Mareike Peschl
IFK_Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2016 bis 30. June 2017

Mareike Peschl


The Willingness to Let Oneself Be Led: Governing Techniques in the Practice of Self-Tracking


Based on body technologies and mobile applications for data analysis, this project examines the practice of self-tracking. In contrast to its name, which implies that the self follows in its own footsteps, this practice does not initiate an exclusive relationship with the self. Users bypass the exclusivity of self-observation and declare their willingness to let themselves be led through the exchange of data, commands, and feedback with software companies, insurers, or in social networks. Here, strategies of individual self-thematization intersect with the willingly exclusionary objectives of the healthcare and labor markets. Moreover, in users’ obedience and disobedience vis-à-vis their digital coaches, the users are in competition with the leadership practices of external voices for attention, authority, and the right to power. In short, the question of the governed and those who govern is complicated in self-tracking, so the project explores the concomitance of self-governing and foreign-governing practices.


Mareike Peschl studied cultural studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin and completed a portion of her studies in the interdisciplinary master’s program in the humanities (Draper Program) at New York University. From 2012 to 2016, she was a Research Assistant in the Department of Cultural History in Berlin, where she instructed from 2015 to 2016. She worked on cultural projects at the House of World Cultures (Berlin) and at New York University’s Deutsches Haus.


„Die Bereitschaft sich führen zu lassen: Selbst- und Fremdführungstechniken in der Self-Tracking-Praxis“, in: ZfM Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, Web-Extras, 28.09.2016, online unter: http://www.zfmedienwissenschaft.de/online/die-bereitschaft-sich-f%C3%BChren-zu-lassen„Messen, Rechnen, Darstellen: Zur Verbindung von Körpern mit Self-Tracking-Technologien“, in: IFKnow, 1/2017, S. 6-7.

  • Lecture
Mareike Peschl

Am Körper getragene Self-Tracking-Technologien messen Bewegungsabläufe, Pulsschläge und Temperaturschwankungen, um Rückschlüsse auf die Körperfunktionen, das längerfristige Verhalten und einen »gesunden Lebensstil« zu ziehen. Wie Messapparaturen den Körper mit der Psyche, und die Täuschung mit der Offenbarung zusammen bringen, wird im Vortrag historisch nachvollzogen.