April 2016 Workshop and Future Making Launch

by Dec 13, 2016

On April 13, 2016, The Future Making Research Consortium launched a new Aarhus University research project “Creating Future Memories,” led by Annette Markham, Professor of Information Studies at Aarhus University. This April workshop occurred in and around DOKK1, in Aarhus, Denmark. The broader project, ‘Creating Future Memories,’ is a citizen-focused effort to identify and foster ongoing and new creative methods of regaining control of the ‘big data’ we regularly produce in our everyday lives. As contemporary societies become more saturated in digital and social media, it takes time and effort to track our own data, much less curate it in ways that might make sense for our grandchildren. This project aims to provide a series of experimental workshops for citizens to think about what personal data is being collected by large corporations like Google and Facebook, and how this data is archived, packaged, and recycled back to us as if it represents the totality of our lives.

 

The April launch brought together a vibrant group of individuals who blur the boundaries between art, academics, and activism. I wanted to just toss them in a room together for a couple of days, to see what happened. They’re all brilliant researchers and artists. Each brings strong ethics and a concern for how we might creatively imagine and design possible futures, rather than simply accept what automated technologies might invent on our behalf. – Annette Markham, Project Leader

After a full day of meeting, brainstorming, and preparing on April 13, the group designed two different interactive exhibitions: The Museum of Random Memory and The Helpdesk of Your Future. On April 14 and 15, the group engaged with participants in the Counter Play Festival as well as citizens wandering through the open floor plan of DOKK1. More information about what happened can be found on the project pages.

Partiticipants

Dalida María Benfield

Dalida María Benfield

Director

Research and Programs

Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research, United States

“Recognizing and engaging with undervalued information and knowledge – including the situated knowledge of raced and gendered subjects – makes for a radical playfulness because it disrupts normative epistemologies.”

Christopher Bratton

Christopher Bratton

Professor

School of Art, Design, and Architecture

Aalto University, Finland

“The ways that some forms of information are prioritized over others is a product of geopolitical flows.”

Ouafa Rian

Ouafa Rian

Senior Consultant

Koncern HR udvikling

Central Region Denmark & Selvstændig udøvende konsulent, Denmark

“The future is waiting to being brought forth by our capacity to artfully intertwine and nurture it forth, gently, kindfull and with an awakened mind.”

Christian Juul Wendell

Christian Juul Wendell

Project Coordinator

Institut for (X), Denmark 

“I think data can easily bring us away from the natural interactions we need as human beings.”

Ann Light

Ann Light

Professor

Design & Creative Technology (Engineering and Design)

University of Sussex, United Kingdom

“There is value in considering participatory design as a form of anthropology, not only to understand cultures but to change them towards sustainable living.”

Elyzabeth Joy Holford

Elyzabeth Joy Holford

International Strategy Consultant

United States

“I have mixed feelings about the language of ‘curating future memory’ –with all that shaping and forming of memory, we remove ourselves from the present.”

JV Fuqua

JV Fuqua

Associate Professor

Media History and Theory

City University of New York/Queens College, United State

“What kinds of power (literally the means of powering the storage of the information) will it take to keep the past? And shape the future?”

Debora Lanzeni

Debora Lanzeni

Researcher

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

“Research and design should be an interventionist practice; futures are both embedded in and materialised through processes of technological making.”

Andrew Sempere

Andrew Sempere

Software Engineer

Switzerland

“Play is a powerful tool that allows us to create, explore and test out possibilities for the future while making sense of the past.”

Elizabeth Whitney

Elizabeth Whitney

Scholar-practitioner

United State

“The endlessness of data is often overwhelming. I am increasingly aware of the ways in which I am actively constructing my identity through the data I release into the world.”

Kasper Ostrowski

Kasper Ostrowski

Academic Researcher

Department of Aesthetics and Communication

Aarhus University, Denmark

“Artistic experiments with natural materials can provoke participants to re-consider the ‘naturally’ of everyday items by making the natural seem exotic.”

Justin Lacko

Justin Lacko

Master

Tech & Community

SingularityU Nordic, Denmark

“Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the technical aspects while forgetting that the key to creating futures is about telling stories.”

Sarah Schorr

Sarah Schorr

PhD Fellow

Department of Aesthetics and Communication

Aarhus University, Denmark

“How can slower media forms communicate alongside the digital, often gestural utterances to modify or complicate or challenge automated curations?”

Ramona Dremjluga

Ramona Dremjluga

Researcher

Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communications School

Tallinn University, Estonia

“So, the “year in review” or other online statistics/collections about me don’t hold the information most important for me, neither do they depict the things that are important for me.”

Mads Middelboe Rehder

Mads Middelboe Rehder

Assistant Professor

Research and Development

University College Copenhagen, Denmark

“To understand how everyday life is perceived from a first person perspective we must investigate the way the mediated present is experienced as embodied perceptions, which cannot be captured by automated technologies.”

Annette Markham

Annette Markham

Professor MSO

Information Studies

Aarhus University, Denmark

“Memory in a datafied era is a battle among thousands of stakeholders, political interests, and competing ideas about what is real.”

Martin Brynskov

Martin Brynskov

Associate Professor / Research Director

AU Smart Cities

Aarhus University, Denmark

“Technology is not sufficient on its own. Civic participation and co-creation are equally important components in the cities of the future.”

Bente Larsen

Bente Larsen

Researcher & Project Manager

Aarhus 2017 Academy

Aarhus University, Denmark

“What is the sound of the future? Audio storytelling remains a vital analog form in a world of datafication.”

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