Ghosts, Tangles, and Data Ethics - Originally Posted February 5, 2016

Monday Feb 1 we officially launched HS Collab with the first Critical Conversations research luncheon. Our theme for the first event was: (Un)Corporeal Technologies: how data, algorithms and interfaces rub up against the body. It’s fair to say that thanks to the cadre of researchers in attendance, we began this series with an intensely rich and insightful discussion. We covered a lot of ground; below are some of the topics that emerged.

  • Detangling data from the Age of Enlightenment by challenging epistemologies and their hold on current data practices
  • Recognizing long-term, data-based histories of oppression and discrimination
  • Digital/Physical Ghosts: Recognizing and reconciling traces of trauma borne by people and data, as well as thinking about the traces of trauma residue left in machines and in human bodies
  • Imagining data, algorithms, and interfaces outside of colonialist paradigms
  • Pornography, Identity, and Query: How do online queries make visible oppressive, misogynistic, racist perceptions of identity
  • Borderland Technologies: personal technologies, non-digital technologies, technologies of necessity (border moding/Resquache tech)
  • What does it mean to thrive, and what does thriving look like to different individuals/communities?
  • How does the Quantified Self movement impact how humans relate to their own bodies?
  • Performing Data: How do we perform data and how does data perform us?
  • The ethical implications of using data for the making of art: Appropriation and exploitation in the name of art.
  • What happens when art is seen as not being ethically liable?
  • The ethical implications of profiting off of another’s personal data: Who has the agency?
  • Embodied Agency: The right to use wearable technology and not give personal data away. The right to keep data to oneself. The right to choose to participate.

At this point we are continuing to identify/generate common areas of interest. As the series continues, we'll eventually work toward topics for further exploration and next steps.

We'll be talking again Feb 22nd (Who Has the Rights?: data ownership, invisible labor, and agency) and we welcome folks who are interested in the above or related to join us.