Catherine D’Ignazio

Keynote speech: Small Data Futures

Catherine D’Ignazio’s keynote lecture is a serendipitous exploration of how different systems for the collecting, mapping and visualisation of data might produce different and competing versions of the future. Drawing on numerous examples of new media works, both her own and others’, she will show how playing, performing and participating are methods to take ownership over data futures, particularly in relationship to public life and civic imagination.


DignazioCatherine&MaggieJo-LOCatherine D’Ignazio is an artist, software developer and educator. She is the Director of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, an interventionist performance troupe, and former Director of the Experimental Geography Research Cluster at RISD’s Digital+Media MFA program. She taught in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT in 2009 and 2012. Her artwork has been exhibited at the ICA Boston, Eyebeam, and MASSMoCA, and has won awards from the Tanne Foundation and Catherine has a BA in International Relations from Tufts University (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and an MFA in Studio Art from Maine College of Art. Catherine conducts research on critical geography and media attention. Her thesis looks at ways to “engineer serendipity”—to stage encounters with information outside our comfort zones, biases and habits. She is also interested in researching experimental ways of engaging more deeply with place and spatial justice issues through storytelling, maps, media, social practice, and algorithms.