Data Stories

Dr Julie Freeman


Who are you?

Julie Freeman – Art Associate

What is your role in the project?

Project lead, art producer and curator

Why are you part of DataStories and what do you hope to achieve?

I co-lead the Data as Culture art programme at the ODI through which we aim to engage diverse audiences with artists and works that use data as an art material. We are aiming to work with community groups to create new artworks, games or other creative outputs that explore the themes of the Data Stories project such as data for civic good, understanding fake news, gaining data trust through literacy.

Why are you interested in DataStories?

I’m interested in working directly with communities to find out how they perceive data, and how they want to use it. The media takes centre stage in this perception and I feel that it’s important to present different sides to the story, giving citizens the power to make their own choices. Working with artists and interrogating data creatively can help us understand it in broader and deeper ways – I hope we can tackle some of this throughout the Data Stories project.

Can you tell us an example of a data story that you care about?

I’m interested in the natural world so one of the most important stories for me is the launch of the¬†ICARUS initiative, an animal tracking project that aims to provide real-time animal data from satellite technologies. Being able to represent to real-time data is hugely important as the sense of connecting right here right now gives us a sense of urgency which can hopefully spark a change in behaviour. This kind of data can help us detect changes in, and protect, animal migration routes, which ultimately will help us understand how our planet is changing. This is a long-term data story.