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The Analogue Human

To celebrate the 100th episode of The Digital Human Aleks Krotoski explores how digital and analogue technologies make us think differently.

To celebrate the 100th episode of The Digital Human Aleks Krotoski explores how digital and analogue technologies make us think differently.

And she'll do it by going 'old school' putting down the keyboard and mouse in favour of audio tape and razor blades. But this programme isn't about nostalgia, she'll be investigating the psychological experiences of using these different technologies.

With the help of artists, musicians and photographers she asks if the endless possibilities we're offered by digital tools are as liberating as we think or paradoxically are they paralysing, making it impossible to choose one product, picture, tindr date over another?

Are we more creative, and decisive when we're forced to be by constraints; as we used to be when camera's shot film with a limited number of shots and tippex was the only way to erase something we'd written?

And are we too readily allowing our digital technologies to decide what's important. Whether in music or on the phone our digital devices strip out the 'noise'. Whether that's the background of where we're making a call, or the sound of fingertips on an instrument. When we lose some of that context what else are we sacrificing? Aleks will aim to find the right balance between the two domains, to make the most of each.

Throughout the programme we'll also offer a glimpse behind the scenes of making a programme where the final assembly uses pre-digital techniques; and the scavenger hunt it required to find the long decommissioned tape machines and the people who remember how to operate them.

Producer: Peter McManus

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Last Monday 16:30

Dr Eva Krockow

Dr Eva Krockow
Eva Krockow is a Research Fellow at the University of Leicester. She is interested in a range of research areas pertaining to judgement and decision making, thinking and reasoning. During her PhD research, she investigated cooperation in experimental games. In her postdoctoral work, she has been researching health-related decision making including antibiotic use. Following research visits in Japan and Germany, her involvement in an international research project comparing antibiotic decision making in the UK, South Africa and Sri Lanka , and due to her personal interests in foreign languages and cultures, a part of her work also focuses on cross-cultural differences. Eva is the author of “Stretching Theory“, a regular decision-making blog for Psychology Today.
She breaks down the process of how we make decisions, in a digital and analogue world.

Damon Krukowski

Damon Krukowski
Damon Krukowski is a professional musician - now part of the duo Damon & Naomi, formally of Galaxie 500 -  writer, poet, and was a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
He is also the Author of ‘The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World’  and he shares with us his insights into how the switch from analogue to digital audio is changing our perceptions of time, space, and meaning in the world around us. He explains that as we pursue perfection with digital technology, we lose layers of meaning to be found in analogue’s 'noise'.

Rosie Matheson

Rosie Matheson
Based between London and Brighton, Rosie Matheson is a documentary style photographer. Examining the emotional connection between people and places, Rosie searches for the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, exploring her fascination of photographing somebody else’s world. Her style is instantly recognisable and raw, intimate and personal, capturing honest moments and hidden vulnerability.
Her on-going project Boys has reached critical acclaim, premiering with a sold-out exhibition, photo-zine and documentary on Dazed in July 2018, whilst one of her portraits from the series won the Portrait of Britain Award. Boys is described by Matheson as “an exploration of boyhood and masculinity, challenging the relationship between males and the idea of masculinity pressured by society”.
She has also spent her time photographing some of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming artists such as Loyle Carner, Slowthai, Col3trane, and Etta Bond. Previous clients have included Nike, Adidas, Kodak, Sony, Getty, i-D and the Financial Times.
She tells us about the continuing value of film photography, both for the beauty and meaning in the photographs, and the fact that it allows an artist to create their personal vision, without the constant nitpicking or tweaks that can be demanded in the digital realm.

Piers Plowright

Piers Plowright
Piers Plowright is something of a legend in the Radio World. He joined the BBC in 1968, working first for the overseas service and then moving to the Radio Drama Department where he discovered the power of the radio documentary and feature. Since 1977, he has been making radio programmes about real people and events but which often make use of the techniques and structure of drama.
He tells us about making radio in the pre-digital world, the power of a compelling story well told, and how the most powerful moments could actually be what, in digital editing, are snipped out without a moment’s thought.

David Sax

David Sax
David Sax is a journalist, writer and author of ‘The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why they Matter’ .
He tells us why our honeymoon phase with digital technology may be at an end, and how we are rediscovering the unique benefits of our old analogue technology - stimulating, and focusing creative thought, and allowing us to overcome the niggling perfectionism of the digital age.

Professor Catrinel Haught Tromp

Professor Catrinel Haught Tromp
Catrinel Tromp is a cognitive psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Rider University. She studies creativity and is particularly interested in the role of constraints in the creative process, from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. She is currently working on a co-authored book titled The Paradox of Constraints in Creativity: Interdisciplinary Explorations. She breaks down how the infinite possibilities offered by the digital world can lead us to being caught in ‘decision paralysis’. She has proposed the "Green Eggs and Ham" hypothesis, which predicts that constraints can facilitate rather than inhibit creativity.

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