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The following people are invovled in the Vertical Atlas project, either as initiators, speakers in the public programmes, participants in the Labs or contributors to the publication.

Benjamin Bratton

Benjamin Bratton is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Director of The Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He is also Professor of Digital Design at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is a sociologist, architecture and design theorist who is well known for combining philosophical and aesthetic research, organisation planning and strategy, and for his publications on the cultural consequences of digitalisation and globalisation. In The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2016) Bratton outlines a new theory for the age of global computation and algorithmic governance. See Bratton gave the 2015 Benno Premsela Lecture.

Arthur Steiner

Arthur Steiner is an art historian working at the crossroads of contemporary arts, design and technology. He is researching and fascinated by aesthetics in relation to petrocultures and the strategies that artists have employed in order to investigate oil and petro-modernity.Over the years, he has developed projects across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and lived in Syria, Iran and Egypt. Through his work he has set up various art, design and technology spaces in old medinas and industrial zones along the spice, oil and data routes that are now connecting Asia and Africa.  His latest project is Digital Earth, a fellowship for research and experimentation with and around the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality. He currently works at Hivos Foundation and has initiated the ‘ROOM Program’ and the ‘Force of Art research program’ with the Prince Claus Fund and the European Culture Foundation. Together with the British Council and Nesta he is setting up a support toolkit for creative hubs and art spaces. In his hometown, Amsterdam, he is actively involved with the art space W139 and is organizing and curating exhibitions through Continuo Gallery.

Leonardo Dellanoce

Leonardo Dellanoce is an art historian who explores technological realities with art and design as navigational tools. Collaboration is at the core of his practice, as he works with artists, spatial designers and theorists on a variety of projects. Among others, he co-initiated Digital Earth, a global and decentralized fellowship for artists and designers from Asia and Africa investigating the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality. Currently, he is also editor of Archis/Volume, where he initiated the long-term research project Trust in the Blockchain Society.

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer is senior researcher in digital culture at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. He researches, develops and curates programmes on various intersections of culture and technology. His practice combines artistic, historical and scientific approaches to societal questions. At Het Nieuwe Instituut he researched and curated (among others) Garden of Machines, 51 Sprints, public talks and conferences of the Datastudio programme, he curates the Bot Club events on algorithmic entanglement, and developed the Gardening Mars / Terraforming Earth exhibition and events. Current areas of focus include datafication and algorithmic entanglement, space culture, interplay between ecology and technology. Earlier positions include programme manager at Virtueel Platform and developer of the workshop programme at Mediamatic. He teaches media theory and writing at the Rietveld Academy, and plays in Oorbeek.

Marina Otero Verzier

Marina Otero Verzier is an architect based in Rotterdam. She is currently Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut, and curator of WORK, BODY, LEISURE, the Dutch Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018. With the After Belonging Agency, Marina was Chief Curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016. From 2011-2015 she was based in New York, where she was Director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X, Columbia University. Her work, recently awarded by The Graham Foundation, Design Trust, and the FAD Thought and Criticism Award, has been published in different books and journals. Marina has co-edited Promiscuous Encounters (2014), Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016), After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay In Transit (2016). Otero Verzier studied architecture at TU Delft and ETSA Madrid. In 2013, as a Fulbright Scholar, she graduated from the M.S. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University GSAPP. She completed her PhD at ETSAM in 2016. She currently teaches at ETSA Madrid and RCA in London.

Ben Cerveny

Ben Cerveny has been designing digital experiences and technology transformation strategies for almost 30 years. He was a Design Fellow at Samsung, founded the Experience Design Lab at Frogdesign, and was Platform Strategist at Ludicorp, where he named Flickr, and his company Bloom’s app Planetary was acquired by the Smithsonian. He has served as Advisor and Strategist to Stamen, Funomena, and Aectual. Currently, he is Director at the Foundation for Public Code and, where he works toward building an open code library of digital urban public infrastructure. He also teaches in the New Normal postgraduate program at Strelka, and lectures at SCI-Arc and Sandberg Institute.

Pablo DeSoto

Pablo DeSoto is an architect, scholar and educator with an iconoclastic experience across geographic and disciplinary borders. He works at the intersection of architecture with digital technologies exploring new conceptual frameworks and cutting-edge tools. His practice-led research uses fieldwork, radical cartography and critical epistemologies to investigate the urgent political conditions of our time. He initiated Mapping the Commons, a parametrical method and participatory project on urban commons with six case studies in Europe and South America, and Drone Hackademy, a temporary hacktivist school for the use and discussion of unmanned aerial vehicles as a social technology. In the 2000s he was a co-founder of, a group of architects, computer specialists and activists.

Jaap Henk Hoepman

Jaap Henk Hoepman is an associate professor at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences of the Radboud University Nijmegen, and principal scientist of the Privacy & Identity Lab. He is also an associate professor in the IT Law section of the Transboundary Legal Studies department of the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen, and a researcher at the Tilburg Institute of Law, Technology, and Society (TILT). His research interests focus on privacy by design, and privacy friendly protocols for identity management and the Internet of Things.

Victoria Ivanova

Victoria Ivanova is a curator, researcher, and writer living in London. In 2010, working in the human rights field, she co-founded a cultural platform in Donetsk, Ukraine, which explored the intersection between activism, education and artistic research. Ivanova is one of the founding members of Real Flow—a research and development platform for socialising finance. Her practice is informed by systems analysis and her interest in infrastructures as mechanisms for shaping socio-economic and political realities. Current research interests include possibilities for new technological infrastructures to prototype post-Westphalian citizenship models. Ivanova is completing her PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths.

Fieke Jansen

Fieke Jansen is a PhD Candidate at the Data Justice Lab of Cardiff University, where she looks at data justice in the context of policing and at how data driven decision making creates new systemic injustices for targeted communities in Europe. Jansen also engages in projects related to privacy, digital security, responsible data, data protection and human rights. Formerly an employee of Tactical Tech and Hivos, she is interested in understanding the new spaces, grey areas and changing dynamics that technology bring to the world.

Vladan Joler

Vladan Joler is SHARE Foundation director and professor at the New Media department of the University of Novi Sad. He leads SHARE Lab, a research and data investigation lab for exploring different technical and social aspects of algorithmic transparency, digital labour exploitation, invisible infrastructures, black boxes and many other contemporary phenomena on the intersection between technology and society.

Marten Kaevats

Marten Kaevats is the National Digital Advisor in the Government Office of Estonia (or unofficially the Chief Innovation Officer of Estonia). He studies the impact of various scalable technologies on the spatial behaviour of individual people and communities, as he believes that the industrial revolution and the hyperlocal model of life will create reformatory changes to the spatial and social behaviour of people. Kaevats graduated from the governmental talent management programme in 2017. He is educated as an architect and city planner and lead the TAB 2015 “Self Driven City” curatorial team.

Alison Killing

Alison Killing is an architect and digital documentary maker. She works at the intersection of architecture, journalism and documentary. Her most recent work is Migration Trail, an online documentary which tells the story of refugees travelling to Europe in real time, over ten days. It was shortlisted for the Civis European Media Prize and longlisted in the One World Media Awards.

Philippa Metcalfe

Philippa Metcalfe is a PhD candidate at the Data Justice Lab, part of the ERC funded DATAJUSTICE project. She is researching how the datafication of society is affecting migrant and refugee communities in Europe, examining both the digitalisation of the border as a means of increasing control over European territories, as well as studying lived experiences and uses of digital technologies along the migration route.

Katja Novitskova

Katja Novitskova, born 1984 in Tallinn, Estonia, lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. Novitskova researches ongoing ecological transformations of matter, social and informational processes in the present world, developing personal strategies to render its complex forms. Novitskova’s works include sculptures generated from online imagery and text, installations and artist publications. In 2011, she published her first artist book ‘Post Internet Survival Guide 2010’. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions including Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018, solo), the Estonian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017, solo) among others. She was a resident at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (2013-2014).

Jasmijn Visser

Jasmijn Visser is a Dutch artist who lives in Berlin and Utrecht, and works on the intersection of art, writing, research and design. She has a deeply rooted fascination in the structural foundation of contemporary society and geopolitical conflict. Her projects comprise long term (on-site) research and interdisciplinary collaboration, with an emphasis on experimental design. She recently finalised her Conflict Atlas, Geopolitics and Contingencies on the Malvinas - Falklands archipelago in collaboration with Metahaven, which looks at geopolitical conflicts in global history through the perspective of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. Conflict Atlas was launched at Whitechapel Gallery in London. During Visser’s residency at Delfina Foundation, she studied cartography, demography, and patterns of migration.

Svitlana Matviyenko

Svitlana Matviyenko is an Assistant Professor of Critical Media Analysis in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Her research and teaching are focused on political economy of information, infrastructure studies, history and philosophy of science. She writes about the networking drive and user complicity; practices of resistance and mobilization; legacies of the Soviet techno-politics, including the Chernobyl catastrophe; information and cyberwar. She is a co-editor, with Paul D. Miller, of The Imaginary App (MIT Press, 2014); (with Judith Roof) of Lacan and the Posthuman (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and a co-author (with Nick Dyer-Witheford) of Cyberwar and Revolution: Digital Subterfuge in Global Capitalism (Minnesota UP, 2019).

Ksenia Tatarchenko

Ksenia Tatarchenko is a lecturer at the Global Studies Institute, Geneva University, specializing in the history of Russian science and technology. She has held positions as a visiting Assistant Professor of History at NYU Shanghai and a post-doctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute, Columbia. She was affiliated with the EUSP project “Russian Computer Scientists Abroad.” Most broadly, she studies questions of knowledge circulation to situate Soviet developments in the global context. Her publications reconstruct the formation of the Socialist Information Society from multiple perspectives, such as discipline consolidation, education initiatives, hobbyist communities, and gender issues.

Benjamin Peters

Benjamin Peters is an author and media scholar. He is the author of How Not to Network a Nation: the Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet and editor of Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society & Culture. An Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tulsa and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, he is currently working on the stupid history of smart media in the global North.

Valia Fetisov

Valia Fetisov is a visual artist from Russia currently working on his Masters in Surveillance Architecture at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. In his practice, he often alters standard algorithms and works with automatic systems in order to bring into view their ambiguous nature, making them take on a threatening, rather than auxiliary form. Fetisov has taken part in exhibitions, such as General Rehearsal at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2018), The Electric Comma at the Palazzo delle Zattere, Venice (2017) and Qidian at the Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum in Shanghai (2017).

Ksenia Fedorova

Ksenia Fedorova (PhD) is a media and media art researcher and curator. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Art and Image History at Humboldt University in Berlin, working on a manuscript of her book “Tactics of Interfacing. Encoding affect in Art and Technology”. She is the co-editor of Media: Between Magic and Technology (2014, in Russian). In 2007-2011, she was an initiator and curator of the “Art. Science. Technology” program at the Ural branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts (Ekaterinburg, RU). Ksenia’s research interests encompass media art theory and history, aesthetics, philosophy, techno-cultural and science and technology studies, Russian studies, as well as visual culture and curatorial studies, with a specific focus on the affects of new technologies on human perception and interaction.

Denis Leontiev

Denis Leontiev is co-founder and CEO of Strelka KB - Russia's leader in city strategy consulting. The company has the expertise in urban development and pre-design, leading the strategy consulting market in Russia. Leontiev developed instruments of implementing projects of social importance unprecedented for the country’s urban consulting market. Today these projects allow for grand-scale changes in Russian cities. Leontiev started collaboration of international experts and Russian architects in order to work on the leading-edge infrastructure in cities all across Russia. Strelka KB is a public-benefit company investing its profits in educational and public outreach programs of Strelka Institute. 

Alexander van Wijnen

Alexander van Wijnen is a member of FreedomLab ThinkTank. He has studied philosophy, public administration and history of international relations in Amsterdam and Singapore. Alexander is a public speaker and has written for, amongst others, Het Financieele Dagblad. In his research, Alexander is interested in the crossroads between geopolitics, technological innovation and emerging consumer behavior.

Femke Herregraven

In her work Femke Herregraven explores which new material base, geographies, and value systems are carved out by contemporary financial technologies and infrastructures. Her current investigations focus on the the relationship between financial value, geological instability, biological and technological self-organising systems. Her works exist both digitally and online and as well as games, drawings, prints, sculptures, video, and installations.

Sanne Stevens

Sanne Stevens works in the field of digital rights and protection. In this field her focus is improving response and resilience of activists, journalists, artists and other critical users against digital repression worldwide, including Russia. She studies New Media and Digital Culture.

Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola is a writer, independent researcher and political analyst currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on conflict and post conflict transitions, with a focus on refugees and migration, as well as East African politics generally. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera, World Politics Review, as well as chapters in edited collections. She is the author of Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Kenya and the co-editor of Where Women Are: Gender and the 2017 Kenyan Elections. Nanjala holds a BA in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham, an MSc in Forced Migration and an MSc in African Studies, both from the University of Oxford, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

'Gbenga Sesan

Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative. Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, ‘Gbenga completed Executive Education programmes at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific. His consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University and United Nations agencies, among others, in over 30 countries. 

Tegan Bristow

Tegan Bristow is an interactive media artist and lecturer at the Digital Arts Division of the Wits School of the Arts, Johannesburg. Lines of computer code are to her what a golden sunset is to a landscape painter – the stuff of inspiration and the spark of creative potential. Tegan is most interested in the space that digital art affords interaction and engagement, the place where she believes meaning is made. Apart from being involved in the creation of the first digital art festival in Africa, namely the Fakugesi, she is also working towards her PhD and regularly writes and presents papers at interactive technology forums around the world.

Serubiri Moses

Serubiri Moses is an independent writer and curator based in Kampala, UG. He is interested in meta-narratives and scholarly practices beyond the field of art. Serubiri’s book chapter on the Uganda Museum is featured in the edited volume How Institutions Think from MIT Press. He was recently on the selection committee for the 2017 and 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, ZA. In 2014 he co-curated the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival (KLA ART), with a team advised by Gabi Ngcobo. In 2013 Serubiri organized A History of Kadongo Kamu, a radio documentary on the history of recorded music in Uganda. He also edited the online journal START – A Journal of Arts and Culture in East Africa. In 2011 Serubiri was a critic at The New Vision, one of Uganda’s leading daily newspapers. In 2015 he received a fellowship at the University of Bayreuth, DE, as “Stadtschreiber” (City Writer), and is an alumni of the Àsìkò International Art School at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, NG. His writings have been featured in The Trans-AfricanfriezeManifesta Journal, and Chimurenga Chronic.

Oulimata Gueye

From 1998 to 2001, Oulimata Gueye was part of the founding team of the Batofar and co-hosted numerous international multi-disciplinary artistic events dedicated to contemporary art (artists’ residencies) and urban and electronic cultures (Festival Batofar cherche) as part of Batofar’s artistic team. She co-founded the wandering festival Infamous Carousel (Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Jeu de Paume, Les Instants Chavirés, and Point Ephémère), which she then jointly managed from 2003 to 2011. Since 2010, she has been studying the impact of digital technology on urban popular culture in Africa and closely follows the works of artists, activists, and theorists who reflect on the sociocultural, political and economic issues at play in Africa in the 21st century. Her fields of investigation include Africa sf, examining the economic, technological, political, social and aesthetic upheaval the African continent has undergone and how it is now fostering the development of imaginary worlds revolving around technology and sciences.


Halima Haruna

Halima Haruna is a designer from Nigeria, currently completing her MA in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a particular interest in African audiovisual cultures, speculative finance and the real estate industry, nature and Blackness, citizen science, the politics of translation, collective performance and sociality, and meta-fictioning. As part of her research, she investigates these topics through video, performance, design and writing. Haruna has worked as a Junior Design Architect at 3ADB Studio in Nigeria and taken part in exhibitions, such as sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, ti. at Many Studios, Glasgow. She is currently a Digital Earth fellow.


Amal Khalaf

Amal Khalaf is a curator and artist and currently Director of Programmes at Cubitt Gallery, London and Projects Curator at the Serpentine Galleries, London.  Here and in other contexts she has commissioned and developed residencies, exhibitions, workshops and collaborative research projects that address the role of art operating within pedagogy and social urgencies.  She is a founding member of artist collective GCC, was the Commissioning Editor of Projects for Ibraaz,  as well as a trustee for not/ and on the artistic committee for Arts Catalyst.  In 2016 she co-directed the 10th edition of the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai. Amal's work has been presented at Goldsmiths College, London; MoMA PS1, NY; New Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Musee D'Art Moderne, Paris; The Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Serralves, Porto;  amongst others in educational and cultural contexts.

Marc Owen Jones

Marc Owen Jones is Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities at Hamid bin Khalifa University where his research focuses on issues of social justice, technology and the Gulf. Marc has written about issues of political repression, and the use of digital technology as a form of political control. He is the co-editor of Gulfization of the Arab World (2018) and Bahrain’s Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf (2015). In addition to his academic work, he contributes to the Washington Post, New Statesman, CNN, the Independent, PEN International, and appears frequently on the BBC, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera.

Shuang L. Frost

Shuang L. Frost is a social anthropologist at Harvard University (Ph.D. candidate, 2020). She works on digital technology, political economy and social policy with a regional focus on China. Employing ethnographic and computational methods, she explores how individuals produce, experience, and moralize technological disruption in their local moral worlds. She is also committed to use her research findings to inform technological design and social policymaking that empower grassroots communities in global technological transformations.

Stanley Chan

Chen Qiufan (A.K.A. Stanley Chan) Chinese representative speculative fiction author, translator, curator. Chan is known for his stylistic combination of SF realism and new wave. His works have been translated into many languages and received multiple domestic and international awards. His representative works include Waste Tide, Future Diseases and The Algorithm for Life. Now he's running Thema Mundi Studio on developing Scifi relevant contents.

Vertical Atlas was made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Kévin Bray
Het Nieuwe Instituut and Digital Earth
Benjamin Bratton, Arthur Steiner, Leonardo Dellanoce, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer