2016 – Colder Than Mars: Humanizing Data On The Prairies

Colder Than Mars decorative graphic

Regina, Saskatchewan, March 3 – 18, 2016

During the month of March, 2016, a series of events was hosted by The University of Regina Humanities Research Institute and by Creative Technologies @ MAP. The events drew attention to human condition and situational experiences within the prairies through the exploration of locational datasets, the creation and impact of visualizing information in new ways and the contribution of information into the public domain.

The events included the Humanizing Data on the Prairies Conference and hackathon (March 4-5), hosting plenary presentations by data and visualization experts from Leeds Beckett University, Carleton University, and the University of Regina. This was preceded by the Barbara Powell Memorial Lecture (March 3), delivered by Dr. Erik Steiner, Creative Director and co-founder of the Spatial History Project at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford University and a former President of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). On International Women’s Day (March 8) the first ART+FEMINISM Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon took place at the University of Regina where students, community and the public were invited to take part in building more prairie-focused content into the information platform.

Visit Colder Than Mars to find out more about all of the conference events and participants.

The Organisers

The Creative Technologies program recognizes visionary research at the intersection of the arts, sciences, technology and culture through forming a collaborative network that fosters new and innovative interdisciplinary opportunities for students and researchers alike. The program maintains a Makers Space Media Lab within the Faculty of Media, Art + Performance at the University of Regina that provides students and community with access to the tools and resources they need to build projects and to prototype ideas that bridge the areas of computer science, engineering, art, interaction and information.

Dr. Megan Smith, Assistant Professor in Creative Technologies is a new media artist and curator. Her art practice probes new systems for delivering syndicated data through narrative structure and she often works with geo-location, live-feed installation, and community projects as methods for storytelling. In December 2015 she embarked on a 18-month durational performance called ‘Riding Through Walls’ which takes shape as a live-cast Canada cycle through Google Streetview from behind the bars of a stationary bike within her studio in Regina.

The Humanities Research Institute (HRI) supports and promotes the broad range of humanities research activities that occur at the University of Regina and in its federated colleges. Working across the disciplines, the HRI advances humanities scholarship and research and develops innovation, interdisciplinarity, and collaboration. The HRI fosters new ways of thinking about ourselves and our world, and is designed to create a vibrant intellectual community among University of Regina students, faculty and staff, and the broader provincial, national, and international world that the HRI serves.

Dr. Christian Riegel, Director of the HRI, teaches Canadian literature, the elegy, nature poetry, the long poem, and Holocaust writing. He has published five books: Twenty-First Century Canadian Writers, in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Gale Research, 2007), Response to Death: The Literary Work of Mourning (U of Alberta Press/Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 2005), Writing Grief: Margaret Laurence and the Work of Mourning (U of Manitoba Press, 2003), Challenging Territory: The Writing of Margaret Laurence (U of Alberta Press, 1997), A Sense of Place: Re-evaluating Regionalism in Canadian and American Writing (with Herb Wyile; U of Alberta Press/Textual Studies in Canada 9, 1998).