User:Andre Castro/FactoryReset/1.3/DataFactory Transmedial

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Call text

The exhibition programme is particularly oriented towards artworks that explore ambiguous and problematic relationships to technology and challenge common perceptions of it as a rational or creative tool.

  • artworks exploring problematic relationships to technologies
  • that challange techonolgies' perception as rational or creative tools

we are looking for works that interrogate processes of techno-cultural displacement: outsourcing, digital labor, user-generated content and prod-usage as phenomena that work to redefine cultural production.

when networked collaboration and participation have become compulsory components of a new cultural industry, what are the critical technological practices?

We recognise the user as a highly inventive figure occupying this techno-cultural landscape with all sorts of unruly and irritated behaviour,

sum up of idea

I began to work on the Data-Factory proposal for Transmedial. I found some parts of the call's text quite relevant for the my proposal, namely: 'when networked collaboration and participation have become compulsory components of a new cultural industry, what are the critical technological practices?' and 'We recognise the user as a highly inventive figure occupying this techno-cultural landscape with all sorts of unruly and irritated behaviour'.

I started to create a small fiction whereby the figure of the user is conceived as pro-active, that determines what data is hold about him/her, and is aware of who possesses that data.

The phone calls are put-forward as research to how direct marketing companies have so far responded to the idea.

I have briefly sketched some ideas for the proposal, and an online consumer manifesto.

At this point I am not yet sure if all this makes sense at all, but feel that it can make it a richer project and feed future developments (it could be turned into a service for user to define their database, which eventually I will try to sell to companies and inform user on who possess their data).

It would be great if you could tell what you you think about it.

A sketch of the proposal and the manifesto follows. Please excuse any typos, or incongruities, it's still just an idea.




"You agree to provide, maintain and update true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the registration processes...Digital Chocolate may disclose Your information to third party advertisers in accordance with its Privacy Policy" (Galaxy Life's (Facebook game) Terms of Service )

Despite being a known fact to most people, the Internet industry still tries to keep hush hushing the fact that users are provided with 'free' services in e\ xchange for the possibility of accessing, gathering and selling their personal data. If these are the game's rules why can't then the whole thing be more ho\ nest and can't users voluntarily donate their data to direct marketing companies?

Such process will not only give users more control over their data, as well as allow companies to spam them in more effective way with advertising target \ to their real needs and desires.

No longer will users face ridiculous situations such as myself constantly receiving ads for a position as PHP developer, when I have no knowledge of \

PHP, or my facebook ads being in Dutch, which I can't read, simply because I have been logging-in from The Netherlands.

As a pilot study, I phone a number of marketing companies, offering them my personal data.

XX Although answers were not that promising, I am confident about such a proactive user role in the Internet economy.


Data is one of the main products resulting from the user's online life. Gathered from their profile choices (gender, relationships and family, current location, hometown, work and education, religious views, etc) and activity (search queries, contacts made, what events they attend to, what they seem to appreciate, where from and at what times do they login, etc). . [Try to describe briefly the complete profile, of data gathering to user targeting .. Such data is essential for the creation the user's data profile, ... which is then used supposedly target users speificly according to their profile (interest and choices).

Data generating labor is not only imaterial, but also invisible to those who generates it. Mechanisms are devised in such a way that allow an easy access to the user's data production, circumvention his/her awareness of exact information which is accessed, the moments when is being accessed, its destination, and the profit resulting from its commodification. What if users would willingly provide their own data to direct marketing companies and web2.0 platforms? In that way users will know what information companies hold on them, but also allow such companies to target users more effectively, according to their actual interests and particularities, while sparing users from being spammed with random ads, and consequently consider all online ads as rubbish.

In order to assess the viability of such idea within the e-marketing industry I decided to call a few direct marketing companies and attempted to sell them, or in case when money is a problem, to offer them my own consumer data. The reactions to such proposal were recorded and gathered under the Data Factory archival webpage. Although not exactly enthusiastic, I believe companies are not yet able to forseen possibility of such enterprise. Nontheless am confident about the advantages from both sides of entrusting a more pro-active and concious role the user-consumer, therefore I will not give up on its development.

For Transmedial2013 exhibition I propose to present the Data Factory archival webpage, containg all the reactions received until the date of the festival.


We consumers embrace online advertising.

We consumers want online platforms to remain free of charge.

We consumers understand the need of business models for online platforms.

We consumers only want to be presented with ads that are relevant for us.

We consumers want advertising that is meaningful, beautiful and made to measure.

We consumers want to be in charge of our market research profiles.

We consumers want openness and honesty when it comes to collecting our information.

We consumers want to be treated as individuals and real people, and not simply as records in a database.

We are producers of data We want to be in control of our means of production


Data sources

[note relevant for application]
personal registration information, 
cookies that store “user preferences”, 
log information (requests, interactions with a service, IP address, browser type, browser language, date and time of requests, cookies that uniquely identify a user), 
user communications, 
location data
search history

s development.