In August I attended a workshop organised by the Data Ethnographies initiative, RMIT University. It took place during an afternoon in Copenhagen. The intention was to better understand how the concept data can be understood. The theme was “Broken Data” and this was the starting point for the discussion:
In a world where predictive big data analytics and data driven policy and design are increasingly prevalent, the concept of broken data seeks to interrogate and disrupt the possibilities associated with these trends. Concepts of breakage, damage and repair, and recent literatures about ‘broken world’ type theories, offer us an alternative starting point: what are the implications of putting these concepts at the centre of our understanding of digital data and its futures? By whom and where does data explicitly and more invisibly manifest itself as broken, incomplete and damaged? How is it repaired?
What might an agenda for broken data research look like? And why might we need one?
I did a video based on the workshop. The video is an attempt to mix documentation of Academic presentations and discussions with experimental film:
The result of the workshop was, together with the video, presented as a joint Position paper.
As one of the scholars invited to introduce the theme of Broken data, I also wrote the paper The Noise at The End of The Data Stream.
The scholars participating in the workshop were:
- Sarah Pink
- Minna Ruckenstein
- Robert Willim
- Elisenda Ardevol
- Martin Berg
- Melisa Duque
- Vaike Fors
- Debora Lanzeni
- Francesco Lapenta
- Deborah Lupton