Comparison of inauguration crowd size for Barack Obama in 2009 (left) and Donald Trump in 2017 (right). Courtesy of National Park Service
NASA Utah Data Center, Bluffdale, Utah. Source: Parker Higgins, Electronic Frontier Foundation/ Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Join Mark Shepard, UB associate professor of architecture and media study, for the launch of his award-winning book, There Are No Facts, examining the uncommon ground we share in a post-truth world. The event features a reception and panel discussion with Shepard and three internationally recognized scholars working across the field of architecture and media. The book will be available to purchase at the event through local bookstore affiliate, Fitz Books.
There Are No Facts: Attentive Algorithms, Extractive Data Practices, and the Quantificiation of Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2022) unpacks how attentive algorithms and extractive data practices are shaping space, influencing behavior, and colonizing everyday life.
Articulating post-truth territory as an architectural and infrastructural condition, it shows how these spatial architectures of attention and data mining are in turn situated within broader histories of empiricism, objectivity, science, colonialism, and perception.
These entanglements of people and data, code and space, knowledge and power are considered across scales ranging from the trans-locality of the home to the planetary extent of the COVID–19 pandemic, with stops at the corner bodega, a neighborhood for the proverbial 1%, a waterfront district in Toronto, and a national election. The book probes how these socio-technical systems bracket what we know about the world, how they construe our agency to act within it, and how they shape these spaces that, in turn, shape us.
Shepard was awarded a 2022 Graham Foundation grant for the book in recognition of its contribution to diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022
Panel Discussion: 6 - 7:30 PM
Reception to follow
Hayes Hall 403
Join us for a panel discussion from 6 - 7:30 PM featuring author Mark Shepard and experts across the fields of architecture and media. Mingle with our distinguished guests at a reception to follow the panel. The book will be available to purchase at the event through local bookstore affiliate, Fitz Books.
Mark Shepard [www.andinc.org] is an artist, architect and researcher whose work addresses contemporary entanglements of people and data, code and space, knowledge and power. In addition to There Are No Facts, he is an editor of the Situated Technologies Pamphlets Series (The Architectural League of New York) and Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture and the future of urban space (MIT Press). His work has been exhibited at museums, galleries and festivals internationally, including the Venice International Architecture Biennial; the Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Transmediale, Berlin, Germany; and the International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam, the Netherlands, among others. Shepard is an associate professor of architecture and media study at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, where he directs the Media Arts and Architecture Program (MAAP) and the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (CAST).
Malcolm McCullough is a professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he teaches architecture and media arts. He is the author of four widely read books on digital design: Ambient Commons (MIT Press, 2013), Digital Ground (MIT Press, 2004), Abstracting Craft (MIT Press, 1996), and Digital Design Media (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991, with William Mitchell). Prior to joining Taubman College in 2001, McCullough taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the Harvard GSD. Currently, he is at work on data visualization for the augmented city. His latest book, Downtime on the Microgrid (MIT Press, spring 2020), explores local resilience and the cultural role of urban infrastructure. McCullough received his Master of Architecture from UCLA and his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.
Molly Wright Steenson is Vice Provost for Faculty at Carnegie Mellon. She is also Associate Professor in the School of Design and the K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics & Computational Technology. From 2018–21, she was Sr. Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine Arts. Molly is the author of the book Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, 2017), which explores the radical history of design, architecture, AI and cybernetics from the 1950s to the present. She's the co-editor of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019) with Laura Forlano and Mike Ananny, an edited volume that looks at the impact of the Bauhaus as it turns 100. She also researches the ethical impact of AI. Molly holds a PhD in architecture from Princeton University and a Master's in Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture.
Hadas A. Steiner is an associate professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, who researches cross-pollinations of technological, scientific and cultural aspects of architectural fabrication. She is at work on a manuscript, The Accidental Visitant, which studies the impact of the modern field of ornithology on architecture and the conceptualization of the built environment as an ecosystem. Steiner is the author of Beyond Archigram: The Technology of Circulation (Routledge) and her scholarship and reviews have been published in OCTOBER, Grey Room, New Geographies, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of Architecture and arq.
AIA Continuing Education credits approved (I LU)