Greg J. Smith
Greg J. Smith is a Toronto-based designer and researcher with interests in media theory and digital culture. Extending from a background in architecture, his research considers how contemporary information paradigms affect representational and spatial systems. He is a managing editor at Vague Terrain, a regular contributor to Current Intelligence and Rhizome and his writing has appeared in numerous publications including Vectors, CreativeApplications.Net, Junk Jet and the Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics. He has shown and presented work at numerous international venues including Medialab-Prado (Madrid), Postopolis! LA, the Public Memories Project (Syracuse), Dorkbot and DIY Citizenship (Toronto). Greg currently teaches courses on technology, urbanism and web culture within the CCIT program (University of Toronto Mississauga/Sheridan College) and at OCAD University. He is also the author of Serial Consign, a blog focused on information design, new media art and the social and cultural ramifications of technology.
Auto/biography: Data, Identity and Narrative
Identity has long been intertwined with key fragments of information: social insurance and credit card numbers, a current address, a passport and driver’s license, etc. While diary keeping may seem quaint and antiquated, the computation that drives contemporary culture has engendered a new era of pervasive surveillance where almost every discrete act/transaction/waypoint is logged on a server somewhere. In this session we will don our optimist glasses and discuss how ubiquitous data is inspiring new approaches for articulating autobiography, personal trajectories and neighbourhood narratives. The federal government distills your essence down to a census form, and Citibank might think of you as a set of purchase patterns - how can we co-opt and critically engage these approaches through visualization and mapping? More importantly: what can we learn about ourselves?