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Renée Ridgway

PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School (MPP), research affiliate at Leuphana University’s Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL)


The Autonomous Surfer

The project The Autonomous Surfer endeavours to discover the ‘unknown unknowns’ of alternative search by exploring a range of methods that offer divergent search results to Google’s contemporary ‘surveillance capitalism’ (Zuboff 2015). These digital culture variants reflect ‘spatial strategies’ of how to ‘tactically’ search the ever-accumulating amount of information in an era of ‘big data’ (Mayer-Schönberger & Cukier 2013). It begins with the decentralized search engine YaCY that indexes as it crawls, thereby contributing to its p2p index. Other off-the-radar alternative search engines will be designed and executed as ‘experiments in the living’ (Marres 2013) by applying creative approaches along with speculative methods. In order to further the understanding of the search process and the results, ‘data visualisations as transcription’ will contextualise the research.

Main Research Topics

  • search
  • digital cultures
  • paid usership (online remuneration in digital economies)
  • surveillance capitalism & platform capitalism
  • crowdfunding

Curriculum Vitae

  • Renée Ridgway is a researcher, educator and artist based in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
  • In 2014 Ridgway embarked on a PhD at Copenhagen Business School in their Management, Philosophy and Politics department and Leuphana University’s Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL). Her current research investigates the technological, organisational and behavioural implications of ‘search’ in digital societies along with issues of dataveillance, anonymity and privacy.
  • Since 2008 Ridgway is the co-initiator of and contributor to n.e.w.s., a collective platform for participatory development of artistic and curatorial projects in contemporary art and new media.
  • Ridgway was a core tutor at the DAI (Dutch Art Institute) ArtEZ Masters from 2009-2014 with Negotiating Equity and Roaming Academy.
  • Ridgway is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and Piet Zwart Institute/Plymouth University (MA).



  • Ridgway, R. (2018). Search Engines. The Oxford Handbook of Media, Technology, and Organization Studies. Oxford Press. Book chapter. (forthcoming)
  • Ridgway, R. (2018). Search Engines. The SAGE Encyclopeadia of the Internet. Barney Warf. Editor. Entry. (forthcoming)
  • Ridgway, R. (2018). Who’s Hacking Whom, Limn: Issue 8: Hacks, Leaks, and Breaches.
  • Ridgway, R. (2017). Against a Personalisation of the Self, Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2017, p. 377-397.
  • Ridgway, R. (2015). Crowdfunding the Commons? In Geert Lovink; Nathaniel Tkacz; Patricia De Vries (Eds.). Moneylab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures 2015, p. 281-294.
  • Ridgway, R. (2015). Personalisation as Currency. APRA: A Peer-Reviewed Journal About, Vol. 4, No. 1.
  • Ridgway, R. (2013). Crowdfunding: Monetizing the Crowd? In Tatiana Bazzichelli; Geoff Cox (Eds.). Disrupting Business: Art and Activism in Times of Financial Crisis. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, p. 153-171 (DATA Browser, No. 05).

Renée Ridgway

PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School (MPP), research affiliate at Leuphana University’s Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL)

Fellow at CAIS from May until October 2018