Scott Wark

Staff details

Scott Wark


Lecturer in Visual Cultures


Visual Cultures


s.wark (

Scott researches digital culture and the intersection of race and digital technology.

Scott Wark researches digital culture and the intersection of race and digital technology. His research combines an interest in theoretical approaches to media and culture with analyses of digital cultural phenomena, media infrastructures, data processing, artificial intelligence, and techniques of racialisation. He is co-editor of Figure: Concept and Method (with Celia Lury and William Viney; Palgrave, 2022) and 'Pharmacologies of Media,' a special issue of Media Theory (w. Yiğit Soncul).

Prior to joining Goldsmiths, Scott held positions as a Lecturer in Media in the University of Kent's School of Arts (2022-23) and as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Wellcome-Funded ‘People Like You: Contemporary Figures of Personalisation’ project (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, 2018-22).

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick 2018
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons. with University Medal), The University of Sydney 2010

Teaching and supervision

Scott is convenor of the second year option module Arts of Surveillance (Spring term, '23-24) and teaches on the first year core module Modernities (Spring term, '23-24).

Research interests

Scott's research into digital culture focuses in particular on internet memes. In his PhD thesis and subsequent published work, he argues that internet memes are representative of a novel type of media constituted by practices of circulation. This work also covers topics including the new online culture wars, the impact of platformisation on digital cultural production, the relationship between algorithms, data processing, and digital subjectivity, and the shaping of theorisation by its (mediated) material conditions of production.

Scott’s other main area of interest is the shaping influence that media infrastructures and digital technology exert on concepts of race and techniques of racialisation. One aspect of this research (with Thao Phan) focuses on how the category of ‘race’ operates once it is processed using techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning, arguing that these techniques are changing the nature of ‘race’ itself.

Scott's research is often collaborative and interdisciplinary and emphasises using ‘inventive methods’ to research digital culture, new media and large-scale technologies.

Grants and awards

2021: AHRC Networking Scheme Grant (AH/T012928/1)
For 'Pause for Thought: Media Literacy in an Age of Incessant Change'

2014: Chancellor's International Scholarship
PhD Scholarship, University of Warwick

2010: University Medal
For BA Dissertation, The University of Sydney

Publications and research outputs

Edited Book

Lury, Celia; Viney, William and Wark, Scott, eds. 2022. Figure: Concept and Method. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9789811924750

Edited Journal

Wark, Scott and Soncul, Yiğit, eds. 2022. Pharmacologies of Media, Media Theory, 6(2). 2557-826X

Wark, Scott and Sutherland, Thomas, eds. 2015. Gilbert Simondon: Media and Technics, Platform: Journal of Media and Communication, 6. 1836-5132

Book Section

Wark, Scott. 2024. Platformisation and Personalisation: The Making of "Contingent" Online Audiences. In: Annette Hill and Peter Lunt, eds. The Routledge Companion to Media Audiences. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781032214665

Phan, Thao and Wark, Scott. 2024. Race, by Proxy. In: Fleur Johns; Gavin Sullivan and Dimitri Van Den Meerssche, eds. Global Governance by Data: Infrastructures of Algorithmic Rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wark, Scott. 2022. In "The Cloud": Figuring and Inhabiting Media Milieus. In: Celia Lury; William Viney and Scott Wark, eds. Figure: Concept and Method. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 41-63. ISBN 9789811924750


Sutherland, Thomas and Wark, Scott. 2024. (Re)search results: Search engines and the logic of efficiency in scholarship. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, ISSN 1600-910X

Lury, Celia; Day, Sophie E.; Simon, Andre; Tironi, Martín; Valderrama, Matías and Wark, Scott. 2024. Digital Valuation: Lessons in relevance from the prototyping of a recommendation app. Valuation Studies, 11(1), pp. 38-59. ISSN 2001-5992

Wark, Scott and Soncul, Yiğit. 2022. A Media-Theoretical Armamentarium: From the Pharmakon to Pharmacologies of Media. Media Theory, 6(2), pp. 1-24. ISSN 2557-826X

Research projects

2021-2022: Pause for Thought: Media Literacy in an Age of Incessant Change
This AHRC-funded Networking Scheme project create an interdisciplinary network of scholars, artists, writers, media practitioners, and creative professionals invested in the future of media literacy.

2019-2021: Algorithmic Identities
Collaboration between University of Warwick and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile exploring identity after algorithms.

Conferences and talks

2024: The 'Contentification' of the Web: Online Culture and Visual Generative AI
Inference: Critical Approaches to Visual Generative AI, University of Sheffield, May 22.

2024: The Empty Form of Content: A Media-Epistemological Critique of Online Cultural Production
Midlands Conference in Critical Thought, 'Media Epistemologies' stream, Nottingham Trent University, 5-6 April.

2024: The Vape “Pharmacologic”: Thinking Bodies in Circulation
Invited workshop presentation, "Data Pharmacy" workshop, Goldsmiths, University of London, March 24.

2023: From a Politics of Identity to a Politics of Proximity (w. Thao Phan)
Invited public presentation, Algorithmic Societies: Politics, Spaces, Publics workshop, Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), November 21-22.

2023: Race, by Proxy (w. Thao Phan)
Society for Literature, Science and the Arts annual conference, closed panel: “Alien AI,” Arizona State University, October 26-29.

2023: Race by Any Means: ‘East and Southeast Asians’ in the UK and the Platformisation of Racialisation
Global Perspectives on Platforms. University of Amsterdam, June 27-28.

2023: En-visioning the Near Future
Invited workshop presentation, uncertain relations: fictioning | visual, University of Greenwich, June 19.

2023: Race on Platforms: On Proxies and Platformisation (w. Thao Phan)
Political Agency within and of Platform Societies: Power and Resistance in the Digital Age symposium, Senate House, Royal Holloway, University of London, May 16-17.

2023: Platformisation and Personalisation: The Making of ‘Contingent’ Online Audiences
Invited workshop participant/presenter, New Conceptualisations on Media Audiences, Bishop’s House, Lund University, May 2-4.

2023: The Algorithmic Construction of Race: On Racial Formations as Data Formations (w. Thao Phan)
Invited workshop presentation, Digital and Algorithmic Construction of Identities workshop, University of Queensland, Brisbane, April 18.

2023: How to Find What’s Not There: Data’s Present Absences
Invited workshop presentation, Data Optics, ACD Engine/KCL Digital Humanities joint symposium, King’s College, January 31

2022: Theorising Media Critically: Thinking After Contemporaneity (w. Thomas Sutherland)
Critique, Post-Critique, and the Present Conjuncture ICA Preconference, Université Paris Nanterre, May 25.

2022: Race, by Proxy (w. Thao Phan)
Invited workshop participant/presenter, Global Governance by Data: Infrastructures of Algorithmic Rule, University of Edinburgh, September 8-9, 2022.

2022: Race, Proxies, and Personalisation (w. Thao Phan)
roxies Symposium, The London School of Economics and Political Science, April 29 [via Zoom].

2022: Race, Proxies, and Post-Visual Regimes (w. Thao Phan)
Invited conference presentation, AI and Beyond, Culturally Speaking, Hong Kong Baptist University, April 6-8.

2021: What Personalisation Can do for You! Or, How to Do Discrimination Without Race (w. Thao Phan)
Invited seminar presentation, UNSW Media Futures Lab, November 16 [via Zoom].

2021: What Personalisation Can do for You! Or, How to Do Discrimination Without Race (w. Thao Phan)
4S: Society for Social Study of Sciences, Toronto, Canada, October 6-9 [via Zoom].

2021: Personalisation and Race (w. Thao Phan)
Association of Internet Researchers 2021, Virtual Event, October [pre-recorded video presentation].

2021: Race Beyond Perception: Analysing Race in Post-Visual Regimes (w. Thao Phan)
Methods for Researching Automated Futures Workshop, ADM+S Centre, Monash Node, Monash University, September 6 [via Zoom].

2020: What Personalisation Can do for You! Or, How to Do Discrimination Without Race (w. Thao Phan)
Digital Intimacies 6, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, December 7 [via Zoom].

2020: Algorithmic Identities
Algorithmic Identities Workshop, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, January 20.

2019: The Interoperable Person
Figurations: Persons In/Out of Data, Goldsmiths, University of London, December 16.

2019: The Subject of Interoperability
Invited panel presentation, panel on the “Digital Subject”, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College, November 14.

2019: Correlating Race: On Machine Learning and The Production of Race as Category
4S: Society for Social Study of Sciences, New Orleans, September 6.

2019: Correlating Race: On Machine Learning and Digital Culture
Digital⇌Culture, University of Nottingham, May 10.

2016: The Meme is in Circulation
Theorising the Web, Museum for the Moving Image, Queens, New York, 16 April.

2016: Meme-death
Excessive Research Workshop (Day 2) panel, Transmediale: Conversation Piece, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 5 February.