Big Data describes a passage into a new era in which the power of data induces a radical transformation of a society whose actions and production of knowledge rely increasingly on the accumulation and evaluation of data. The conference Data Traces. Big Data in the Context of Culture & Society draws upon this prospect and delves into critical questions of Big Data in dialogue with international experts, academics and artists. It addresses the paradigm of a data-driven society and reflects life in an increasingly datified world. The conference is organized by the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW and HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel). The conference is part of the exhibition Poetics and Politics of Data at HeK.

Keynote Lecture:
Lev Manovich, Using Big Data as an Artistic Tool

With Jamie Allen & Moritz Greiner-Petter, Orit Halpern, Ellie Harrison, Shintaro Miyazaki, Sabine Niederer, Nicolas Nova, Ramón Reichert, Roberto Simanowski, Felix Stalder and Jutta Weber.

The conference will be held in English and German.


Ramón Reichert – Big Data. Der digitale Wandel von Gesellschaft, Kultur und Ökonomie

Sabine Niederer – Digital Methods and the Technicity of Web Content

Jamie Allen w/ Moritz Greiner-Petter – Bread and Roses and Data

Lev Manovich – Big Data as an artistic and art historical tool

Felix Stalder – Die Politik der Daten. Zwischen Post-Demokratie und Commons

Roberto Simanowski – Vom Blick der Kunst auf ihr Publikum – ein Beispiel für den Umbau der Gesellschaft im Kontext des Data Mining

Ellie Harrison – Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector

Orit Halpern – Beautiful Data: Cybernetics, Design, and Visualization

Nicolas Nova – Adventures in Algorithmic Cultures

Shintaro Miyazaki – Ping Echo Request: Some Historical Remarks on Data Analysis

The conference is organized by Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, director of the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (ixdm) and Sabine Himmelsbach, director of HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

Poetics and Politics of Data is an interdisciplinary project between HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel), the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (ixdm) of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS and, the Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The collaborative project Poetics and Politics of Data is supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia as part of its Digital Culture initiative. The exhibition is additionally funded by Roldenfund and Migros Kulturprozent.

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