Benjamin H. Bratton’s work spans Philosophy, Art, Design and Computer Science. He is Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He is Program Director of the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. He is also Professor of Digital Design at the European Graduate School and Visiting Faculty at SCI Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture).
In The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Bratton outlines a new theory for the age of global computation and algorithmic governance. He proposes that different genres of planetary scale computation—smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation—can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure that is both a computational infrastructure and a new governing architecture. Bratton’s current research project, Theory and Design in the Age of Machine Intelligence, is on the unexpected and uncomfortable design challenges posed by A.I in various guises: from machine vision to synthetic cognition and sensation, and the macroeconomics of robotics to everyday geoengineering.
Nandita Sharma is Professor of Racism, Migration and Transnationalism in the Department of Sociology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her research interests address themes of human mobility, the production of the state categories (and political figures) of Native and Migrant, the national form of state power, ideologies of racism, nationalism and autochthony, processes of identification and self-understanding, and social movements for justice.
Professor Sharma is recently the author of Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (Duke University Press, 2020): dukeupress.edu/home-rule. She has authored numerous journal articles, including in Mobilities; Anti-Trafficking Review; National Women’s Studies Association Journal; Studies in Political Economy; and The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. She has co-edited Special Issues of the journal Transnational Social Review – A Social Work Journal (2015, 5(1)) on “Borders, Transborders, No Borders: Problematizing The “Figure Of The Migrant,” (with Cornelia Schweppe); the journal Refuge (2009 , 26:2). on “No Borders as a Practical Political Project” (with Bridget Anderson and Cynthia Wright), and the journal Canadian Woman Studies (2002, 21 (3; 4) on “Women, Globalization and International Trade.
Bridget Anderson is Director of Migration Mobilities Bristol and Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. She was previously Research Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford. She is currently working on ‘methodological de-nationalism’, and her other interests include citizenship, nationalism, immigration enforcement (including ‘trafficking’), and care labour.
Her most recent authored book is Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls (OUP, 2013). Care and Migrant Labour: Theory, Policy and Politics, co-edited with Isabel Shutes, was published by Palgrave in May 2014. Citizenship and its Others co-edited with Vanessa Hughes will be published by Palgrave in November 2015. Although now an academic Bridget started her working life in the voluntary sector working with migrant domestic workers, and she has retained an interest in domestic labour and migration. She has worked closely with migrants' organisations, trades unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international level.
Ingo Niermann is a writer and the editor of the speculative book series Solution. His debut novel Der Effekt was published in 2001. Recent books include Solution 275-294: Communists Anonymous (ed., with Joshua Simon, 2017), Solution 257: Complete Love (2016), Solution 264–274: Drill Nation (2015), and Concentration (ed., 2015).
Niermann co-founded the revolutionary collective Redesigndeutschland, invented a tomb for all people, the Great Pyramid (thegreatpyramid.de), and together with Rem Koolhaas he has been building a tool for public ballots – Vote – in Gwangju, Korea. In cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin Niermann started the international digital publishing project Fiktion (fiktion.cc). Based on his novel Solution 257: Complete Love (2016), Niermann initiated the Army of Love (thearmyoflove.net), a project that tests and promotes a just redistribution of sensual love. Niermann studied Philosophy and Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin and is currently living in Basel.
Anab Jain is a designer, filmmaker, and co-founder of Superflux, a critically acclaimed foresight, design and technology company in London working for clients like V&A, Google, DeepMind, Red Cross, UNDP and BBC. Anab’s work has won honours from Apple Computers Inc., UNESCO, Geneva Human Rights Festival, and TED. Her work has been featured on NPR Radio, BBC 4, CBC, New York Times, Evening Standard, and the Guardian, and exhibited MoMA New York, V&A Museum and National Museum of China amongst others. Anab is also Professor and Programme Leader for Design Investigations at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Her work can be found at www.superflux.in. You can follow her on twitter @anabjain
Kai Wood Mah is a design historian, licensed architect with l'Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ), and professor. A co-founder of the design research practice Afield, his architectural practice is multidisciplinary and grounded in site-specific investigations, employing archives, fieldwork, social science methodologies and research-creation. Currently, Mah is the co-investigator of Democratic Early Childhood Development, a research-creation project funded by Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The project will lead to the design and construction of two early childhood development centres. Beyond this, the centres will become boundary objects that advance our knowledge of design and politics. This research is an extension of his work on education’s architectural history and constructed environments. His writings have appeared in Visual Studies, Public, African Identities, Children, Youth and Environments, Space and Culture, and Interventions among other peer-reviewed journals as well as collected volumes.
Patrick Lynn Rivers is a political scientist and professor. Broadly interested in culture, politics and policy, and society, Rivers' interests are reflected in the book Governing Hate and Race in the United States and South Africa as well as peer-reviewed articles appearing in diverse journals like Critical Studies in Media Communication, the South African Law Journal, and Space and Culture. Published writings on contemporary political concerns by Rivers have run as opinion pieces in outlets like the The Star (Toronto), The Star (Johannesburg), and New City (Chicago) as well as long-form journalism in the progressive Canadian magazine Briarpatch.
Kai Wood Mah and Patrick Lynn Rivers co-direct Afield—a design research practice bringing comparative interdisciplinary perspective to contemporary social issues. The practice is critically informed by the integration of design and social science methodologies that advance research-creation. Afield projects range from investigations of progressive housing solutions for refugees in South Africa to the adaptive reuse of a shuttered Chicago public school located within a community impacted by postindustrialism and demographic change.
Mahmoud Keshavarz is a Researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Uppsala University. His interdisciplinary research is situated at the intersection of design studies, anthropology and critical border studies. His work has appeared in various journals and anthologies in English, Swedish and Persian. He is the author of The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility, and Dissent (Bloomsbury, 2019), co-editor of Seeing Like a Smuggler: Borders from Below (Pluto Press, forthcoming), co-founder of Decolonizing Design and Co-Editor-In-Chief of the journal Design and Culture.
Leti Volpp is the Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Prof. Volpp’s numerous honors include two Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a MacArthur Foundation Individual Research and Writing Grant, and the Association of American Law Schools Minority Section Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Award. She has delivered many public lectures, including the James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale Law School, the Korematsu Lecture at New York University Law School, and the Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture at Columbia Law School.
Volpp is a well-known scholar in law and the humanities. She writes about citizenship, migration, culture and identity. Her most recent publications include Immigrants Outside the Law: President Obama, Discretionary Executive Power, and Regime Change in Critical Analysis of Law (2016), The Indigenous As Alien in the UC Irvine Law Review (2015), Saving Muslim Women in Public Books (2015), and Civility and the Undocumented Alien in Civility, Legality, and Justice in America (Austin Sarat, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Fahad Bishara specializes in the economic and legal history of the Indian Ocean and Islamic world. His book, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2017) is a legal history of economic life in the Western Indian Ocean, told through the story of the Arab and Indian settlement and commercialization of East Africa during the nineteenth century. It was the recipient of the J. Willard Hurst Prize (awarded by the Law and Society Association), the Jerry Bentley prize (awarded by the World History Association), and the Peter Gonville Stein book award (given by the American Society for Legal History).
He is currently working on two projects. The first narrates 500 years of world history from the deck of an Indian Ocean dhow, and takes on issues of global capitalism, international law, empire, mobility, and scale in historical writing. The second explores the Indian Ocean trade in dates and uses it as a platform for examining the dynamics of a transregional bazaar economy in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but also sets that story against the backdrop of a longer connected history of the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Keller Easterling is an architect, writer and professor at Yale. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), examines global infrastructure as a medium of polity. A recently published e-book essay titled Medium Design (Strelka Press, 2018) previews a forthcoming book of the same title. Medium Design inverts an emphasis on object and figure to prompt innovative thought about both spatial and non-spatial problems.
Easterling is a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Architecture and Design. Her MANY project, an online platform facilitating migration through an exchange of needs, was exhibited at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Her research and writing on the floor comprised one of the elements in Rem Koolhaas's Elements exhibition for the 2014 Venice Biennale.
Lorenzo Pezzani is an architect and researcher. He is currently Lecturer in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011, he has been working on Forensic Oceanography, a collaborative project that critically investigates the militarized border regime in the Mediterranean Sea, and has co-founded the WatchTheMed platform. Together with several NGOs, scientists, journalists, and activist groups, he has produced maps, videos, installations and human right reports that attempt to document and challenge the ongoing death of migrants at sea. His work has been used as evidence in courts of law, published across different media and academic outlets, as well as exhibited and screened internationally.
Thomas Spijkerboer (1963) is Professor of Migration Law at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2000, and Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University (Sweden) since November 2017. He is one of the lecturers in the master’s track on International Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenchappen (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities); in 2017 he was elected as a member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Siences).
He studied law at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. From 1982 to 1986 he worked as a volunteer at the Rechtswinkel Amsterdam (legal clinic), specializing in housing law. From 1986 to 1993, he worked at Advokatenkollektief Zaanstreek (lawyers’ collective), where he specialized in asylum cases. Between 1993 and 2000 he was a lecturer in Migration law at the Catholic University Nijmegen. In Nijmegen he wrote his dissertation Gender and Refugee Status (Ashgate, 2000; Praemium Erasmianum 2001), combining qualitative, quantitative and purely legal approaches. Photograph: Bob Bronshoff
Oron Catts is the co-founder and the Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia. Catts is an artist, researcher, designer and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture and Art Project which he established in 1996 is considered a leading biological art project. In 2000 he co-founded SymbioticA, a biological art research centre at The University of Western Australia. Under Catts’ leadership SymbioticA has gone on to win the inaugural Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007) the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008.
In 2009 Catts was recognised by Thames & Hudson’s “60 Innovators Shaping our Creative Future” book in the category “Beyond Design”, and by Icon Magazine (UK) as one of the top 20 Designers, “making the future and transforming the way we work”. Catts was a Research Fellow in Harvard Medical School, a visiting Scholar at the Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor of Design Interaction (2009-2012), and a Professor at Large in Contestable Design (2015-2017) at the Royal College of Arts, London.
Alexandros Kyriakatos is interested in the intersection of art and urbanism with particular focus on industrial and post industrial landscapes. He is a fellow of the Sommerakademie Paul-Klee (2017-2019) and member of BLOCC, an educative platform seeking ways to alter the relationship between contemporary art and gentrification. He is member of the scientific and artistic committee of the International Encounters/Conference Walking practices/walking art/walking bodies. Some of his recent works were presented in the 1st meeting of the Floating laboratory of action and theory at sea (FLOATS - Lesvos, GR); Revolution- Art-Utopia (ASFA - Athens, GR); the International Conference: For a school of visual arts of the 21st century (Florina, GR).
Kyriakatos is the author of the artist book Géo-graphies Urbaines (SWB, CH); contributed for the Blackout#1 (Art and Fiction, CH) and Arte y Desindustrialización (artists from Biobío, CL). He is laurate artist for a percent for art project in a public school of the city of Renens (CH) and is currently researching the history of cartography of the island of Makronisos, site that served as camp for the extermination of the political left in Greece. Alexandros Kyriakatos studied art in the public spheres at the Ecole Cantonale d’art du Valais (ECAV) and has a background in psychology/neurosciences. He lives in Lausanne and also works as a social worker.