Dr. Orit Halpern is a Strategic Hire in Interactive Design and Theory and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montréal. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. Her 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. She is now working on two projects. The first, titled The Smartness Mandate, is a history and theory of “smartness”, environment, and ubiquitous computing and the second, tentatively titled Resilient Hope, examines the forms of planetary futures being produced and destroyed through high-technology large scale infrastructural projects.
She has 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.
She has an MPH. from Columbia University School of Public Health, and completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University in the History of Science. She has also held fellowships from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, the Graham Foundation, Digital Culture Research Lab at Leuphana University, the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, and the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt.