Dr Dani Ploeger, BMus, PhD, AFHEA

Job title

Research Fellow


I am an artist working with computer programming, electronics hacking, cultural theory and performance. My work investigates and subverts the spectacles of sex, violence and waste in techno-consumer culture. I have made a smartphone app that is available from adult app store MiKandi and undergone an operation in which electronic waste was installed in my abdomen by a body piercer. I travel around the world about half of the year to make work, as well as present it at galleries and festivals for art and media technology. In recent years, I have worked with traditional metal workers in the old city of Cairo to encase tablet computers in plate steel, attended firearms training in Poland to shoot an iPad with an AK47, and travelled to dump sites in Nigeria to collect electronic waste originating from Europe.

I spent my childhood on the seaside in the Dutch Bible Belt and subsequently studied music at various conservatoires in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Germany, eventually graduating from the 'Herbert von Karajan' Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. During and after my studies I worked for several years as a trombonist with symphony orchestras such as the Stuttgart State Opera and the Berlin Philharmonic, and new music ensemble KNM Berlin. From 2005-7, I lived in Ramallah, Palestine, where I was a music and performance teacher. I arrived just before the Hamas election victory and the following conflict on the West Bank, and was there during the Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006. This experience was key to my decision to retire as a musician and focus on my work in cultural materialism, and performance and installation art with objects of the everyday.

After completing a PhD on sound, performance and media theory at the University of Sussex in 2012, I worked as a lecturer at De Montfort University in Leicester and Brunel University London. From 2013-2015 I was Senior Lecturer and Course Leader Performance Arts at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. I am currently a Research Fellow at Royal Central, where I also lead the AHRC-funded research project Bodies of Planned Obsolescence: Digital performance and the global politics of electronic waste. www.e-waste-performance.net


Research Degrees (PhD)

Research Areas

Cultural studies of technology: waste and media archaeology, sexuality in digital culture, representations of violence

PHD Supervision

Performance and technology, digital art and materiality, body representation and sexuality

Key Publications

2015. 'Abject Digital Performance: Engaging the politics of electronic waste', Leonardo, posted online 31 August. doi: 10.1162/LEON_a_01159

2015. 'Thinking Critical/Looking Sexy: A naked male body in performance'. In Theatre as Voyeurism: The pleasures of watching, edited by George Rodosthenous (Houndsmills: Palgrave), pp. 147-65

2014. 'Eerie Prostheses and Kinky Strap-Ons: Mori's Uncanny Valley and ableist ideology', Body, Space and Technology, 13.1

Sonified Freaks and Sounding Prostheses: Sonic representation of bodies in performance art. Phd thesis, University of Sussex, 2012. http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/43348/


Recent exhibitions of my work include:

transmediale (Berlin), WRO Media Art Bienale (Wroclaw), RIXC Art Science Festival (Riga), Arse Elektronika – a festival of sex and technology (San Francisco), Variation Paris Media Art Fair, V&A Museum (London).

Reviews and features about my work have appeared in The WIRE, Times Higher Education, VICE, La Libération, and on ARTE television and Deutschland Radio, among others.