Dr. Kathrin Friedrich
Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM ) / Potsdam University
Fellow at CAIS from April to Juli 2020
The globally increasing demand for food and animal products challenges the industrial production of livestock. Amongst others, the widespread application of digital media technologies promises to tackle some of the challenges. In doing so data acquisition and processing are not merely directed towards information and observation but are primarily targeted towards intervening in animals’ bodies, behaviour and aligned processes. In particular, the application of so-called virtual fencing illustrates how vital data is being operationalized in livestock farming. Networked software applications, sensor technologies as well as cloud and GPS-services should integrate heterogeneous entities in a closed operational logic to automatically regulate animals’ movement and location.
Based on case studies and a theoretical background in media studies the project analyses infrastructures, conditions of interaction and socio-cultural consequences of virtual fencing. It is embedded into a broader inquiry of how tracking technologies mutually adapt environments, living beings and interventions in the life sciences.