How do artists make sense of complex, challenging and potentially sublime aesthetics of big data?

Data is everywhere but can be complex and difficult to make sense of. Artists, makers, curators and producers help make data visible, tangible and experiential offering new perspectives and insights.

Immersive digital installations and artworks explore the sublime aesthetics of big data and the personal stories behind it.


The webinar features artists Anna Dumitriu and Alex May, who have created “Susceptible” (a DRIVA arts DRIVA Superfused commission), a digital art-work based on groundbreaking genomics research about tuberculosis from CRyPTIC, an University of Oxford led international consortium.

This data is layered with destination and origin data from Gatwick Airport to make explicit the importance of global collaboration in health research.

The artists are joined by renowned curator and cultural manager Irini Papadimitriou (FutureEverything) who has extensive experience of working with data and technology in relation to art and society and who is a partner in “Susceptible, and Donna Close, Principle Investigator for Arts DRIVA will talk about Arts DRIVA and ‘Desire Lines’ an exhibition of data-art which took place as part of Brighton Digital Festival and was co-curated with Laurence Hill.


Anna Dumitriu

Anna Dumitriu is a British artist who works with BioArt, sculpture, installation, and digital media to explore our relationship to infectious diseases, synthetic biology and robotics. Past exhibitions include ZKM, Ars Electronica, BOZAR, The Picasso Museum, HeK Basel, Science Gallery Detroit, MOCA Taipei, LABoral, Art Laboratory Berlin, and Eden Project. She holds visiting research fellowships at the University of Hertfordshire, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Waag Society, as well as artist-in-residence roles with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford, and with the National Collection of Type Cultures at Public Health England.

Alex May

Alex May is a British contemporary artist whose practice forges links between art, science, and technology through a wide range of digital new media, including virtual reality, photogrammetry, algorithmic photography, robotic artworks, video projection mapping, interactive installations, generative works, performance, and video and sound art. Alex has exhibited internationally including at the Francis Crick Institute, Eden Project, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica, LABoral, the Museum of Contemporary Art Caracas, the Science Gallery Dublin, University of Calgary (international visiting artist 2016), Texas A&M University, and the Beall Center for Art + Technology. He is a Visiting Research Fellow: Artist in Residence with the School of Computer Science of University of Hertfordshire.

Irini Papadimitriou

Irini Papadimitriou is a curator and cultural manager, whose practice draws on interdisciplinary and critical discourse to explore the impact of technology in society and culture, and the role of art in helping us engage with contemporary issues.

Currently Creative Director at FutureEverything, an innovation lab and arts organisation in Manchester, she was previously Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans, curating the exhibitions programme. She has been a co-curator for the Arts & Culture experience at Mozilla Festival and in October 2019 she co-curated an exhibition on Better Machine Decision Making. She is also a co-founder of Maker Assembly, a critical gathering about maker culture, an Associate at IWM Institute, and has served as a jury member for Ars Electronica (Interactive Art, Interactive Art+, Artificial Intelligence & Life Art), Lumen Prize, STARTS, Share Prize and ACM Siggraph (Distinguished Life Time Achievement in Digital Art).

Donna Close

Donna is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Brighton in the School of Media and a festival creative director and strategist who has worked across the private and public, commercial and cultural sectors for 25 years. Donna develops strategy and creative programmes in the UK and across the world and is passionate about the way that festivals foster innovation and social engagement. Over the last 10 years, this has been directed specifically at how tech is transforming the way culture is made, shared and experienced. She was Co-I and producer on the AHRC funded XR Circus project (with Kennedy/Atkinson/Snook) which was selected to be part of the UKRI showcase in SXSW 2019. Currently Donna is also PI on a new AHRC/Newton Fund international research project between Istanbul and the UK exploring 5G’s potential for new types of inter-disciplinary collaboration.


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FACILITATED BY always possible in collaboration with the University of Brighton. DRIVA (Digital Research & Innovation Value Accelerator) is a £1.3m University of Brighton research project funded by the European Structural Investment Fund and Arts Council England that aims to provide technology SMEs, creative arts practitioners and cultural organisations supported and authorised access to Gatwick Airport’s big data. Find out more at