:30pm

Everyone thinks they know what digital means. Digital technologies are so pervasive in the 21st century that it is difficult to find critical distance from the immersive new world of ubiquitous connectivity, social media feeds, smartphones, mobile apps, responsive design, algorithmic recommendation systems, and voice-controlled home shopping assistants. While the question “what is the digital?”  is compelling, the more pressing question might instead be: What does it mean to be alive in the digital age? The 2019 Michigan Meeting, “Living a Digital Life: Objects, Environments, Power,” brings together an interdisciplinary  group of students, faculty, staff, and industry leaders, in order to critically engage the big issues, urgent consequences, and radical possibilities for grappling with the meaning of life in this era of digital ubiquity.


THURSDAY,  MAY  09,  2019


10:00–10:30 AM     Opening Remarks


10:30–12:00 PM    Session 01: (Digital) Self

How might an investigation of the historical/ legal context of personhood help us better understand how we extend ourselves through AI, personal digital assistants, and network logics?


12:00–01:30 PM     Lunch


01:30–02:30 PM     Keynote: Sarah Sharma

Associate Professor, University of Toronto and Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology


02:30-03:00 PM     Coffee Break


03:00–04:30 PM    Session 02: (Digital) Environments

What are our digital spaces and infrastructures and how do we interact in this virtual and physical field?


04:30-06:00 PM    Session 03: (Digital) Health

How is health constantly tracked,  recorded, and mediated by personal devices, contort our relationship to our bodies?


06:00-08:00 PM     Reception

During lunch and coffee breaks, attendants can enjoy demonstrations from local organizations, showcasing digital installations, virtual reality environments, and more.


FRIDAY,  MAY  10,  2019


10:00–11:30 AM    Session 04: (Digital) Politics + Resistance

Who matters online? How do the politics of race and power play out on our digital platforms?


11:30–01:00 PM     Lunch


01:00–02:30 PM    Session 05: (Digital) Labor

How can we reconcile automation and Human-Computer Interaction in the sharing economy?


02:30-03:00 PM     Coffee Break


03:00–04:30 PM    Session 06: (Digital) Speculation/Memory

How do we memorialize with technology whose data never seems to let us forget?


04:30-05:30 PM     Keynote: Adam Greenfield

Author of Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life.



Shannon Mattern, The New School

Rihdi Tariyal, Founder, NextGen Jane

Molly Wright Steenson, Carnegie Mellon University

Jerry Davis, Ross School of Business, UM

Nicole Ellison, School of Information, UM

Andrew Ibrahim, Staff Surgeon, UM and Chief Medical Officer at HOK


Mark Lindquist, School of Information, UM

Sarah Murray, LSA, UM

Upali Nanda, TCAUP, UM

Megan Sapnar Ankerson, LSA, UM

Kathy Velikov, TCAUP, UM

Anna Watkins Fisher, LSA, UM

Rackham Bldg
Ann Arbor