By Dr. Federica Bressan: Fulbright scholar curious about technology and cultur

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Episode Date
Technoculture #36 Fulbright and international exchange programs

Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, talks about the importance of investing in face-to-face diplomacy today. "I have thought of everything I can think of, and the one thing that gives me some hope is the ethos that underlies the educational exchange program." This is Senator Fulbright speaking words of wisdom a couple of decades ago. Do they still apply to us? With today's technology we can see the world on our screens: why travel? Why is it important to invest in exchange programs today?

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Nov 25, 2019
Technoculture #35 The big ideas of physics: Between what and why (Extra)

Bonus content for episode #35 with Bibhushan Shakya. I challenged Bibhushan to explain some complex concepts of physics in simple terms. The first concept is supersimmetry (at minute 00:53); the second is the cutest expression I've ever heard in physics: "a baby universe in a black hole" (well, the baby part is cute at least - at minute 6:47); and the third is "space can travel faster than light" and even more precisely: "there is nothing in our equations that prevents space from traveling faster than light" (at minute 10:18).

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Nov 02, 2019
Technoculture #35 The big ideas of physics: Between what and why

When we ask questions about ourselves, our place in the universe... we are also asking questions about the universe: we are part of it and made of the same stuff. Conversely, to investigate the nature of the universe means also to ask questions about ourselves. That's why I went to CERN to talk to a particle physicist about life, research, and everything.

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Nov 02, 2019
Technoculture #34 Living history

Technoculture inaugurates its second season with an episode that might seem outside the scope of the podcast. Why travel back in time? What do the Vikings have to do with Technoculture? Well, think about it this way: we are the Vikings of the people that will live on earth in a 1000 years. Technoculture is interested in this topic because Heidi's approach starts from the assumption that adopting a technology, wearing a technology, changes the way you perceive the world around you.

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Sep 30, 2019
#33 Mixed reality and spatial computing

Do you know the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality? Hear Ward Peeters, pioneer of spatial computing, explain why he thinks we will soon no longer need street signs. (And how a cat can walk through a wall.)

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Aug 14, 2019
#32 The preservation of electroacoustic music

Serge Lemouton is an expert in the preservation of the electroacoustic music produced at IRCAM, the renowned art and research center in Paris where he works as senior computer music designer. During this interview, he talks about the music repertoire at IRCAM since 1977 and how it is being documented in their Sidney system. He also shares no less than four excerpts from historical compositions produced at IRCAM. Get your peek behind the scenes at the legendary IRCAM!

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Jun 18, 2019
#31 The future of work: Will robots steal our jobs?

Will robots steal our job? Seriously, come on. Sci-fi is cool, but unemployment affects real people. If you are a person, or know someone who is a person, you will love this episode. Andrea Glorioso is policy officer at the European Commission and an expert on the future of work, how it affects workers, training and retirement programs - and he has a very good answer to the question: will robots steal our jobs. What the world needs is more educated, informed, and intelligent leaders like Andrea Glorioso.

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May 28, 2019
#30 The hero myth and the rhetoric of science

Science is foremost a human activity. The celebration of "heroes" like Einstein and Marie Curie gives the false impression that scientific discoveries are done by isolated individuals. Brigitte van Tiggelen explains why science is a process in which every person counts. We need narratives about science, but we need to be careful what implications they have. Another brilliant conversation with this historian of science, also my guest on episode #7. 

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Apr 29, 2019
#29 Charting culture

Maximilian Schich's research work combines hermeneutics, information visualization, computer science, and physics to understand art, history, and culture. Sounds complex? Hear him explain the ideas behind the achievement of a "systematic science of art and culture," and watch his amazing video featured on Nature. You will go "Wow!" 

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Apr 24, 2019
#28 Digital Humanities

Aleš Vaupotič is a literary comparatist and a curator. His work is in the Digital Humanities and is concerned with the building, managing, and studying digital collections of cultural data. Aleš is also a creative artist with a fascination for today's technology, and he experiments with data visualization techniques as well as electronic microscopy. 

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Apr 22, 2019
#27 Ubiquitous Music

Ubiquitous Music is a new area of research that encompasses ubiquitous computing, mobile and networked music, eco-composition and cooperative composition. Victor Lazzarini and Damián Keller are two of the fathers of this new movement, which has not only artistic and technological applications, but social implications, and educational ambitions. 

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Apr 19, 2019
#26 Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is fascinating and scary at the same time. Right? Patrick Wheeler, expert in cybersecurity and technology, explains how cybersecurity is not only a concern of banks and hackers, but of every citizen like you and I. We have to be aware of the risks without getting paranoid, and we can exercise due diligence without being nerds. Cybersecurity is about data protection on social media and cyberwars, but especially about social awareness. 

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Apr 02, 2019
#25 Authorship attribution

Did you know that your writing style can give away your identity? Mike Kestemont is an expert in authorship attribution, a field of study that applies artificial intelligence algorithms to linguistics and text analysis. A self-declared enthusiast of the Deep Learning movement, Mike explains very complex concepts very easily. Worth a listen! I've learnt a lot. Including about a shocking spinoff of the Harry Potter novels...

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Feb 27, 2019
#24 Film archiving and restoration

Giovanna Fossati is Chief Curator at the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture at the University of Amsterdam. I asked her about film preservation and restoration: how it is done, how much of the process is digital, what are the main challenges. On the Youtube channel of Eye, you can see some detailed demonstrations of the process. 

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Feb 23, 2019
#23 The ferociously interactive media of a creative force of nature

Margaret Schedel is Associate Professor of Music at Stony Brook University in NY, and a creative force of nature. I've recently nominated her my Woman Hero in MusicTech and when I grow up I want to be like her! Meet a brilliant mind and let her lead you into her synaesthetic world of sounds.

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Feb 20, 2019
#22 Digitality and its consequences

Everything has its consequences, including digitality. But what are they? Are they positive or negative? Robin Boast is Professor of Cultural Information Science at the University of Amsterdam, and author of the book "The Machine in the Ghost: Digitality and its Consequences". He certainly has something to say about our society, media, and their history.

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Feb 07, 2019
#21 Podcast preservation

As both a popular mass medium and a platform for underrepresented voice, podcasts have cultural significance and scholarly value. But will they endure? Mary Kidd works at the New York Public Library and is involved in "Preserve This Podcast!", a grant-funded project that will help podcasters make sure their work doesn’t disappear. This initiative has just launched its own podcast:

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Feb 04, 2019
#20 Exploring the limits of knowing: Technoscientifically motivated art

Chris Salter is an artist, Concordia University Research Chair in New Media and the Senses, Co-Director of the Hexagram Network and of the Milieux Institute, and Associate Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. He moves between high profile cultural venues, high profile scholarship, and a range of academic disciplines that bridge Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology of the Senses, Computational Arts and Design, and Techno-cultural studies. 

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Jan 29, 2019
#19 Playful Interactive Environments

Jürgen Hagler is the head of the research group "Playful interactive environments" at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. He studies Virtual and Augmented Reality installations, and is involved with Ars Electronica and expanded animation.

Jan 24, 2019
#18 The audio engineer of books: It helps not to know him well

Richard Romaniello is a Grammy® award-winning audio engineer and producer, with numerous nominations for engineering and producingRichard Romaniello is a Grammy® award-winning audio engineer and producer, with numerous nominations for engineering and producing audiobooks. Richard talks about the "behind the scenes" of audiobooks, with anecdotes of his recording sessions with Christopher Plummer, Michael Moore, JFK Jr. and many more. 

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Jan 18, 2019
#17 Installation or performance: The art of art making

Brent Lee is first and foremost a Canadian musician and an art maker. He has some of the most fascinating - and useful, which is important - theories on the boundary between installations and performances, the use of technology in music/multimedia.

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Jan 12, 2019
#16 Meaningful entrepreneurship

Bruno Jehle is the embodiment of an extraordinary range of talents: trained as a photo lithographer, he embraced and mastered the revolution in digital imaging, never losing a clear vision on where we should stand concerning cultural heritage and human values in the digital age.

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Jan 05, 2019
#15 Redefining death: The neurosciences understanding of human consciousness

Steven Laureays leads the Coma Science Group at the GIGA Consciouness Centre of the University of Liège in Belgium. He applies the scientific method to problems that historically have been prerogative of religion and philosophy: what is consciousness? Are near death experiences just fantastic stories, or there's something more to them? Can we induce altered states of mind, and can patients in a coma recover and how? How do you measure consciousness? And finally: what effects will this podcast episode have on your mind? :)

Dec 27, 2018
#14 The Endangered Guitar: An interactive hybrid between a guitar and a computer

Hans Tammen's music performance has been called "a killer tour de force of post-everything guitar damage". I asked him why, and the response is a summary of why I like Hans: clever, honest, and engaging at intellectual as well as practical level. The interview covers Hans work, the concepts behind his experimentation with science data and difference music genres, his own "hybrid" profile of musician-programmer, with a special treat: three music excerpts from his published compositions.

Dec 22, 2018
#13 The Open Science movement

Sabina Leonelli is an expert in Open Science, a movement that promotes 'openness', transparency, participation, and innovation in science. She is professor of philosophy and history of science at the university of Exeter in the UK, where she co-directs the center for the study of the life sciences. Her research focuses on the methods and assumptions involved in the use of big data for discovery, the challenges involved in the extraction of knowledge from digital infrastructure, and the role of the open science movement within current landscapes of knowledge production.

Dec 16, 2018
#12 Slow VR: Welcome to Dr. Baker's Magic Garden

Dr. Frederick Baker is a man of many talents. Austrian-British filmmaker and media scholar, Dr. Baker is Research Associate at the Centre for Film Studies at Cambridge University. But he is also the author of the Virtual Reality Experience "Klimit's Magic Garden", created on the centenary of the death of Gustav Klimt (1862–1918). I interviewed Dr. Baker at the opening of the exhibition "Beyond Klimt" at BOZAR in Brussels. I asked him about the vision behind the installation but most of all his ideas about VR, old and new media, VR aesthetics and "art in terms of technology". One of my finest guests, enjoy your journey into Dr. Baker's Magic Garden!

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Dec 07, 2018
#11 Immortality through science and technology: From transhumanism to quantum archeology

Zoltan Istvan is the "global leader of the transhumanist movement" (The Mirror). The "embodiment of the Californian, libertarian, start-up culture tech-utopian dream" (BBC), Zoltan talks about what transhumanism stands for today and what awaits us in the near future if the right money is put in the right place.

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Dec 03, 2018
#10 A lifelong engagement with sound recording and audio tape restoration

Richard Hess is a walking encyclopedia on everything related to sound and audio, from live recording to the restoration of historical collections of magnetic tapes. He is the author of the number one repository of knowledge on magnetic tape restoration, a fundamental reference for the audio community worldwide ( During this interview, following our first meeting face to face at the Library of Congress in Summer 2018, he tells us about his remarkable career path and life stories. All about audio! 

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Nov 30, 2018
#9 Creating value from cultural data in the age of digital transformation

Europeana is the largest digital repository of cultural data in the world. Listen to Harry Verwayen, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, talk about the vision behind Europeana, its services and initiatives, during the celebrations for Europeana's first 10th anniversary.

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Nov 15, 2018
#8 Speech and language technology: People are not dictionaries

A giant of computational linguistics, Mark Liberman has participated in the evolution of research in this field towards a model of quantitative, replicable studies based on published datasets. He is founder and director of the Linguistic Data Consortium since 1992. During this conversation, I ask Mark how the marriage between linguistics and computer science works today and has worked since the early days of this field, before it was called so. What skills are young students equipped with, and what applications computational linguistics has today. I also ask trivial questions like "how many languages are there in the world?" and you never get a trivial answer from a world class expert like Mark. I have learnt so much from this conversation and I hope you will too! My new favourite quote is: "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy".

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Nov 12, 2018
#7 A long term love affair with science: Happy birthday Marie Curie

Technoculture celebrates the legendary Madame Curie on her birthday (Nov. 7th, 1867) with a special episode on her life and her legacy in conversation with Brigitte Van Tiggelen, historian of science with a specific training in physics and chemistry.

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Nov 06, 2018
#6 Scientia vincere tenebras: The man behind the robot orchestra

Godfried-Willem Raes is a polymath of our times. He is the founder of the Logos Foundation based in Ghent, Belgium, which celebrate 50 years of activity this year. Logos is a unique research and production centre for experimental musics, musical robotics and sound art.

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Nov 02, 2018
#5 Digital forensics: A detective in the archive

Thorsten Ries is a Marie Sklodowska Curie program fellow at the Sussex Humanities Lab / HAHP at the University of Sussex, UK, and a senior postdoctoral researcher (FWO) at the Institute of Modern German Literature at Ghent University, Belgium.

His main research interests are German literature of the 18th and 20th-21st century (Thomas Kling, Gottfried Benn, Friedrich Hölderlin,
Michael Speier, Marcel Beyer, Friedrich Kittler and others), theory,
methodology and practice of scholarly editing, genetic criticism and
textual criticism, digital humanities, literary theory, methodology and
discipline history of the "Germanistik". At the moment, he is working
with English literary and historical born-digital archives at the BL
and The Keep, University of Sussex.

He is especially interested in born-digital philology, digital
forensics and preservation of personal digital archives. Born-digital
archives allow us to study digital history, literary and historical,
they are in many ways an expression of our present day history – and
literary history, its digital ways of text production. Learning to
preserve and analyse these digital archives as the material historical
record of our day is of highest importance for future generations of
researchers in the historical humanites.

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Oct 31, 2018
#4 Audiovisual archiving

Few people can say that they have dedicated their life to audiovisual work more than Ray Edmondson. As a pioneer of film and sound archiving, Ray has been an international leader in preserving, restoring, interpreting and presenting audiovisual media. I have had the pleasure to have a conversation with him just a few days before the 2018 World Day of Audiovisual Heritage promoted by UNESCO. 

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Oct 27, 2018
#3 Computers and ecosystems: The art of supporting life in outer space

Angelo Vermeulen is a space systems researcher, biologist, artist, and keynote speaker. In 2009 he co-founded SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design), an international transdisciplinary collective of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists. Its goal is to reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. Biomodd is one of their most well-known art projects and consists of a worldwide series of interactive art installations in which computers and ecosystems coexist. For the last ten years, he has been collaborating with the European Space Agency’s MELiSSA program on biological life support. In 2013 he became crew commander of the first NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars simulation in Hawaii. His space-related work led him to start research at Delft University of Technology, working on bio-inspired concepts for interstellar exploration. He has been (guest) faculty at several universities across Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia.

You can also refer to my LinkedIn profile for more details: 

And my social media channels for updates:

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Oct 26, 2018
#2 European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH)

Lorena Aldana is part of the task force in charge of the implementation of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). She works at the DG-EAC of the European Commission in Brussels.
Throughout 2018, we will celebrate our diverse cultural heritage across Europe - at EU, national, regional and local level. The aim of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) is to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. The slogan for the year is: Our heritage: where the past meets the future. Technoculture is part of the EYCH and supports its message.

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Oct 25, 2018
#1 EuroScience: Our Voice On Research in Europe

Welcome to the first episode of Technoculture! 

My first guest is Michael Matlosz, Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering at the University of Lorraine and a member of the National Academy of Technologies of France. Former Director of the National School for Advanced Study of the Chemical Industries (ENSIC) in Nancy, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the French National Research Agency (ANR) in Paris from 2014 to 2017 and President of Science Europe in Brussels from 2015 to 2017, a non-profit organisation that brings together over forty research funding and research performing organisations from 27 European countries.

In 2018, he was elected President of EuroScience, a non-profit association of researchers, teachers, journalists and other science professionals and interested citizens. Open to membership from individuals working in all scientific disciplines in Europe and throughout the world, EuroScience is committed to the advancement of research, science and innovation in Europe, thereby promoting the interests of its members. EuroScience currently has 2600 individual members from more than 70 countries.

I met Michael at the headquarters of Science Europe in Brussels. It was a pleasure and an honour to speak to him. We discussed EuroScience, its mission and impact on the lives of every researcher and citizen in Europe, why it's important to join and to let your voice be heard. Check out more details at:

Oct 23, 2018