Public Lecture: Playful Data, Empowered Publics

Thursday, February 16, 2017 -
3:30pm to 5:00pm
Event Location: 
Iowa Memorial Union, Minnesota Room (347)
125 N. Madison St.
Iowa City, IA 52245
Catherine D'Ignazio

We are all swimming in data—demographic, participation, government, social media data—but few understand what to do with it. Even governments’ and foundations’ open data portals rarely focus on use, usability, building community, or creating impact, leaving a significant lag in data literacy at the scale of communities and individuals. In response, users are designing technocultural practices that combine participation, creativity, and context to connect data to everyday life through citizen science, data journalism, novel public engagement in government processes, and participatory data art.

Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Civic Media and Data Visualization at Emerson College, will survey these practices and her own experiments, as she reflects on premises, aspirations, and challenges to creating citizens who are truly empowered by data. 

Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Civic Media and Data Visualization at Emerson College, Principal Investigator at the Emerson Engagement Lab, and Research Affiliate with MIT Media Lab, is a researcher, designer, and software developer whose work focuses on making data and data-driven storytelling more accessible, inclusive, and empowering. D’Ignazio has co-developed a suite of tools for data literacy (DataBasic.io) and is currently working with the Public Laboratory for Technology and Science to explore the possibilities for journalistic storytelling with DIY environmental sensors. Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation, Turbulence.org, and the LEF Foundation. Her art and design has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Biennial.

This event is free and open to the public.