Project Details


The digitalization of Nordic states is underway (Nordic Council of Ministers 2017), and policing illustrates a key area of security governance that has been undergoing rapid but also often controversial digitalization (Amoore 2022; Bellanova et al. 2021), and face recognition and surveillance are core elements of security digitalization (Saugmann 2019). Academic research and the arts are expected to provide public debate, critical scrutiny, and democratic transparency to significant sociotechnical developments such as the digital transformation of the police (cf. Galis & Hansson 2012). Digital policing raises significant concerns about the protection of citizens’ privacy and constitutional rights in relation to digital surveillance, Artificial Intelligence, face recognition, geolocation, Intelligence-Led Policing, automated border controls (Saugmann et al. 2020). The development and deployment of such technologies is often framed in terms of improved public safety and secure public space, and occasionally anticipates the engagement of citizens (Chavis 2021), yet security provision is not considered hospitable to public participation (Aradau & Blanke 2015). Digital policing alters the way individuals are treated and conceptualized, and the way public spaces are shaped (Andrejevic & Burdon 2015). This leads to a reconfiguration of how civil rights are being protected at the time when what counts as “safety” or “policing” changes (Schlehahn et al. 2015). We know little about how digital tools are adopted and adapted in policing and with what adverse social impact (Hälterlein 2021). UNDO will employ a combination of research and artistic inquiry to critically investigate and relay the role and transformation of the digitalization of the police in three Nordic countries, and to mobilize for the protection of civil rights in the age of Big Data. We will conduct academic research that will examine how data driven technologies affect not only crime solving/prevention but also social inequality and civil rights. This project aspires through artistic inquiry to produce a documentary (Whiteman 2004) and through community infrastructuring (Ye et al. 2019) a counter surveillance application (Monahan 2006) as part of a larger multidisciplinary process that incorporates academic research, art, and algorithm-making in the efforts of civil society to create and sustain spheres of critical public insight and protection of civil rights in connection to digital policing.
Effective start/end date01/09/202330/08/2027

Collaborative partners


  • Kone Foundation: DKK3,120,462.00


  • Critical Criminology
  • Critical Big Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies


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