Jonas Ingvarsson

Jonas Ingvarsson

Bitr. professor i MEB

Institutionen för informationsteknologi


  • Rum
  • PA310I

The research program Representations and Reconfigurations of the Digital in Swedish Literature and Art 1950–2010  (RepRecDigit) has as its ambition to initiate a mapping of how literature and art in postwar Sweden came to imagine and incorporate, process and problematize – and resist – the emergence of computers and their increasingly important role in culture, society, and everyday life. This is not something that happens with the brekathrough of personal computers and the advent of the Internet during the 1980s and 1990s, but must be traced back to the immediate decades after World War II.

The research program intends to address the question of digitization in relation to literature and art on different levels during the historical period in question, 1950– 2010. And the material runs from experimental works in the 1960s to a, to highbrow poetry and mainstream prose fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, to a computer game programmed by acclaimed writer Kerstin Ekman to contemporary poetry and novels by Lars Jakobson, Lotta Lotass and Johannes Heldén, and others. It also includes an inventory of the actual digital ARTifacts from the period, with a focus on the early experiments from the 1950s to the 1970s.

My own contribution concerns the concept of Digital Epistemology and will address the more abstract relations between digital culture, literature and art.

This part of the project examines cultural artifacts, which do not necessarily describe, contain or depict digital artifacts. It is – to put it shortly – the relation to the digital, without the digital object present, which is at stake.

The concept of Digital Epistemology does not primarily »explain» anything: rather it is a construction set out to relate different cultural artifacts to each other, or to other structures. Although digital by its very name, this investigation does not primarily concern the scanning of texts, the building of databases, their uses and theoretical implications. Rather, my project (and RepRecDigit as a whole) want to explore »the digital» as a critical concept by which we can explore and reflect upon our (post)human and cultural environments.

During the spring semester of 2015 I plan to finish a collection of essays on (critical) posthumanism and culture.

I am also involved in the humanistic think tank Humtank, funded by Swedish universities. Our aim is to strengthen the impact of humanities research within the academic world as well as in the public debate. We arrange seminars, write articles and blog posts, and have established contacts and collaborations with many different actors in society, from educators, museums, unions and the business world, to the Minister of Education.


Jonas Ingvarsson