Big Data & Its Discontents


January 23, 2014


Golan Levin, Kate Crawford, Mark Latonero, and Ramez Naam


Carnegie Mellon University, MSR, University of Southern California, Nexus



Golan Levin, Kate Crawford, Mark Latonero, and Ramez Naam

Golan Levin (@golan) is Associate Professor of Computation Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also holds courtesy appointments in computer science, design, and entertainment technology. Levin’s research explores new intersections of machine code and audiovisual culture, combining equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of media. His work has spanned themes such as gestural robotics; the tactical potential of personal digital fabrication; novel aesthetics of non-verbal interactivity; and information visualization as a mode of arts practice. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore new intersections of abstract communication and interactivity.

Golan has spent more than 20 years as an artist embedded within high-technology research environments, in places like the MIT Media Laboratory, the Ars Electronica Futurelab, and Paul Allen’s former Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto. Since 2009, Levin has served as Director of CMU’s Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a discipline-shattering laboratory for atypical research across the arts, science, technology and culture. A two-time TED speaker, Levin was named one of “50 Designers Shaping the Future” by Fast Company magazine in October 2012. He has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia