A MFA class in that students observe each other through their data to inspire speculations about the implications of increasing access to our personal data trails.
Digital devices – and the networks they run on – have taken over our everyday lives. And while they help to navigate and interact with the city, they also generate increasingly revealing data trails and behavioral traces wherever we go.
Urban Fictions investigates the potential impacts of increasing access to our personal data by letting the students observe each other through their own personal data.
It creates a new methodology to speculate about the everyday future impacts of the increasing availability of knowledge in form of our personal data.
As part of the Urban Fictions class students are guided through hands-on data visualization exercises of a variety of datasets that they, as a class, are creating through their daily routine in the city. These exercises run from initially observing each other using their eyes and ears only to visualizing the behaviors of the class as a whole entity based on their aggregated personal data trails.
Inspired by this experiential perception of their own patterns and behaviors, the students then move on to speculate on the future impact of this ever-presence of data and knowledge by developing data-driven and future-based “interaction stories,” built on concrete scenarios and storytelling devices.
These scenarios manifest their thinking and serve as starting points to trigger new discussions around our potential future everyday.
Unlike most contemporary data visualization classes, where participants are the ones observing through data, here students analyze each other’s personal ‘data material’ to generate first-hand experiences of what it means to observe – and be observed – through data.
Urban Fictions is co-taught with Richard The.
©2017 Daniel Goddemeyer