Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern, Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Media Studies and the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver the lecture “Arboreal Intelligence” on the entanglement of data, capital, ecologies, epistemologies, with trees from her recent work “Tree Thinking.” Javairia Shahid will provide the introduction and later be joined by Michiel Helbig to provide a response following the presentation and host a Q&A session.

From 2004 to 2022 Shannon Mattern served in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities; Deep Mapping the Media City; Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: 5000 Years of Urban Media, all published by University of Minnesota Press; and A City Is Not a Computer, published by Princeton University Press. She also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places Journal. In addition, she serves as president of the board of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and regularly collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions. You can find her at



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