My name is Alex Gekker. I am an Assistant Professor of Digital Research Methods at Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. Previously, I was a Senior Lecturer in the Communications department at Tel Aviv University. I research how sociotechnical systems are designed to influence users, and specifically look into: platforms and infrastructures, maps and surveillance, quantification and datafication of society, the experience economy and interface critique. I am also interested in the relations between politics and play. I co-edited two Open Access books on mapping, one on temporality and the other on play. You can check my latest publications on my ORCID profile or on Google Scholar.
I have completed my PhD, titled Uniquitous Cartography: Causal Power in Digital Maps at the Utrecht University. It was done as part of the ERC research project Charting the Digital:Digital Mapping Practices as New Media Cultures. In this project I examined digital maps from perspective of casual engagement, playfulness and power, focusing on production processes of cartographic interfaces and the assemblages that power them. Major parts of my work are ethnographic inquiries into the working environments that produce maps for everyday consumption, such as navigation, travel or shopping.