Shannon Mattern is a Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. 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

Talk: Thinking with Trees

Watch this talk via Zoom // passcode: 357582

Abstract: Trees have played a fundamental role — throughout history and across cultures — in shaping the ways humans and machines process information, create order, and make decisions. This talk will examine the applications, affordances, and limitations of various forms of arboreal intelligence: thinking about and with trees, deliberating in and under trees, and modeling information through arboreal structures.