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Audiovisual Data in the Digital World


Admission requirements



”Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.” (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
So what about 360-Virtual Reality, at 120 frames per second?

In the digital world, audiovisual data is everywhere. From photographs to videos, games to mixed reality – we’re truly living in an audiovisual age. On one hand, new media technologies such as Augmented Reality or ‘deepfakes’ are in a state of permanent becoming. Innovative formats continuously enter the market place of ideas long before the old ones are fully understood. On the other hand, in this era of fake news, our audiovisual data has become much easier to manipulate than ever before.

In this course, we will explore current digital trends and critically investigate the impact of new media technologies on society. Lectures will reflect on various cases of audiovisual data in the digital sphere such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, AI-robots in moving images, #deepfakes, hacking, webbased-interactive hybridformats from the perspective of audiovisual data in academic research.

Course objectives

At the end of this course the participants will:

  • assess societal and ethical considerations around the use of sensitive audiovisual data in digital media;

  • evaluate the risks and harms in using audiovisual data from a responsible use and innovation perspective;

  • produce in a groupwork a short video as a publication, reflecting on both the opportunities as well as challenges of one subtopic of the course;

  • build an argument and present it based on a case of the course, in writing an essay.


The timetable can be found in the right menu, under files ENG/ bestanden DUTCH.

Thursdays, 09:30 - 12:30 in September, October and first half November.

  • Week 1: A very short Introduction into Audiovisual Data – From Cave Paintings to Mixed Reality (J. Reutemann)

  • Week 2: Data and Storytelling on Interactive Web-Platforms; Hybridformats; #FakeNews: New Ethical Challenges (J. Reutemann)

  • Week 3: Living in a Digital World: Sensitive Audiovisual Data in Mixed Reality (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality) (J. Reutemann)

  • Week 4: How Stories of Artificial Intelligence Robots in Science Fiction Shape the Vision of Future Technology and Society (J. Reutemann)

  • Week 5: The Art of Hacking: Of Deepfakes and Toastercats (J. Reutemann)

  • Week 6: Design Science to Design Methods (T. Baar)

  • Week 7: The Bigger Picture: From Design to Action (T. Baar & Guest Lecturer from the World Press Photo)

  • Week 8: Wrap-up and A Speculative Design View into the Future of Audiovisual Data (J. Reutemann)

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Seminars;

  • Workshops

Course Load

Total course load 3 EC x 28 hours = 84 hours

  • Lectures: 24 hours (3 hours per week, 8 sessions)

  • Study of compulsory literature & assignments: 60 hours

Assessment method


  • Essay: write and publish an essay on a chosen subtopic of „Audiovisual Data „(max 2.500 words) from the perspective of speculative design. You will reflect on the importance of data-driven innovations for confronting a complex societal challenge within the domains of academic research, digital media, or media technology (AI-robots, deepfake, VR/AR).

  • Peer-feedback on digital blog article

  • Video assignment: students will make in a groupwork a 1-3-minute video about a self-chosen subtopic of "Audiovisual Data“.

  • Participation: be present and engage in all sessions; and give a presentation of your work for a larger audience;


  • 60% Essay

  • 40% Video (group work)


The students are allowed one re-sit per examination. It is not allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment for which they have received a pass (6,0 or higher). It is allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment which they haven't done during the first occasion. The re-sit format needs to be discussed with the teacher of the course in line with examination regulations.

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

All students have to be present in all modules, including the Skill Labs. The teachers and the minor coordinator have to be notified in advance for the absences.
For each absence, students have to do an assignment. The students who are absent more than twice will not pass the module.


In this course Blackboard is used to present course information, notify of changes to the course and to make course materials available. Students can access Blackboard with their Leiden University (guest) accounts.

Reading list

Preliminary list, e.g.:

  • Bruno Latour, Visualisation and Cognition: Drawing things together, H. Kuklick (ed.), Knowledge and Society Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, Jai Press, Vol. 6. 1990.

  • Adam Geitgey, Blog article “How to Intentionally Trick Neural Networks, A Look into the Future of Hacking”, 2017.

  • McGurk, Harry, and John MacDonald. "Hearing lips and seeing voices." Nature 264.5588 (1976): 746.

  • Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, Science and film-making, Public Understanding of Science 25.1, 2016.

  • a Black Mirror episode (to be announced)

  • TedX Talk about AI-robots and vision of future technology (to be announced)

  • Interactive Storytelling Plattforms


Students need to register for the minor at their home university and in uSis Leiden, and for each individual course in uSis Leiden.

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Mw. Jeanine Reutemann

Centre for Innovation, Leiden University

Research page


Videos are increasingly important in the academic world, not only for dissemination or advertisement, but for research (e.g. video-abstract for peer-reviewed publications) and teaching (MOOCs, teaching videos). As this course is about ‘audiovisual data’, it is crucial, that the assignments are not only text-based. Therefore, one of the tasks is the production of a short (scientific)-video. To reach this goal, the students will also get introduced into basic video production and will critically access the transformation of knowledge through the medium. This skill-based knowledge of 101 video production will provide the students with a fundamental skillset for their further study and work.