This page is dedicated to introduce the speakers and other persons involved in Unlike Us #3.

Speakers & Moderators:



Speakers & Moderators:

Dr. Miriyam Aouragh is associate member of the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. Besides lecturing Cyber Politics in the Middle East, she researches cyber warfare in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the implications of the internet for activists in the Arab world. She is the author of Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and the Construction of Identity(IB Tauris, 2011). She will start research on the political implications of the internet for the Arab revolutions with a Leverhulme Early Career grant at CAMRI (University of Westminster) in mid-2013. Miriyam.Aouragh[at]orinst[dot]ox[dot]ac[dot]uk

Thomas Boeschoten (@boeschoten) is a master’s student New Media and Digital Culture at Utrecht University. He is specialized in researching Twitter and other new media using a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis. After focusing on the use of Twitter by politicians and the Occupy movement, he is now a member of the research committee Project X Haren which investigates the so-called Facebook riots that recently took place in a small Dutch village. He is also founder of and

Capo: Hacktivist, art student at the University of Chile (2000) and Master of Latin American Cultural Studies (2006). Capo works on different projects related to free software in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. Co-founder of hackrreta, the first hacklab in Chile (2005) and co-organizer of the Tricontinental Mataró hackmeeting (2006) which took place in Spain, Chicago, and Santiago. Co-founder of the hacklab “Patio Maravillas” in Madrid (2007), regional organizer of Flisol in 2007 and active member of Latin American free networks ( and sysadmin of the Lorea Free Social Network ( Since 2009, he has travelled through Latin America in order to connect regional hacktivist projects and expand the mesh of Lorea free servers in and for Latin America (

George Danezis is a researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge. He has been working on anonymous communications, privacy enhancing technologies (PET), and traffic analysis since 2000. He has previously been a visiting fellow at K.U. Leuven (Belgium) and a research associate at the University of Cambridge (UK), where he also completed his doctoral dissertation. His theoretical contributions to the PET field include the established information theoretic metric for anonymity and pioneering the study of statistical attacks against anonymity systems. On the practical side he is one of the lead designers of Mixminion, the next generation remailer, and has worked on the traffic analysis of deployed protocols such as Tor. His current research interests focus around smart grid privacy, peer-to-peer and social network security, as well as the application of machine learning techniques to security problems.


Leighton Evans is a PhD candidate at Swansea University, studying the phenomenological effects on the experience of place that emerge from using location-based social networks. His research interests are social media, digital media, ethnography and webnography, phenomenology, continental philosophy, political economy and location based services. In addition to being a student, Leighton Evans is a research assistant at Cardiff University and has previously been a college lecturer and a web designer for a major charity in his native Wales. In his spare time, he religiously follows Swansea City F.C. and loves to play video games, read comic books, watch science fiction and comic heroes movies, and plays guitar badly.

Nathan Freitas is a long-time mobile technology innovator and global human rights activist and trainer. He has a foundation in creative applications of new technology, with a strong foundation in open-source software development and security technologies. Through personal work in support of the Tibetan independence movement over the last 13 years, he came to understand the promise and peril of applying new technology to activists in high-risk situations, and in response founded the Guardian Projectin 2009. Nathan Freitas also teaches Social Activism Using Mobile Technology at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program. He has recently returned from a six-month research trip in India, Nepal, Thailand and Burma, tracking adoption of low cost smartphones and 3G networks throughout the region.

Benjamin Grosser, an artist and a composer, is currently completing an MFA in New Media at the University of Illinois, USA. Previously he earned degrees in music composition from Illinois before moving to the Beckman Institute, where he directed the Imaging Technology Group. Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and interventions that examine the cultural, social, and political implications of software. These artworks have been covered widely in the press, including articles by the Los Angeles Times, Creative Applications Network, FastCoDesign, Engadget, Corriere della Sera, and The New Aesthetic. The Huffington Post said of his Interactive Robotic Painting Machine that, “Grosser may have unknowingly birthed the apocalypse.” His works have been curated into the Rhizome ArtBase, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, received a Creative Divergents Award in 2011, and a Terminal Award for 2012-13.

Simone Halink works for Bits of Freedom, a leading Dutch digital rights organization. Her main areas of focus are social media surveillance, cybersecurityand unlawful interception. She studied law at the University of Amsterdam and New York University and was a commercial litigator at the Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek before joining Bits of Freedom.

Harry Halpin is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C/MIT) team member, under the direction of Tim Berners-Lee, where he leads efforts in social standardization and cryptography. Dr. Halpin is also currently writing a book on the philosophy of the web under the direction of Bernard Stiegler due to the EC-funded PHILOWEB project at IRI. He completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh under Andy Clark, available as the book Social Semantics. His work is aimed at evolving the web into a secure platform for free communication in order to enable collective intelligence.

Reni Hofmüller is an artist, musician, composer, performer, organizer and activist in the fields of usage of (new) media, free software, open hardware, technology and politics in general, engaged in the development of contemporary art. She is a founding member of ESC im LABOR (1993), an experimental art venue in Graz, that focuses on art in technological context; founding member of Radio Helsinki, the noncommercial community radio in Graz (1996); founding member of murat, strategic platform for internet experimentation and usage (1998). She was the last president of Eva & Co, a feminist artists group, and is member of the Institute for Media Archeology.

Ippolita is an international collective for convivial research and writings. Investigations and workshop topics include: (reality) hacking, free software, and philosophy and anthropology of technologies. As a heteronomous identity, Open is not Free (2005, it); The Dark Side of Google (2007, it-fr-es-en); In the Facebook Aquarium: The resistible rise of anarcho-capitalism (2012, it-es-fr). Ippolita’s independent server provides their copyleft works, exploring the cutting edge “technologies of domination” with their social effects. Forthcoming project: Rites and beliefs in tech everyday practices. / info[at]ippolita[dot]net

Tobias Leingruber (@tbx) is an artist and communication designer. His work explores and exposes the mutual impacts of communication technologies and society. The web belongs to us! Leingruber has worked with many artists and organisations including the Free Art & Technology Lab,, Le Camping Start-Up Accelerator and the Mozilla Foundation (Firefox). He’s generally involved in tech start-up and digital art scenes. Latest projects include FB Identity Cards and Mozilla Demoparty. His work has been exhibited internationally and covered by the New York Times, LA Times, Wired, Spiegel, ARTE and Liberation.

Simona Levi is the founder and coordinator of (before Exgae), the first Spanish advisory service specialized in protecting citizens from the abuses of cultural industries’ lobbies and to defend a free/libre and neutral internet. Among’s public activities is the annual edition of FCForum, the Free Culture Forum and the oXcars, the world’s biggest free culture show. A long time cultural producer and activist, she is also the founder of Conservas, the cultural entity that organizes, produces and stages a range of sociallyconscious events and festivals throughout the year. Conservas is also a theatre and interventions company. Conservas produces actions, ‘media-actions’ and other tools. Expert in tactic 2.0, she is actively participating in the struggle for democracy, a fair economy and justice in Spain.

Simona Lodi: Art critic and curator, founder and art director of the Share Festival; since 1993, she has been a contributor to many leading contemporary art publications. She is contributor of LEA—Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press). She is an official blogger for The Huffington Post Culture. In 2007 she launched the Action Sharing platform to produce artistic projects that use mechatronics elements in a syncretic way, where art, science, research and experimentation are brought together and combined to create new tools of knowledge. Her critical work deals with social, political and cultural themes, with an emphasis on technology, migration and cultural borderlines. The unifying thread of her work as a critic lies in analyzing contemporary art and the forms it has taken in our global, digital age.

Petra Löffler has represented the professorship of Media Philosophy at theBauhaus-University at Weimar (Germany) since 2011. She is working in the field of media-archaeology and finished her professorial thesis about a discourse history and cultures of distraction in 2011. She is also editor of the journal Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft.

Richard Metzger is one of the co-founders of the popular outsider arts blog Previously he was best known for being the Creative Director of the multi-media publisher The Disinformation Company, Ltd. He is the author of two books and hosted and directed the British television series “Disinformation.” He is a frequent TV and radio commentator on fringe culture and lives in Los Angeles.

Arvind Narayanan is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Princeton. He studies information privacy and security and has a side-interest in technology policy. His research has shown that data anonymization is broken in fundamental ways, for which he jointly received the 2008 Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award. He is one of the researchers behind the Do Not Track proposal. Narayanan is also an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton and an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.

Peter Olsthoorn, historian, a journalist since 1978, has worked for dailies, radio and television from Eastern Europe during the upheavals of 1988-1990. From 1995 until late 2007 he produced Planet Multimedia, one of the first European e-zines, and he wrote the books Intranet & Internet in 1997, Dialogue via Intranet in 1998 and De Macht van Google in 2010, partly translated as The Price We Pay for Google (Amazon). In February 2013 he finished The Power of Facebook, which is soon to be published. In 2000 he founded, an e-zine about legal and socio-economic consequences of the internet. In 2008, Olsthoorn started about falsehoods in politics, media etc. Peter is member of the Press Council in The Netherlands.

Mirko Tobias Schäfer is Assistant Professor for New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Utrecht and Research Fellow at Vienna University of Applied Arts. He studied theater, film and media studies and communication studies at Vienna University (AT) and digital culture at Utrecht University (NL). He obtained a magister (master) in theater, film and media studies from the University of Vienna in 2002, and a PhD from Utrecht University in 2008. His research interest revolves around the socio-political impact of media technology. His publications cover user participation in cultural production, hacking communities, politics of software design and communication in social media. In 2012 and 2013 he is appointed research fellow at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he is affiliated with the Artistic Technology Research Lab.

Hester Scheurwater studied monumental art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. Under the guise of self-portraits, she investigates and critiques the role of woman as a sex object. Photographs of herself posing before a mirror reflects both Scheurwater’s inner thoughts and outward appearance. Scheurwater’s work is sexually explicit, and therefore well known. The explicit images in her work are shocking and prompt discussion about the purported sexualization of society. At the same time, her works also share links with international feminist art. Scheurwater’s videos were part of feminist programs and exhibitions, including those at the Brooklyn Museum and the Blanton
Museum of Art in the USA.

Spideralex is a sociologist, PhD in social economy and a researcher on ICT for the public good. She has ended a post-doctoral position for the JRC-IPTS where she has been developing research in support of policy making in the field of eInclusion. She has also worked on the impact of social computing and Web 2.0 on civil society potential for self-organization and social innovation and on sustainability models for Open Education. Since 2004, she has been involved in the use and development of free software tools for social and political transformation within neighborhood communities, engaged research networks, immigrant teenagers and women groups. She has been contributing to the design of those tools by producing research, improving the software usability and by providing training.

Bernard Stiegler is director of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Paris, Professorial Fellow at Goldsmith College in London and professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne where he teaches philosophy. He is one of the founders of the political group Ars Industrialis based in Paris, which calls for an industrial politics of spirit, by exploring the possibilities of the technology of spirit, to bring forth a new life of the mind.

Tristan Thielmann is an assistant professor in Media Studies at the University of Siegen with a particular focus on media geography, navigation studies, and locative media research. He is a former Visiting Fellow of the Software Studies Initiative at the University of California, San Diego, and of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. Together with Erhard Schüttpelz, he edited a book on Actor-Media-Theory that is coming out in spring 2013.

Vincent Toubiana is an engineer at the IT expert department of the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL). He holds a PhD in Computer Networks from Telecom ParisTech. In 2009, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at New York University (NYU) with Professor Helen Nissenbaum where his research focused on web search privacy and privacy preserving behavioral targeting. From 2010 to 2013 he worked as a research engineer at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France. He illustrated his research results by developing several browser extensions.

Marion Walton is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her PhD studies (Computer Science, UCT) also included a period of study at the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media in the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research in Human Computer Interaction suggests approaches to studying software as a new form of media, and confronts the issues of power and regulation of meaning that arise for users of software, particularly those in marginalized contexts.



Andrew Erlanger is undertaking an internship for the Unlike Us #3 conference. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Media from RMIT University, Melbourne, and is currently studying a master’s programme in New Media & Digital Culture at Universiteit Utrecht. Originally from Australia, Andrew moved to London in 2011 to take on a communications role for Movember Europe and has since relocated to Utrecht to complete his studies.

Seda Gürses is a researcher working on privacy in online social networks, requirements engineering and privacy enhancing technologies at COSIC, Department of Electrical Engineering, in KU Leuven. She is part of the SPION project ( in which an interdisciplinary team explores the challenges of understanding and addressing privacy problems as well as processes of responsibilization associated with online social networks. She further works with various arts initiatives on feminist critique of computer science, open source and free software development, as well as surveillance studies.

Larissa Hildebrandt is interning for the Unlike Us #3 conference in Amsterdam. She holds a BA (Hons) in Communication from Simon Fraser University, where she completed her undergraduate thesis on the state of journalism in Vancouver. Originally from Canada, she is in the Netherlands pursuing a New Media and Digital Culture MA at the University of Amsterdam. Her master’s thesis is focused on social media and activism.

Oliver Leistert, DPhil, studied Philosophy, Computer Science and Literature at Hamburg University. He was a member of the research training group Automatisms at Paderborn University and a research fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at CEU Budapest. In October he finished his dissertation on the political rationality of ubiquitous individual connectivity, where he discussed the political trajectories of freedom and surveillance in the use of mobile media. He interviewed 50 activists and developed a governmental framework to analyze the findings. His research interests include STS, post-cybernetics, open source software and media theory. Currently he is a lecturer for media studies at Paderborn University. He recently published (with Theo Röhle) Generation Facebook (Bielefeld, 2011).

Geert Lovink, founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. In 2004 Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. His books include Dark Fiber (2002), Uncanny Networks (2002), My First Recession (2003), and more recently he published Networks Without a Cause (2012). In 2005-06 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical Internet culture, Zero Comments (2007).

Stijn Peeters is an intern for the Unlike Us #3 conference and currently in the final stages of his New Media and Digital Cultures MA program at Utrecht University. He holds a BA degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences, which he completed with a thesis on how social media can be used as tools to chronicle our offline lives, and a propedeuse in Industrial Design from the Eindhoven University of Technology. Related interests are a similarly mixed bag of design and media studies, such as computer arts and crafts, hacktivism, popcultural aesthetics and game theory (and practice…). His personal website can be found at

Margreet Riphagen studied Integrated Communication Management, Business Science and is currently studying Information Science. In June 2003 she started working at Waag Society, an institute for art, science and technology in Amsterdam that develops creative technology for social innovation. In 2008 she worked a short year for Blender, which is a 3D open source animation suite. Since August 2008 she works at the Institute for Network Cultures managing and producing projects for the INC. She also works for the MediaLAB Amsterdam, which is a creative, interdisciplinary Amsterdam-based studio where students and researchers work together on innovative and interactive media research projects for creative industries. Both INC and MediaLAB Amsterdam are part of the CREATE-IT applied research centre. Email: margreet[at]networkcultures[dot]org.

Miriam Rasch started working as a project manager at the Institute of Network Cultures in June 2012. She holds a masters degree in Literary Studies (2002) and Philosophy (2005). Since graduating she worked as a (web) editor and from 2008 on as a programmer for the public lectures department at Utrecht University, Studium Generale, organizing events and taking care of digital broadcasts and online representation. Next to that she worked as a lecturer for Liberal Arts and Sciences, and will be teaching philosophy and media theory at the Media, Information and Communication department. She writes book reviews and guest posts for different websites; her personal blog can be found on

Marc Stumpel is a new media researcher from Amsterdam. He holds a MA degree in New Media and Culture from the University of Amsterdam (2010). His main research interest is the antagonism within the political and economic dimensions of digital culture. Being a privacy/user-control advocate, he is concerned with the development of alternative social networking spaces and techniques. He takes part in the Facebook Resistance project and has written his master’s dissertation the Politics of Social Media, focusing on control and resistance in relation to Facebook. In 2012 he produced the second Unlike Us conference at the Institute of Network Cultures.

Lonneke van der Velden is a PhD-researcher at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI). Her work focuses on interventions that make surveillance mechanisms tangible and how such transparency devices play a role in public engagement. She also looks at the significance of these devices for digital research. Her latest project is the Third Party Diary in which she collects third parties encountered on governmental websites on a regular basis. Next she is interested in the various articulations of public environments in underground spaces. She is currently a visiting research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Serena Westra started as an intern involved with the Critical Point of View event, held in March 2010. She was CPOV’s assistant-producer. Since then, she is working on several conferences of the INC as blogger and production and communication employee. Serena holds a Bachelor degree in Media & Culture at the University of Amsterdam with a specialization in New Media and Sociology, and also studied at the University of Technology Sydney for a semester. Currently she is doing the Master program New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in social media, power structures, sociology, music and culture. Her personal blog can be found at