FUMA symposium addresses our dark data fears

Data plays a huge and ever-increasing role in our lives – but do you embrace data or fear its reach? FUMA, the Flinders University Museum of Art, and Flinders University’s Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts are presenting a symposium on broad creative assessment of data’s application and effects, to accompany its current exhibition that radically reimagines data’s meaning, impact and potential.

The interdisciplinary symposium on 6-7 July is being conducted alongside The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies exhibition, which is currently open for public viewing at FUMA until 8 July.

The two-day symposium, bringing together artists, designers, creative arts researchers and professionals from the film, digital media, and data science sectors, will feature a keynote address on 6 July delivered by Tea Uglow, Creative Director of Google Creative Lab in Sydney, who has a strong international profile and is identified amongst Australia’s top 50 female speakers by The Drum.

Tea Uglow, keynote speaker at the symposium.

Uglow, whose work explores the space between technology and the arts and what can happen where they intersect, is celebrated as one of Australia’s #OUT50 LGBTQ Leaders by Deloitte and has been outspoken on prompting the new federal Government to strengthen the arts and cultural sector after the ravages of COVID-19.

Uglow’s address will plug into The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies symposium’s themes of exploring the applications and effects of data, and how we can engage with data in critical, playful, empathetic, and empowered ways.

FUMA director Fiona Salmon is excited that the symposium speakers will bring global perspective to this critical and timely examination of data’s influence in our daily lives.


“Artistic interpretations are providing fresh ways of helping us understand complex data sets, resulting in heightened inclusivity and more possibility for data’s potential applications in our everyday lives,” says Ms Salmon.

The symposium will also shine a light on the powerful works on display in The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies exhibition at FUMA, which surveys data visualization in contemporary visual art and design practice. It invites audiences to take a closer a look at the production, interpretation, and effects of data on our lives, reflecting on what counts as data and questioning how it is harvested, applied and perceived.

Panel sessions presented at Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus on day two of the The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies symposium program will explore the exhibition’s broad themes of climate change, location data and data legacies.

The collection of local, national and international speakers at the symposium will include Yulia Brazauskayte, Silvio Carta, Dameeli Coates, Andrew Gall, Alice Gorman, Natalie Harkin, Geoff Hinchcliffe, Ian McArthur, Amy Prcevich, Elvis Richardson, Aidan Rowlingson, Miranda Samuels, Carly Vickers, Judy Watson, Tali Weinberg, Mitchell Whitelaw and Sean Williams.

The Data Imaginary Symposium is co-convened by Flinders University Museum of Art and Assemblage Centre for the Creative Arts in partnership with Griffith University Art Museum, the Australian National University and University of New South Wales. Tea Uglow appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.

The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies was first exhibited at Griffith University Art Museum in 2021, and the second iteration of the exhibition, currently on display at Flinders University Museum of Art, is curated by Angela Goddard, Griffith University Art Museum; Associate Professor Katherine Moline, University of New South Wales; Amanda Hayman & Troy Casey (Blaklash Creative); and Associate Professor Beck Davis, Australian National University. It features the work of Robert Andrew, Silvio Carta, Countess.Report, Andrew Gall, Lola Greeno, Geoff Hinchcliffe & Mitchell Whitelaw, Interaction Research Studio, Jenna Lee, Joana Moll, Patrick Pound, Aidan Rowlingson, Judy Watson, Warraba Weatherall and Tali Weinberg.

Further information and registration for the symposium can be found here –  https://www.flinders.edu.au/museum-of-art/the-data-imaginary-symposium

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College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Flinders University Museum of Art (FUMA)