brian lonsway on Mon, 13 Mar 2000 04:26:49 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] data symposium

Press Release

DATA:  a critical symposium exploring social, cultural, artistic, and
architectural contexts of information technology and its deployment.

Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26
There is no registration fee for the symposium.

Informatics and Architecture
School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Keynote speakers:
Mark Poster, Saskia Sassen, Greg Lynn

Jordan Crandall, Michael Fortun, Natalie Jeremijenko, Krishna Rajan, Sawad
Brooks, Michael Curry, Keller Easterling, Kim Fortun, Chris
Csikszentmilhalyi, Heinrich Schwarz, Ted Krueger, Laura Kurgan

DATA will bring together for a working session a small number of
technologists, theorists, and designers from a number of disciplines
(architecture, anthropology, computer science, electronic arts, geography,
history, industrial design, material science, and sociology) to discuss the
implications of data, that essential core of information technology (IT), to
contemporary spatial practices.  The motivation to sponsor this discussion
comes from a desire to address the proliferating uncritical attitudes toward
IT, especially in its application to the design of our spatial environments.
The abstraction of data makes it amorphous and vastly malleable, but also
highly specific and, when ‘productively’ employed, highly deterministic.
Like the "widget" in the industrial economy, the "bit" of data in the IT
marketplace has become a measure of power, wealth, and productivity, but one
which operates on radically different terms of access, ownership, and value.

While the question of data's application to spatial practice in design
disciplines has tended to center around visual representation, data-based
systems have probably been most instrumental spatially in practices where
the codification of space with demographic, resource, or economic data has
controlled the deployment of land, has impacted socio-spatial patterns of
inhabitation, or has manifested implicit constraints on design variety.
Understanding these phenomena requires the recognizance of the importance of
data collection, its manipulation, and its spatial deployment across a
variety of disciplinary boundaries.  The symposium will bring together
scholars in many of these areas to discuss the phenomena of data for the
first time within a framework of spatial theory, and will attempt to define
critical groundwork for future research and investigation.

It will in particular attempt to address the implications for spatial design
at many scales (bodily, urban, architectural, environmental, etc.) of
data's ambiguous nature as both malleable and specific, public and private,
flexible and deterministic, nonhierarchical and hierarchical. And it will
investigate the role of data as both spatially representational (of cities,
people, or systems) and spatially autonomous (as a spatial system itself).

This symposium marks the first anniversary of Rensselaer's Informatics and
Architecture Masters program, and represents the first of a number of
planned events to engage the theoretical and applied investigations of this
program in the larger context of design practice.

For more information the data symposium:

For more information on Informatics and Architecture:

brian lonsway                    chair, informatics and architecture.
                                                 assistant professor.
                                             architecture rensselaer.
                                                    ph: 518.276.6871.
                                                    fx: 518.276.3034.
                                                      110 8th street.
                                                       troy ny 12180.
brian lonsway                    chair, informatics and architecture.
                                                 assistant professor.
                                             architecture rensselaer.
                                                    ph: 518.276.6871.
                                                    fx: 518.276.3034.
                                                      110 8th street.
                                                       troy ny 12180.

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