Biennale 14 maja_mm0729

Roger Malina. The Crisis in Data Representation: Re-imagining Ways of Exploring and Inhabiting Data


We have become a data culture. Every day using our phones and computers we take massive amounts of data and send it to our friends and to the cloud. Yet we are still primitives in the way we deal with data. As humans we are ‘multi-modal’, shifting seamlessly between our senses as our attention and needs drive our perception. Yet as digital beings our technologies force a kind of deep agnosia. I will talk about some of the work of our UT Dallas ArtSciLabin collaboration with neuroscientist Gagan Wig on how to dramatize the connectome data from fMRI data on the internal connections of young and older brains and more generally about the crisis in data representation.

Roger F. Malina (US) is a space scientist and astronomer, with a specialty in extreme and ultraviolet astronomy, space instrumentation and optics. He served as director of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence and was NASA Principal Investigator for the Extreme Ultraviolet Satellite project at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a publisher and editor in the new emerging research fields that connect the sciences and engineering to the arts, design and humanities. Since 1982 he has served as Executive Editor of the Leonardo Publications at MIT Press. He founded, and serves on the board of two non profits, ISAST in San Francisco and OLATS in Paris, which advocate and document the work of artists involved in contemporary science and technology. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology, and Professor of Physics, at the University of Texas at Dallas and Directeur de Recherche, for the CNRS in France. He serves as the Associate Director of ATEC.

In the fall of 2013 he founded the ArtSciLab in the ATEC Program at UT Dallas ( ). This trans-disciplinary research lab hosts projects which involve in depth collaboration between artists and scientists; the aim of the lab is to carry out research which results in art works, scientific data analysis tools, a technology testbed. In addition the lab develops  education activities involving the integration of the arts, design and humanities in science, technology, education and mathematics (STEAM). Initial ArtSciLab projects involve data sonification with scientists in brain science, geosciences, astronomy and a technology testbed working with nanotechnology and development of mobile applications. Key collaborations include the Data Remix project with Prof Ruth West at the University of North Texas, on Cognitive Innovation with Prof Sue Denham and Michael Punt at the University of Plymouth, U.K, and on Communicating Scientific Uncertainty with Prof Drew Hemment at the University of Lancaster, U.K.

In 2012-2013 Roger Malina chaired the US National Science Foundation funded study: Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation: Enabling new forms of collaboration among sciences, engineering, arts, and design which identified key mechanisms for enabling new forms of collaborations between the arts and sciences.

Malina is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics, former founding Chair of Commission VI on Space Activities and Society.  He is Co -Chair of the International Astronautical Federation Committee for the Cultural Utilisation of Space. He has served on the Comite National of the French CNRS for Astronomy and on the French National Commission on Cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards including the International Academy of Astronautics Social Sciences Award, several NASA Public Service Awards, “Laser d’or” Prize, from the International Video Art Organization. As of Feb 2014 there were 3700 citations to his publications on Google Scholar.