Transcultural Data Pact

A Live Art Action Research Role Play

Transcultural Data Pact is a game of serious make-believe, in which role-play is used to explore how personal and collective data practices and devices might shape the attitudes and fortunes of a society.

In this scenario, an historic trade negotiation is underway between two nations with shared ancestry and clashing beliefs.

One fictional group had superior technology but a mindset of exploiting the world around them, they had the DataBlox to trade (top right image). These blocks showed their social ranking, house/family and productivity ranking in a 3D AR experience.

The other fictional group owned Capturators, they were analogue buttons for sharing your emotional state with your community. This group had a much lower level of technology but much more respect for their environment and community.

An excerpt from the invitation to join in with the LARP is shown below:

Participants will each receive one of two devices in the post, and will be given different roles to play as delegates in a fictional trade negotiation. In this first meeting on record, and with minimal knowledge of each other’s cultures, the people of Ourland and New Bluestead must use their devices to communicate with each other and to agree to the terms of a technology and data-culture exchange.

What do they have to offer? How will they decide what they want and what is in their best interests? What freedoms might they sacrifice, what insights might they gain? How might they adapt a foreign technology to their own needs, and how might they understand the risks involved?

We would like to thank the 40 participants for their inspired and insightful improvised performances.

Transcultural Data Pact was created as part of Qualified Selves, a research project funded by UKRI/EPSRC between the Universities of Edinburgh and Lancaster. Exploring how individuals make sense of personal data management.

It was created by Ruth Catlow, DECAL@Furtherfield in collaboration with Kate Genevieve,, Prof. Chris Speed, Dr Kruakae Pothong, Billy Dixon and Dr Evan Morgan from the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

Prototype QR scannable datablox
prototype capturator button

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