Photo of book cover, title "There are no facts: Attentive algorithms, extractive data practices, and the quantification of everyday life". Photo of the author, Mark Shepard of UB Architecture.

Shepard was awarded a 2022 Graham Foundation grant for this book in recognition of its contribution to diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.

Mark Shepard [] is an artist, architect and researcher whose work addresses contemporary entanglements of people and data, code and space, knowledge and power. His book, There Are No Facts: attentive algorithms, extractive data practices and the quantification of everyday life, forthcoming from MIT Press (November 2022) unpacks how attentive algorithms and extractive data practices are shaping space, influencing behavior, and colonizing everyday life.

Articulating post-truth territory as an architectural and infrastructural condition, it shows how these spatial architectures of attention and data mining are in turn situated within broader histories of empiricism, objectivity, science, colonialism, and perception.

These entanglements of people and data, code and space, knowledge and power are considered across scales ranging from the trans-locality of the home to the planetary extent of the COVID–19 pandemic, with stops at the corner bodega, a neighborhood for the proverbial 1%, a waterfront district in Toronto, and a national election. The book probes how these socio-technical systems bracket what we know about the world, how they construe our agency to act within it, and how they shape these spaces that, in turn, shape us.

About the Author

Shepard is an editor of the Situated Technologies Pamphlets Series (The Architectural League of New York) and editor of Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture and the future of urban space (MIT Press). His work has been exhibited at museums, galleries and festivals internationally, including the Venice International Architecture Biennial; the Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Transmediale, Berlin, Germany; and the International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam, the Netherlands, among others. Mark is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, where he directs the Media Arts and Architecture Program (MAAP) and the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (CAST).

The event features a reception and panel discussion with Shepard and three internationally recognized scholars working across the field of architecture and media. 

Photo of Molly Wright Steenson.

Molly Wright Steenson | Carnegie Mellon School of Design


Molly Wright Steenson is Vice Provost for Faculty at Carnegie Mellon. She is also Associate Professor in the School of Design and the K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics & Computational Technology. From 2018–21, she was Sr. Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine Arts. Molly is the author of the book Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, 2017), which explores the radical history of design, architecture, AI and cybernetics from the 1950s to the present. She's the co-editor of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019) with Laura Forlano and Mike Ananny, an edited volume that looks at the impact of the Bauhaus as it turns 100. She also researches the ethical impact of AI. Molly holds a PhD in architecture from Princeton University and a Master's in Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture.

Photo of Malcolm McCullough.

Malcolm McCullough | Taubman College, University of Michigan


Malcolm McCullough is a professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he teaches architecture and media arts. He is the author of four widely read books on digital design: Ambient Commons (MIT Press, 2013), Digital Ground (MIT Press, 2004), Abstracting Craft (MIT Press, 1996), and Digital Design Media (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991, with William Mitchell). Prior to joining Taubman College in 2001, McCullough taught at Carnegie Mellon University  and the Harvard GSD. Currently, he is at work on data visualization for the augmented city. His latest book, Downtime on the Microgrid (MIT Press, spring  2020), explores local resilience and the cultural role of urban infrastructure. McCullough received his Master of Architecture from UCLA and his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.

Photo of Hadas Steiner.

Hadas Steiner | University at Buffalo Department of Architecture


Hadas A. Steiner is an associate professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, who researches cross-pollinations of technological, scientific and cultural aspects of architectural fabrication. She is at work on a manuscript, The Accidental Visitant, which studies the impact of the modern field of ornithology on architecture and the conceptualization of the built environment as an ecosystem.  Steiner is the author of Beyond Archigram: The Technology of Circulation (Routledge) and her scholarship and reviews have been published in OCTOBER, Grey Room, New Geographies, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of Architecture and arq.