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The Centre for Critical Data Practices (C4CDP) was established in 2023 but its history goes back to our common work towards develping elective program for Critical Data Studies and Data and Digital Culture. The centre builds on the teaching associated with these programs and research by our members who seek knowledge about data and develop practices of researching, curating, and processing data that are part of our contemporary lives.

C4CDP proposes a novel approach to the study of data. While our work is anchored in the interdisciplinary field of Critical Data Studies, we recognize the need to expand this framework with a focus on how data can be practised through various critical methods. Departing from Critical Data Studies, we focus on practices (Critical Data Practices) to emphasize how data become part of the working processes and methods, and how they are material in curation of digital objects and archives, creation of artistic work, experimental design, software development, in legal practices and beyond. 

C4CDP investigates how data collection, analysis, modelling, and visualization, are at the core of governance of people, things and natural phenomena, and we share our research broadly through contribution to journals, exhibitions, workshops, collaborations with different public and private partners. We engage students in data research and encourage wide public engagment with data.

Aims and Objectives

The overarching aims of the centre are as follows:

1) to support research and practice dedicated to inquiry of human-data relations and forms that are adjacent to computational and statistical processes.

2) to account for histories of data collections, including colonial practices, conditions of climate change, ethical challenges, and social and legal concerns that emerge from the currents of digital transformations at all levels.

Our main objective is to establish the Centre as a vibrant location for novel research, practice and teaching about data through practice. Driving this is the recognition that data is both: 1) an active agent and material in production and representation of knowledge, governance of societies and individuals, and maintenance of welfare, education and health systems, and as such 2) that data is practised in complex ecologies of people, machines, software and natural phenomena. We see data as generative of relations that complicate object/subject separation while establishing new ones.

We will publish research, develop projects, networks and collaborations on practice-based perspectives on data and with data. Digital and Critical Design methods complement transdisciplinary approaches to data studies where issues of materiality, sensing, experimental work in visualisation, physicalisation, and modelling of and with data, are of equal concern. For example, visual and auditory cultures of data are one topic while we also build methodological competency in areas that are relevant to this focus.

Our centre’s researchers are already active in different industry and public sector partnerships. Not only does this help to establish fruitful collaborations outside of academia but it also expands the impact and transfer of knowledges between researchers, practitioners and the wider public. Industry as well as  arts and cultural sector partnerships will continue to be one core part of the centre’s work through practice-based research and curatorial projects.

Contact us if you would like to discuss possible collaborations and research projects.