Zoom Obscura; a new collaborative research project


I’m very excited to announce that I am part of a brand new project on the politics and ethics of video-calling, which was brought into fruition by the hard work of Pip Thornton at the University of Edinburgh’s Creative Informatics. This develops on work I’ve been doing with Pip and Mark Duggan at King’s College London on optics, and is a very exciting development. This is also with a range of other external organisations including the Open Data Institute in London and the Tinderbox Collective in Edinburgh. Other academics on the project are Chris Speed and Chris Elsden at Creative Informatics, plus David Chatting who is currently doing a PhD at Goldsmiths.

We were recently awarded funding from the Human Data Interaction Network (HDI +) Ethics & Data competition to fund artists, creative technologists, and others £1000 who wish to develop projects that intervene in the politics of video calling; including over data rights, control, biometrics, and more. We are concerned about the rapid changes occurring in our everyday lives and wished to work out creative solutions to tackle the problem beyond ones that rely on third-party trust in cryptography, for example.

This will be intersecting with another project with Pip Thornton on speech data that we are also working together on and helps to inform my research on algorithms and security as part of my forthcoming research fellowship at Durham.

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