Homo nexus and fractalis | Data Dandy | Kid of the Compost


In February 2021, Loup Cellard finished his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick, UK). Since June 2021, he is a postdoctoral research fellow doing fieldwork in Marseille (FR) on the ecological implications of data centers. His work takes part in the Melbourne Law School node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (based at RMIT, Melbourne). His research is situated in science & technology studies (STS) and materialist approaches to media studies, and focused on public sector digital transformation, data visualisation and inventive methods compounding science, art, design, and tech sensibilities.

His PhD thesis entitled Theatres of Algorithmic Transparency: a post-digital ethnography is an empirical fieldwork conducted in 2018 at Etalab, the French Open Data task force. As a researcher embedded in Etalab, Loup helped to organise design-based engagement events to elucidate social aspects of algorithmic transparency. This unique approach enabled him to formulate practice-based recommendations for the evaluation of public policies in the area of « algorithmic transparency, » taking into account both institutional constraints and democratic affordances of the politics of openness. His commitment to shaping the field of policy innovation is evident in his authorship of a white-paper commissioned by the French Open Data task force, which was recently cited in the Automating Society Report 2020 by the advocacy organisation Algorithm Watch.

Loup has written on the politics of transparency devices for the critical theory journal Multitudes, and his methodological paper proposing a “post-digital ethnography of algorithms” is in press for a special issue of New Media & Society. Prior to his PhD thesis, he worked as a data visualisation designer at the Medialab of Sciences-Po in Paris and the Digital Humanities Lab at EPFL, Lausanne. From 2011 to 2014 he was an editor of the French design criticism review Strabic, his involvement in the field of design continues through his role as an educator supervising students at the industrial design school ENSCI-Les Ateliers.


Current Projects:

« Ecological Implications of Data Centers » (2021-2024), an ethnography in Marseille (FR) conducted with Clément Marquet (Université de Compiègne). We hope to understand how companies, public agencies and civil society address the environmental conditions and limitations facing the establishment and management of data centres in urban areas.

♦ Creation of Tèque a paper-based tech criticism review in French, I will act as chief editor with Guillaume Heuguet from Editions Audimat. First issue in early 2022.

♦ « Towards a digital ethnomethodology », an exploration of how Harold Garfinkel’s ethnomethodology can be repurposed for the study of situations in digital contexts. An on-going project conducted with Robin de Mourat (Sciences-Po Médialab).