Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age

26 June 2019, 09:00 - 28 June 2019, 17:00

Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT and Faculty of Music on 28 June, 11 West Road

Limited places. Open to all, but two separated Online Registrations are required (CRASSH and Music).

Deadline to Register subject to places being available.
For CRASSH: Monday 10 June 2019
For Music: Friday 24 May 2019


All the registration fees for attendees and presenters include lunch, tea/coffee, refreshments and conference material

  1. Click 'Register Online' for the events at CRASSH. Registration is now open.
    Fees at CRASSH for two days (26 and 27 June):
    £50.00 (full fee)
    £25.00 (students/unwaged)
  2. To Register for the third day of the conference at the Faculty of Music, click here
    Fees at Music Faculty for one day (28 June):


  1. 26 and 27 June: Conference Room SG1, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge.
  2. 28 June: Recital Room, Faculty of Music, 11 West Road, Cambridge.

A joint conference by the 'Re-' Interdisciplinary Network (CRASSH) and the AI & Society Journal

A concept that has been at the fore of discussions around the sociology of scientific knowledge, the limits of AI, and most recently the design of ‘collective intelligence’, is ‘tacit knowledge’. First coming to prominence in the 1960’s, with Polanyi’s The Tacit Dimension (1966), it is a concept that continues to be addressed by scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives, and applied fields of practice. This conference explores the place of the tacit in the 21st Century, where our lives are increasingly augmented by AI algorithms.

Engagement with and through social media networks and mobile apps are re-shaping the notion of community and family, and affecting wellbeing, as well as the cultures of the workplace and institutions. The exponential rise of big data flows in networked communications causes vast gaps in translation, confusion about what is true and false, and mistrust of ‘experts’. In the shadows of machine thinking we are unable to engage with difference.

This challenges us to come up with technological futures rooted in us as persons, not as numbers, parts, sensory mechanisms, genes, and individual bodies.

  • What alternative models might allow humans to better engage with technology?
  • How can we reconsider the relation between a person and a collective intelligence?
  • How can we reconceive the self as interaction in a digital age?

Ideas of performance and reperformance help us reposition seemingly singular subjects and objects as collective phenomena, and help reconnect art and science after their separation in the 19th Century; but the arts in general can play a key role in questioning and reframing our understandings by directing attention to the tacit assumptions, norms, and expectations embedded in all cultural processes.  

There is a supposed neutrality around technology, evidenced in the idea that human ‘intelligence’ can, in the absence of ‘person’, be artificially re-presented, re-constructed and re-produced through computation (AI). The conference explores in what ways the interplay of the arts and sciences is reconceiving augmentation, and questions what an ‘intelligence’ that is ‘artificial’ might be.

CRASSH and the Faculty of Music are delighted to facilitate the Hungarian division of the Polanyi Society in promoting Polanyian perspectives in a special workshop, which will be offered as a parallel event to the main conference on the afternoon of 28th June. On this third day at the Faculty of Music we will discuss the intersections of art, science, technology, and society, and there will be a special workshop by the Polanyi Society presenting papers covering a range of his work.


For further information please contact: Satinder Gill
Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange or book accommodation for participants but these are some useful websites:

Visit Cambridge
Cambridge rooms
University of Cambridge accommodation webpage


Confirmed Speakers include:

Victoria Vesna (UCLA USA, Art and Science)
Louise Amoore (Leeds UK, Ethics and Algorithms)
Peter Brodner (Siegen Germany, Human-Centred Technology)
Caroline Nevejan (Amsterdam Holland, Witnessed Presence)
Harry Collins (Cardiff UK, Sociology of Science)
Ian Cross (Cambridge UK, Music and Science)
Kathleen Richardson (Leicester de Montfort UK, Ethics and Robotics)
Walter Gulick (Montana State University Billings USA, Aesthetics and Epistemology)
Stephen Cave (Cambridge UK, Narratives and AI)
Sha Xin-Wei (Arizona State University USA, Responsive Media)
Charles Lowney (Hollins USA, Polanyi and AI)
Jin Hyun-Kim (Humboldt Germany, Music and Technology)
Mihály Heder (Budapest Hungary, Philosophy and AI)
David Good (Cambridge UK, Interdisciplinary Design )
Dietrich Brandt (Aachen Germany, Technology and Society)
Hatice Gunes (Cambridge UK, Social Robotics)
Marlene Wynants (Crosstalks Belgium, Art and Society)
Clare Foster (CRASSH UK, 'Re-' Interdisciplinary Network)



Day 1 - Wednesday 26 June 2019




Welcome and Introduction

Satinder Gill (Music, Re-Network, University of Cambridge)



Chair: Victoria Vesna (Art|Sci UCLA, USA)

Geoff Mulgan (CEO, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta))

'How can collective intelligence orchestrate tacit knowledge of different kinds?'


Tea/Coffee Break


Social Media: From Embodied to Iterative Publics

Chair: Ian Cross (Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge)

Simone Shu-Yeng Chung and Mary Ann Ng (National University of Singapore)

'Engagements Across a Multiplicity of Millenial Identities'

Tony D Sampson (University of East London)

'The Subjectless Shared Experiences of Lookalike Audiences'

Francesco Garibaldi and Emilio Rebecchi (Bologna University)

'If I Cannot Move Heaven, I Will Raise Hell'

Juliana Lopes de Almeida Souza and Geane Carvalho Alzamora (UNA University Centre, Federal University of Minais Gerais, Brazil)

'Dynamic Interpretant'

Clare Foster (Re- Interdisciplinary Network, University of Cambridge)

'Behavioural Science on Digital Public Space'


Lunch Break


Self as Interaction

Respondent and Chair: Satinder Gill (Music, Re-Network, University of Cambridge)

David Good (Psychology, University of Cambridge)

'The Life Between us: Variations in the Medium of Exchange and Their Impact on the Formation of Self'

Ian Cross (Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge)

'Music and the Human Communication Toolkit'


Tea/Coffee Break


Self as Interaction in the Digital Age

Chair: Caroline Nevejan (University of Amsterdam)

Kriszta Sajber (Philosophy, Misericordia University USA)

'The Expressivity of Virtual Selves'

Rebekah Wilson (Independent Researcher, Music Technology)

'Strengthening the Networked Music Performance Experience with Machine-Learning'

Walter Gulick (Philosophy, Billings, USA)

'Personal Meanings Versus Robotic Behaviours'

Alessio Chierico (Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria)

'The Vacuous Identity in the Digital Realm'

Jin Hyun-Kim (Humboldt Institute, Germany)

'Our Self and World Enhanced by Music’s Mediating Relations'


Refresh break


Interactive Performance

Ghislaine Boddington (Body>Data>Space, Women-shift-digital, Future Fest, London)

'Internet of Bodies: Exploring the Future Human and Collective Engagement Scenarios'


Private Dinner

Day 2 - Thursday 27 June


Intelligences: models

Chair: David Smith (University of South Wales)

Stephen Cave (Centre for Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge)

'Intelligence as Ideology: Its History and Future'

Roland Benedikter (Eurac Research, Italy)

'The Future of the Human Mind: Biotechnical Hybridization?

Dietrich Brandt (Germany) and Malenka de Lamotte (France)

'Enlightenment – the Past, the Present, and Our Futures'

Peter Brödner (Siegen, Germany)

'Tensions for Skilled Workers Co-Acting with Complex Multi-Agent Systems'


Tea/Coffee Break


Intelligences: indivisibles

Chair: Stephen Cave (CFI, University of Cambridge)

Jan Söffner (Zeppelin Universität)

''The Premises of the ‘Singularity’ Hypothesis''

Melvin Chen (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

'Intelligence & the Elements of Causal Reasoning'

Klaus Ruth (Bremen University, Germany)

'Al and the De-Socialisation of Learning'

Edward Burnell (MIT, USA)

'Hybrid Intelligence: Forming Boundary Objects Between Practitioner’s Knowledges and the Mathematics of Computation'

Simon Taylor (University of South Wales SAM)

'Dementia as a Collective Informant'


Lunch Break


The Performance of Algorithms

Chair: Louise Amoore (Durham University)

Mihály Hèder (Philosophy, Budapest, Hungary)

'Towards the Epistemic Transparency of Algorithms'

Charles W Lowney (Philosophy, Hollins University, USA)

'How the Body Solves Problems: Martial Arts, Tacit Knowing and AI'

Jonathan Impett (Music, Orpheus Institute, Belgium)

'Music, Thought and Intuitive Technology'

Carl Rasmussen (Engineering, Machine Learning, Chairman, Prowler, University of Cambridge)


Sonia de Jager (Music&Society, Erasmus University, Netherlands)

'Building Boundless, Reasonable Machines'


Tea/Coffee Break


Social Milieus

Chair: David Good

Louise Amoore (Durham University)

'Algorithms and the Inattributable'

Caroline Nevejan (Amsterdam University)

'Urban Trust'                          


Refresh Break – Hold the thoughts


Social Milieus

Chair: Caroline Nevejan

Andreas Schellewald (Edinburgh University)

'The Poetics of Platforms: On Audio-Visual and Algorithmic Containment'

Andy Williams (Nobeah Foundation) – Maximizing human and environmental well-being with collectively conscious technology

Hendawy Menatulla (TU Berlin/Ain Shams University Egypt) – Tacit engagement and mediatisation of urban planning over time globally and in Egypt

Cat Watts (University of Cambridge) - Griefers and gatekeepers: re-evaluating realtime gaming in the 21st Century


Hox Zodiac Dinner for Speakers

Day 3 - Friday 28 June at The Faculty of Music

Registration from 9.15am
To see the programme and register for the third day of the conference, please visit the Faculty of Music Website.