Data Publics

Public Plurality in an Era of Data Determinacy

Goldsmiths, University of London & Gasworks, London

January 26 2017 - January 28 2017

International research forum hosted by the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London

Thursday, 26 January 2017, 7pm-9pm, Goldsmiths, London
Friday, 27 January 2017, 11am-7pm, Goldsmiths, London
Saturday, 28 January 2017, 12pm-4pm, Gasworks, London

with keynotes by Lev Manovich and Ravi Sundaram,
and contributions by Luciana Parisi, Ignacio Valero, Stephen Graham, Jennifer Gabrys, Matthew Fuller, Paolo Gerbaudo, Dani Admiss, Cecilia Wee, Lise Autogena, Joshua Portway, Simon Yuill, and others.

Under the auspices of modernity, the public sphere was largely elaborated through spatial analogies that foreground a physically tangible division between the public and the private, between rights of ownership, control and usage. The contemporary public sphere of data can no longer be comprehended in such terms – as a static, albeit progressively opaque, environment that we simply traverse. Rather, today’s data publics bring with them a profound blurring of the capacities, roles and motivations of different actors. Traditional power apparatuses are now being confronted with a citizenry that is increasingly tasked with self-servicing of the social, cultural and infrastructural fabric of the societies they inhabit. Within these new spatial coordinates any notion of social capital is now joined to an affective economy powered by desire, identification, fear and rejection. The fate of the public of these new data publics is thus both generated and implicated in new technologies of governance and their associated digital economies that presently traverse into and beyond the realm of data. 

The acceleration of data constitutes one of the most powerful transformative forces in the world today and is radically changing both the way we live our daily lives and processes operating on a global scale. The international research forum DATA PUBLICS {Goldsmiths 26–28 January 2017} takes as its starting point an active understanding of the participation of today’s populations in data generation and the shaping of new public spheres. It seeks to dynamically explore the political implications of hybridised data environments in which individual, commercial and governmental agendas and actions are becoming increasingly blurred. Through both theoretical and artistic explorations it inquires into the impact of a “data mentality” on our expectations and articulations of public spheres, experiments with new visual and cultural modes of binary transgression within the digital public realm and speculates on new models of governance in the context of self-generating data publics. At a time when governments become increasingly private and citizens increasingly public, we argue that it is vital to look into the critical pluralities of both data and publics. 

Forum convenors:

Peter Mörtenböck
Helge Mooshammer
Stephanie Polsky



Thursday, 26 January 2017

Location: Goldsmiths, University of London, Professor Stuart Hall Building, room LG02

7:00pm-9:00pm: Opening Keynote
Lev Manovich
/CUNY with Q&A chaired by Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer


Friday, 27 January 2017

Location: Goldsmiths, University of London, Professor Stuart Hall Building, room LG01

Opening Remarks

11:30am-1:00pm: Panel 1
Luciana Parisi
/Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies & Ignacio Valero/CCA San Francisco
Chaired by Bev Skeggs/Goldsmiths Department of Sociology

Lunch break

2:00pm-3:20pm: Panel 2
Stephen Graham
/Newcastle University & Jennifer Gabrys/Goldsmiths Department of Sociology
Chaired by Louis Moreno/ Goldsmiths Department of Visual Cultures

Tea break

3:40pm-5:00pm: Panel 3
Matthew Fuller
/Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies & Paolo Gerbaudo/King’s College
Chaired by Evelyn Ruppert/Goldsmiths Department of Sociology

Tea break

5:15pm-7:00pm: Evening Keynote
Ravi Sundaram
/The Sarai Programme, CSDS Delhi with Q&A chaired by Irit Rogoff


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Location: Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, London SE11 5RH

Opening Remarks

Dani Admiss
/CRUMB Sunderland University and Cecilia Wee/Royal College of Art

Autogena Projects
- Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway/Sheffield Hallam University

Tea break

Simon Yuill
/Goldsmiths Digital Culture Unit

Plenary Discussion with presenters chaired by Ayesha Hameed/Goldsmiths Department of Visual Cultures/Fine Art

Closing Remarks


All events are free and open to the public.
Please register on Eventbrite.

Thursday, 26 January 2017:

Friday, 27 January 2017:

Saturday, 28 January 2017:



Dr. Stephanie Polsky
Department of Visual Cultures
Goldsmiths, University of London
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Data Publics is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Download the Poster as a PDF