Visual Futures of the Media 2021: Speakers

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picture of Astrid Gynnild

Astrid Gynnild - University of Bergen, Norway

Anticipating Visual Futures

Providing future scenarios means to take a first step into the unknown.

How can responsible research and innovation (RRI) be applied to anticipate implications of emerging media technologies in a fast-changing world? In this introductory talk Astrid Gynnild will discuss some take-aways from an interdisciplinary research project on the adoption and adaption of visual surveillance technologies in the news media (ViSmedia).

Professor Astrid Gynnild is the Principal Investigator of the VisMedia project at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen. The project runs from 2015-2021 and is funded by The Research Council of Norway. She is also Head of the Journalism Research Group at UiB.


bilde av Turo Uskali

Turo Uskali - University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Satellite Storytelling in Journalism

Hundreds of mini satellites are hovering in the sky, documenting what is happening on the planet Earth.

The use of satellite imagery in journalism is one of the newest frontiers of visual storytelling. In this presentation Turo Uskali will focus on the latest examples of satellite journalism at the time of covid-19 pandemic. 

Uskali is Associate Professor and the Head of the Journalism Program at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He heads several research projects focusing on innovations in journalism. The newest ones concentrate on satellites, drones, and immersive journalism. 


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Paul C. Adams - University of Texas, USA

Surveilling Climate Change from Above

The visualization of climate change in the news depends on a vertical gaze, drawing on satellite imagery, remote sensing, and aerial photography.

This god's eye perspective is ambivalent. While the "view from nowhere" and the "god trick" of science have been critiqued by social theorists and philosophers as celebrations of human power, and contemporary news images do reveal the power of surveillance, they also disrupt dominant alignments of power, knowledge, and emotion. Surveilling climate change from above it becomes easier to emphasize environmental impacts as out-of-proportion and out-of-control. The presentation will pursue these ideas through news stories by comparing the vertical gaze on environmental disturbance with the associated captions and descriptions.

Paul C. Adams´ is Director of Urban Studies, Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Austin, Texas.


picture of Thomas Wold

Thomas Wold - Nord University, Norway

Traffic Surveillance as Entertainment and Activism

Cameras on dashboards, helmets, and on mobiles have made traffic zones some of the most surveilled areas in society.

Thomas Wold will typologize some functions peer-to-peer surveillance in traffic might be serving in the future. He anticipates that more cameras will fill the roads, both from the state, from private companies and private citizens. How might the ubiquitous release of surveillance clips to the media affect traffic safety, and how we behave in the traffic? When it comes to the peer to peer surveillance in traffic, we can only anticipate the future effects on people’s behavior.

Thomas Wold is an Associate Professor at the Nord University in Norway. From 2017-2020 he was a post-doctoral researcher on the ViSmedia project at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen.


bilde av Nicholas Diakopoulos

Nicholas Diakopoulos - Northwestern University, USA


bilde av Deborah G. Johnson

Deborah G. Johnson - University of Virginia, USA

What Should Technical Experts Do About Deepfakes?

Synthetic media technologies are rapidly advancing, making it easier to generate nonveridical media that look and sound increasingly realistic.

So-called “deepfakes”, owing to their reliance on deep learning, often present a person saying or doing something they have not said or done. The proliferation of deepfakes creates a new challenge to the trustworthiness of visual experience, and has already created negative consequences such as nonconsensual pornography (Harris 2018), political disinformation (Vaccari and Chadwick 2020), and financial fraud (Bateman 2020). Deepfakes can harm viewers by deceiving or intimidating, harm subjects’ by causing reputational damage through misattribution, and harm society by undermining societal values such as trust in institutions (Diakopoulos and Johnson, 2020).

In this dialogical presentation the professors Deborah Johnson and Nicholas Diakopoulos will discuss what technical experts can and should do to mitigate the harms caused by deepfakes especially during democratic elections.

Professor Emerita Deborah Johnson previously was the Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the University of Virginia.

Nicholas Diakopoulos is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Northwestern University where he is Director of the Computational Journalism Lab (CJL) and Director of Graduate Studies for the Technology and Social Behavior (TSB) PhD program.


picture of Lars Nyre

Lars Nyre - University of Bergen, Norway

Innovation Pedagogy for Experimental Journalism

At a time of rapid media transformations, it is important to provide media students with relevant competence and skill sets.

New technologies such as computer vision, synthetic speech, virtual reality and drone cameras all prompt disruptions with wide ranging effects. Professor Lars Nyre explores teaching methods that can help students to deal competently with these and with other disruptive technologies in the future. He and his colleagues at the University of Bergen have explored innovation pedagogy for nine years, engaging more than 130 students in the design of around 40 prototypes of journalism and storytelling. In this talk Lars summarizes important insights from his experience with experimental teaching and provides glimpses into future prospects for responsible teaching and learning experiments.

Lars Nyre is a professor of Media Design at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies. His research is oriented to evaluation and prototyping of new media for journalism, and he teaches media and interaction design in Media City Bergen. He heads a project for student active learning funded by DIKU from 2021 to 2023, and was awarded the “Teaching Environment Prize” at the University of Bergen in 2019.


picture of Joakim Vindenes

Joakim Vindenes - University of Bergen, Norway

Virtual Reality as a Metamedium

Virtual reality should be understood as a dynamic instantiator of ideas, rather than a concept that can hardly be pinned down. It is a metamedium within which essentially any other media can be reproduced, Joakim Vindenes claims.

Even future media, still non-existent, can be reproduced within VR. In that sense, each form of virtual reality is a medium unto itself. For teachers of such technologies, the reproduction aspects challenge the teaching and learning of VR. The metamedium is best experienced by actively engaging with features through creative exploration. Exemplified through eight student productions made in virtual reality, Joakim Vindenes will discuss the advantages of innovation pedagogy as an exploratory approach. He will in particular focus on the insights he got from instantiating various designs in collaboration with the students.

Joakim Vindenes is a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology at the University of Bergen. His PhD work addresses user experience of immersive media from a (post) phenomenological perspective. His blog matrise.no and his YouTube channel AltVR attract much attention.


Conference host

picture of Øyvind Vågnes

Øyvind Vågnes - University of Bergen, Norway

Øyvind Vågnes is Professor of Media Studies and Head of the Media Aesthetics Research Group at the University of Bergen. In his studies of visual culture he is intrigued by the similarities and differences between scenario-thinking and artistic/cultural work; by how the futures are imagined depending on what shapes the creative investment. This has been particularly relevant in his ongoing research on the television series Black Mirror. In 2011 Vågnes published the award-winning monograph Zaprudered: The Kennedy Assassination Film in Visual Culture. He is also a writer of fiction and an editor of the Journal of Visual Culture.


Panel debate leader

bilde av hilde sandvik

Hilde Sandvik - Editor, Broen.xyz, Norway

Power journalist Hilde Sandvik will lead the panel debate. She is a Norwegian journalist who was former Debate editor in Bergens Tidende.

She is used as a moderator, host and speaker all over Scandinavia. Sandvik has written several books and is the Editor in chief and founder of Broen.xyz.

“I bingewatch Marvel-shows and love super heroes, but I still believe that McGyver is the ultimate hero. Everything can be fixed with ductape.”




picture of Kjersti Stavrum

Kjersti Stavrum - Tinius Foundation and Blommenholm Industries, Norway

Kjersti Løken Stavrum is a former Journalist and Editor, CEO of the Tinius Trust and President of Norwegian PEN. Her most important mission at the moment is to contribute to the development of innovative, strong quality media in Norway and Sweden. She is also Head of the Norwegian Commission on Freedom of Expression. Right now she is concerned about the power of democracy – why freedom of expression is a human right that we all benefit from.


picture of Anja Salzmann

Anja Salzmann - University of Bergen, Norway

Anja Salzmann is a PhD Candidate in Media Studies at the University of Bergen, where she studies mobile technology in journalism. As an Applied Media Science graduate from the Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany, she has worked as a journalist, research assistant and media teacher in Norwegian high school. Anja is deeply engaged in public debates on digital strategies. She is very concerned with the shifts of power and increasing knowledge gaps prompted by risk technologies.


picture of Frode Guribye

Frode Guribye - University of Bergen, Norway

Frode Guribye is a Professor of Information Science focusing on human-computer interaction and the social implications of information and communication technologies. His research spans different application areas such as technology enhanced learning, computing and mental health and mobile journalism. Across these areas he is doing research through design and empirical investigations aiming to critically and constructively understand the potential and limitations of emerging technologies.


picture of Térence Jarosz

Térence Jarosz - ENEX, Luxembourg

Térence Jarosz is a News Editor and a Journalist at ENEX, a world class video agency with a Center in Luxembourg, and with close ties to commercial TV-stations on all continents. Térence has been a critical team member of ENEX during the biggest world news events of this generation. His particular responsibilities include the Nordic region and Belgium and France. Térence has been at the forefront of advocating a move to mobile journalism and technology, by writing articles and chairing conferences on topics such as self-filming and drone journalism.


picture of Barbara Wasson

Barbara Wasson - University of Bergen, Norway

Barbara Wasson is a Professor and Director for the Centre for the Science of Learning and Technology (SLATE). She is concerned about what data is used (access, privacy, is it the right data?) in teaching and learning. She is also concerned about what algorithms are used to analyze the data, and whether the visualizations are understandable and actionable. At the moment she is very focused on data literacy – what do teachers/students/leaders/citizens understand about the data collected about them, and their activities, and how are the data are used.


picture of Oddrun Samdal

Oddrun Samdal - University of Bergen, Norway

Oddrun Samdal is a Professor and Vice-Rector of Teaching and Learning at the University of Bergen. Before and during the pandemic she focused in particular on making the transitions to fully online teaching and learning as successful as possible for students as well as teachers. In her research she has worked at the intersection of pedagogy and social psychology. Since 2013 Oddrun has been in Rectorat of the University of Bergen, and she is also a candidate for the elected position as a new Rector at UiB in 2021.


Behind the Scenes

picture of Hedvig Idås

Hedvig Idås - University of Bergen, Norway

Her passion is visual storytelling. Always hunting for the good stories and new presentation formats. Hedvig Idås loves to develop new ideas, and when she got the opportunity to work with a group of TV production students, experiments with visual scenarios were on their way. Hedvig started out as a research assistant on the ViSmedia project in 2018 and is still a solution oriented affiliate. Equipped with a Master´s degree in Documentary production and a heart for team building, she constantly envisioned innovative ways to run and wrap seminars and conferences and to engage students in the work. Guess what scenarios the TV students developed – even before the breakout of the pandemic?


picture of Sara Pedersen Stene

Sara Pedersen Stene - SPSD, Norway

Sara Pedersen Stene has designed the graphics for the Visual Futures Conference. Sara is passionate about good user experiences and design, and she loves her job. Sara got a Master’s degree in Media and Interaction Design from the University in Bergen in 2019, and she now works as a UX designer at Sbanken, the first digital bank in Norway. She is also a creative consultant in her own company Sara Pedersen Stene Design (SPSD). She was involved in ViSmedia from the beginning. As a research assistant in 2016 she was responsible for developing the project website, which she later has continuously improved and expanded. “The UX field is in constant flux, and you have to constantly relate to new technology and new usage patterns,” Sara explains.