Upon Not Opening The Black Box

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


On the eve of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect we, a university laboratory, marked the occasion with an interactive installation called Compliance. Data traces from Compliance were subsequently processed by the lab, here enacted in the form of a play. While much discussion has centered around modern 'black-boxed' processing of data, less attention has been paid to the value of the data itself, and whether it merits use. We draw on dramaturgical methods for both analysis and presentation [15], allowing for readers to imagine staging their own, different, versions of the event. Drawing on the ambiguous ontological status of (yet unexamined) data, we offer a discussion on the value of data, its use and non-use, as well as how to live with this ambivalence, continuously negotiating social contracts about our further conduct with the data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI ’20 Extended Abstracts
Number of pages9
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6819-3/20/04
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventCHI 2020 - Honolulu, HI, USA, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


ConferenceCHI 2020
LocationHonolulu, HI, USA
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • GDPR
  • data non-use
  • dramaturgical methods


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