Data as Culture


The Open Data Institute was co-founded in 2012 by the inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and AI expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt to address today’s global challenges using the web of data. We are headquartered in London and have an international reach, with a global network of startups, members and nodes working to promote open innovation around the world. See our main site for more on what we do.

Data as Culture is led by Julie Freeman and Hannah Redler as part of the Participation, Engagement and Culture team. The programme is overseen by ODI CEO Jeni Tennison (CEO) with support from the ODI team, associates and members.

Julie Freeman – Art Associate

As co-lead of the Data as Culture art programme, Julie considers the profound impact that the web of data is having on our culture.

As an artist, Julie’s focus is the investigation of data as an art material, using it to create work that reflects the human condition through the analysis and representation of live animal data. As a computer scientist, artist and speculator, Julie oftens works collaboratively and experimentally with scientists. Her work has been shown widely in the UK and internationally, and she has won awards from the Wellcome Trust, the Arts Council and Nesta.

Based in the UK, Julie is a TED senior fellow and a doctoral candidate in Media & Arts Technology at Queen Mary University of London. She is also a co-founder of Fine Acts, an organisation raising awareness of human rights through art.

Hannah Redler Hawes – Associate Curator in Residence

As a contemporary art curator, Hannah specialises in emerging artistic practice within the fields of art, science and technology, with an interest in participatory process. She develops projects for museums, galleries, corporate contexts, digital space and the public realm with a current focus on open data, networked culture and new forms of programming beyond the gallery.

With over 15 years in senior management in museums and galleries and 18 working on capital projects, Hannah has curated projects on biomedical science, energy, climate science, photography and digital technology. She enjoys projects that redraw boundaries between different disciplines.

Previously Head of Arts Programme at the London Science Museum, Hannah commissioned and collected over 100 emerging, mid-career and blue-chip artists.

She regularly speaks and writes on art and science, new media, new institutionalism and digital creative industries, and enjoys teaching and lecturing to art, photography and curating students.


ODI and Data as Culture branding, and exhibition designs by Adrian Philpott, Philpott Design.