Out of Data

All Things Optimal

An Interdisciplinary Workshop

CIM, University of Warwick

Participants: Michael Dieter, Beatrice Fazi, Silvio Lorusso, Celia Lury, Emily Rosamond, André Spicer & Nathaniel Tkacz


As a subset of applied mathematics, optimisation focuses on modelling solutions to practical problems or ‘classes’ of problems as contexts for abstract reasoning and the invention of logical methods. With the spread of big data infrastructures, these techniques are increasingly applied to a wide variety of social, cultural and political settings. From corporate logistics and operations research to movements like the quantified self or marketing doctrines on wellness, optimisation appears as a master category for dealing with uncertainty in the twenty-first century.

How should we understand methodologies that aim for the optimal? What power relations emerge through their automated ubiquity? How might they be historicised, and how do they frame contemporary onto-epistemological problems?

This interdisciplinary workshop brings together historical, critical, sociological and artistic perspectives to investigate such questions in the era of big data, and to consider the potentials and pitfalls of all things optimal.


All welcome, please RSVP by Wednesday 18th of October – m.j.dieter@warwick.ac.uk



  • 25 October 2021