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CF+ Lab Meeting & Workshop with Caroline Sinders: “Building a Feminist Data Set and a Feminist Technological Praxis”

CF+ will host the next Lab Meeting with machine learning designer and artist Caroline Sinders, which will include a workshop on "Feminist Data Set".


12:00 - 12:30Introduction
12:30 - 13:30Lecture by Caroline Sinders and Q&A
13:30 - 14:30Workshop with Caroline Sinders
14:30 - 15:00Break
15:00 - 16:00Networking for CF+
16:00 -17:00Discussion: How to build yourself a feminist techno-praxis?

During this meeting of the ongoing project “Reconfiguring computing through cyberfeminism and new materialism” (CF+) we will invite participants to explore what it means to establish a feminist technological praxis. An example of such praxis will be explored during a workshop “Feminist Data Set” with machine learning designer/user researcher, artist and digital anthropologist Caroline Sinders. In the past years she has been examining the intersections of natural language processing, artificial intelligence, abuse, online harassment, and politics in digital, conversational spaces. She is the founder of Convocation Design + Research, an agency focusing on the intersections of machine learning, user research, designing for public good, and solving difficult communication problems. As a designer and researcher, she has worked with Amnesty International, Intel, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation, and others.

Feminist Data Set Workshop 

This workshop will investigate varying methods of creating a feminist data set. What is feminist data inside of social networks, algorithms, and big data? A feminist data set queers the archive, the spreadsheet, and the data set. It moves beyond a white and male space, forcing the technology to reflect the community. A feminist data set acts as a means to combat bias and introduce the possibility of data collection as a feminist practice, aiming to produce a slice of data to intervene in larger civic and private networks.  Exploring its potential to disrupt larger systems by generating new forms of agency, the session asks: can data collection itself function as an artwork? How can we create data to be an act of protest against oppressive algorithms?

Participants are invited to name digital content such as image captions and images, music and texts, which they feel is feminist and queer in nature, to feed into the data set, which teaches an AI system to recognize such. Queer data is art, interviews, and writing by queer and trans folx, with special attention paid to the work of people of color data (examples: the Combahee River Collective’s “A Black Feminist Statement,” “I Want a Dyke for President,” the sculptures of Simone Leigh, Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, etc.). At this point, the data set is actively seeking non-cis and white data. This process raises questions concerning qualitative data collection and requires the group to reflect on categories supposed to capture feminism.


If you wish to participate in the event, please register by sending an email to Loren Britton, Loren.Britton[at]uni-kassel[dot]de

If you wish to become part of the broader CF+ network of scholars, artists and designers interested in the intersection between computer science and feminist theory, please also send your short biographical note to Loren.Britton[at]uni-kassel[dot]de

About CF+

CF+ is a project of the Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems research lab at the University of Kassel, Germany. The project aims to lay the groundwork for revisiting dominant modes and practices of knowledge and artefact production in computer science through cyberfeminist and feminist new materialist lenses. It also aims to consolidate a network of researchers, artists and designers working on and interested in these issues for on-going collaboration.

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