Conference ›EVERY STEP YOU TAKE‹ – ART AND SOCIETY IN THE DATA AGE, 12–15 November 2015, Dortmund, Germany

A project by
Lectures / Panel Discussions / Film Screenings / Performances / Workshops –

12/13 November, 2015: Dortmunder U (U-Cinema & Foyer)
14/15 November, 2015: Schauspiel Dortmund (Theatre bar "Institut" & Studio)

The international conference ›Every Step You Take‹ – Art and Society in the Data Age deals with the utopias and dystopias interconnected with new technologies of automated collection, storage and analysis of vast amounts of data. A feeling of uneasiness is being articulated in numerous scientific and artistic positions in view of current developments in our digital and networked media reality. The public debate on ›Big Data‹, surveillance, transparency and data protection, as well as individual user behaviour in social networks are deeply ambivalent: the promises and temptations of technological progress — safety, predictability, optimisation, convenience — come with societal and personal consequences. In all their complexity, these consequences often remain intangible and abstract.
The conference ›Every Step You Take‹ presents positions of media art, theory and digital culture reacting to these current technological and societal developments. A central question is how current artistic strategies are able to visualise invisible, immaterial and highly complex processes, thereby describing the present technological changes and making their consequences comprehensible. A second focus will be the societal, economic and political ideas that have inscribed themselves in the way new media functions: How do these ideas and rationale reproduce in everyday use? And how much space is there for a critical analysis and emancipation in the digital realm?

The conference programme includes lectures, panel discussions, a concert performance by Holly Herndon (music) and Mat Dryhurst (visuals), a film programme curated by Florian Wüst, a performance of the live film „Minority Report“ at Schauspiel Dortmund, a literary reading by German novelist Leif Randt, and workshops e.g. on e-mail encryption in cooperation with Fraunhofer UMSICHT and Dortmunder U.

Contributions by: Inke Arns, Kim Asendorf, Dirk Baecker, Alain Bieber, Mercedes Bunz, Niels van Doorn, Cécile B. Evans, Paul Feigelfeld, Matthew Fuller, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Louis Henderson, Holly Herndon, Felix Hüttemann, Alexander Kerlin, Ignas Krunglevičius, Constanze Kurz, Brigitta Kuster, Koen Leurs, Boaz Levin, Joanne McNeil, Jennifer Lyn Morone, Luciana Parisi, Peng! Collective, Maral Pourkazemi, Leif Randt, Hans Ulrich Reck, Manfred Schneider, Nishant Shah, Christian Sievers, Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, Jennifer Whitson, Pinar Yoldas, and others

Film programme with contributions by: Nadav Assor, Jürgen Brügger & Jörg Haaßengier, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Emma Charles, Hellmuth Costard & Jürgen Ebert, Norman Cowie, Stéphane Degoutin & Gwenola Wagon, Omer Fast, Harun Farocki, Walter Koch, Steffen Köhn, Jen Liu, Christian Niccoli, Ridley Scott

Film programme curated by Florian Wüst
Concept & Programme Curator: Fabian Saavedra-Lara
Concept & Programme: Judith Funke
Project management: Annette Bohn
Funded by:
Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
German Federal Agency for Civic Education
Cultural Office of the City of Dortmund.
In cooperation with:
Hartware MedienKunstVerein
Schauspiel Dortmund
Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity
Kino im U e.V.
Fraunhofer UMSICHT


Conference Schedule (PDF)


Please note: The conference will be held in English. Events in German language (e.g. opening lecture, literary reading) are labeled (DE) in the schedule.


Opening: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 18:00 h, Dortmunder U


Free admission to the conference. (Lectures, panel discussions, film programme, concert Holly Herndon)

As the number of participants is limited, we ask you to register here for the CONCERT performance by HOLLY HERNDON/MAT DRYHURST (November 14):

The theatre production „Minority Report“ at Schauspiel Dortmund (November 14) is subject to a fee: 15 € / 10 € reduced (Further information:



Dortmunder U
44137 Dortmund

Schauspiel Dortmund
Hiltropwall 15
44137 Dortmund