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Digital Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshops

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Public Programs

Digital Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshops

July 22 2017

In conjunction with “Paul Ramírez Jonas: Half-Truths,” this afternoon of workshops extends the exhibition’s inquiry into the complexities of determining identity and truth to the online sphere. Addressing increasing vulnerability and participation in surveillance, artists and activists will offer tools to learn about how data is mined and fed back to us, as well as strategies for self-protection, particularly for members of vulnerable communities. Workshops will support the demystification of hidden processes through both tactile, hands-on experiences and analytic software. Workshops are presented in collaboration with Equality Labs and NEW INC residents DATA X and Taeyoon Choi.
“Digital Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshops” are organized on the occasion of the exhibition and residency “Paul Ramírez Jonas: Half-Truths,” part of the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s annual Summer R&D Season: SOCIAL JUSTICE.

Part I Handmade Computers with Taeyoon Choi (1:30PM - 3:00PM):
What is computer, really? Computer is an idea that’s evolved over time. The sleek machines we use day-to-day are made from elements extracted from the earth, and every bit of data is actually something, somewhere. And underneath the operating systems, there’s a history that needs to be examined. Let’s build a computer, from its most fundamental elements: Adder, Clock, and Memory. By handmaking a computer, soldering electronic components, we may find an elegance in the abstraction and repetition of computational logic that can only be described as “poetic.” The 1-Bit Computer Kit is an open-source tool and curriculum for making computing more accessible. By learning how computers work on a fundamental level, participants can gain agency and imagine a reciprocal relationship with technology. We can make technology more approachable by giving access to tools and ideas and demystifying computer science.

Taeyoon Choi is an artist, educator, and activist based in New York and Seoul. His art practice involves performance, electronics, drawings, and installations that often form the basis for storytelling in public spaces. He has published artists’ books including Urban Programming 101 (2011) and Anti-Manifesto (2012), and has presented collaborative performances at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, and NEW INC. Choi also cofounded the School for Poetic Computation, where he continues to organize sessions and teach. Recently, he has been focused on unlearning the wall between disability and normalcy, and enhancing accessibility and inclusion within art and technology.

Part II Data Selfie with DATA X (3:15PM - 4:00PM):
DATA X will demonstrate Data Selfie, a browser extension that aims to provide a personal perspective on data mining, predictive analytics, and our online data identity—including inferred information from our consumption. Algorithms and Big Data are increasingly defining our lives. Therefore, it is important—especially for those who are indifferent to this issue—to be aware of the power and influence your own data has on you. DATA X believes in information transparency, online consumer protection, and the democratization of the internet.

DATA X is a creative studio that works at the intersection of data, society, and education. They believe in information transparency, online consumer protection, and the democratization of the internet.

Part III Digital Self-Defense with Equality Labs (4:00PM - 6:00PM):
Equality Labs, a South Asian women’s, gender non-conforming, and trans tech collective will present a security self-defense training for your digital movement. In this two-hour workshop, learn more about the surveillance state and how you can be part of a collective self-defense movement to secure our phones, computers, network access, identities, and communication.

Equality Labs is a human rights start-up working at the intersection of story, art, and security. They support movements dealing with intractable systems of oppression through a collaborative model that connects multiple disciplines and platforms to maximize potential for change and engender workable, community-driven solutions to the most pressing challenges we face. They are also the first South Asian women’s, gender non-conforming, and trans technology collective whose leadership represents South Asian cultural and religious minority communities, including Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians.