About Me


I am a Strategic Hire in Interactive Design and Theory and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montréal. My work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. My most recent book Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945 (Duke Press 2015) is a genealogy of interactivity and our contemporary obsessions with “big” data and data visualization. I am  currently working on two academic books and also some comic books (see below)  The first book, titled The Smartness Mandate, is a history and theory of “smartness”, environment, and ubiquitous computing and the second is about extreme infrastructures, futurity, and habitat.


I am also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Lab a design research cluster at the intersection of art and the life sciences, architecture and design, and computational media that is part of the Milieux, Institute for Technology, Art and Culture (http://milieux.concordia.ca/) I have also published and created works for a variety of venues including The Journal of Visual Culture, Public Culture, Configurations, C-theory, and ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany.


As part of my work as an historian, I am also interested in digital cinema and multi-media documentary, architecture and design, contemporary art practice, animation, and literature. I am particularly partial to those works inspired by, and dedicated to, problems of time and memory. Some of my favorites include Haruki Murakami, Susan Hiller, Sophie Calle, Manuel Puig, Chris Ware, and Chris Marker.

Jerome Lettvin in the Bathtub, Image: Tal Halpern 2018

I also work closely with my brother, who is a writer and an artist. We like to build archives, and love all things from the Viennese Secession. We are now working on two comic books concerning machine learning and viruses

Before coming to graduate school I spent many years working in international development on reproductive rights, and in web production. And if you want to find out more about both my current research, my literary and artistic production and my previous work check out my resume or contact me » orit@post.harvard.edu