Programme at The Glass Room London

The Our Data, Our Selves programme presented leading voices illuminating the role technology plays on society, culture and individuals, through a series of discussions, films, workshops and talks that explored aspects of living in a quantified society.

Along side the event programme, Tactical Tech trained Ingeniuses ran Ingenius Workshops that offered practical tools and resources to empower more control of your data.

Mahsa Alimardani: Tightening the Net - Censorship, Surveillance, Sanctions and Controls Online in Iran – Tuesday, 31 October, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Mahsa Alimardani is an Internet researcher leading some of Article 19’s Iran digital programs. She is researching the use of technology platforms in Iran’s information control space for her PhD at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, as well as editing Global Voices’ Iran section.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik: Bots and Angels – Friday, 27 October, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Artists !Mediengruppe Bitnik talk about their recent works on bots and the online ecosystems that has formed around them. They will retrace their recent explorations into the infidelity website Ashley Madison, which they have been using as a case study to raise questions around the current relationship between humans and machines, internet intimacy and the use of virtual platforms to disrupt the physical.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik live and work in Zurich/Berlin. They are contemporary artists working on, and with, the internet. Their practice expands from the digital to physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. !Mediengruppe Bitnik are Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo.

Naomi Colvin - Courage Foundation: Data Dissidence - Speaking Truth to Power in the 21st Century – Sunday, 29 October, 2017 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

As governments try to domesticate the internet, it's the digital dissidents - hackers, whistleblowers, minorities, citizen journalists and others - who find themselves caught in the crossfire. One month out from Lauri Love's appeal hearing, Naomi will explain how the battle lines are being drawn and what policy changes and practical solidarity can do to help the situation.

Naomi Colvin is Beneficiary Case Director at the Courage Foundation, an international organisation that protects individuals who put themselves at risk to make significant contributions to the historical record. She has written for the Guardian, FT, New Statesman and many others.

Ravi Naik: Your Data, Your Rights – Saturday, 11 November, 2017 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ravi Naik is a partner and the head of data protection and information rights department at Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors. His practice encompasses a wide range of areas including national security, privacy, data and information law. In that role, Ravi is regularly instructed on a range of high-profile and precedent setting litigation. Ravi has also written extensively on rights protection in the digital age, including on the new “data rights” movement.

Gisela Perez de Acha: Our Naked Selves as Data - Gender and Consent in Search Engines – Saturday, 28 October, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

If a woman decides to be publicly naked once, does it mean she gives her consent to be forever portrayed like that online? Artistic, political or erotic nudity can be eternal. Search engines based in the United States will forever define us by those images, placing them at the top of search results under our names. Is it the bias of the white, male programming engineers that determined our topless bodies are the most important thing? For women, choice is a loaded word, and forms the basis for a century-long struggle to decide the fates of our own bodies. A choice over our bodies and identities should belong to us. As we outsource complex search processes to opaque and external algorithms, the decision now belongs to a Silicon Valley company. In this talk, Gisela Perez de Acha will explore the right to identity linked to our data selves regarding female nudity and consent in the digital era, where search algorithms define us and the ‘right to be forgotten’ does not cover the complex nature of identity.

Gisela Perez de Acha is a Mexican lawyer and activist who specialises in free speech and gender rights within the digital world. She is the public policy manager for Latin America at Derechos Digitales, a non-governmental organisation where she mostly conducts research on algorithmic accountability and malware in the region. Gisela also runs an independent cultural centre in Mexico City where she manages art, live performances, and literature events related to technology.

Jon Ronson: Tech and Porn and Shame – Sunday, 5 November, 2017 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Jon Ronson’s nonfiction books So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures with Extremists, Lost at Sea and The Men Who Stare At Goats have all been international and/or New York Times bestsellers. The Psychopath Test spent nearly two years on the UK bestseller list. His most recent work is an Audible Original audio series, The Butterfly Effect. It was released in July 2017 and went straight to Number One in the US and UK audiobook charts. Jon’s original screenplays include the critically acclaimed Netflix original Okja, which he co-wrote with Bong-Joon Ho, and Frank, which he co-wrote with Peter Straughan. For Frank, Jon and Peter won the 2014 best screenplay award at the British Independent Film Awards. Jon’s two TED talks have been watched more than 12 million times. In the UK Jon writes regularly for The Guardian. His many UK documentaries include Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, The Secret Rulers of the World, and seven seasons of the multi-award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme Jon Ronson On…

Matt Mitchell: TECHing while Black - Wednesday, 25 October, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Matt Mitchell from CryptoHarlem leads a discussion and presentation on the various uses of state surveillance, and how surveillance disproportionately affects people of colour.

Matt Mitchell is a hacker, security researcher, operational security trainer, and data journalist who founded amd leads CryptoHarlem, impromptu workshops teaching basic cryptography tools to the predominately African American community in upper Manhattan. Matt spends his time training journalists and activists in operational and information security. His personal work focuses on marginalized, aggressively monitored, over-policed populations in the United States. Currently he is a 2016 Mozilla Foundation / Ford Foundation Open Web Fellow, embedded at Color of Change a civil rights / social justice organization. Matt is an Internet Freedom Festival 2016 Fellow, a New America 2016 CyberSecurity Initiative Fellow, an Institute For The Future “Future For Good” Fellow, and an advisor to the Open Technology Fund. He worked as a data journalist at The New York Times and a developer at CNN, Time Inc, NewsOne/InteractiveOne/TVOne/RadioOne, AOL/Huffington Post & Essence Magazine.

Adam Harvey:'Deep Facial Recognition Query' - Thursday, 26 October, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

What's a photo? And what's a face? Both are foundational terms for facial recognition systems, yet there is no clear understanding of either. This talk will discuss recent developments in biometric technologies and why facial recognition has become an entry-level term for increasingly aggressive biometric acquisition technologies. Now, with as little as 1% of one Instagram photo, it's possible to infer someone's race, gender, age, identity, emotion, intelligence, criminality, sociability and a growing list of other metadata. The talk will also present MegaPixels, Harvey's installation at The Glass Room, which explores the shadowy role we, as technology users, have come to play in training these systems.

Adam Harvey is an artist and researcher based in Berlin exploring the societal impacts of networked data analysis technologies with a focus on computer vision, digital imaging technologies and counter surveillance. His work MegaPixels, on view in The Glass Room, invites viewers to query their own face and find their visual doppelgänger among the thousands of images in facial-recognition training datasets.

Manuel Beltrán:'We, the Data Workers.' - Friday, 27 October, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Artist and activist Manuel Beltrán, founder of the Institute of Human Obsolescence (IoHO), will speak about the future of labour, particularly about our new position in society as workforce of the big data industry. Through its work, the IoHO aims to bring a shift in the understanding of our role in the economy. We are no longer users of free online platforms, but have become their unpaid workers. In this context Beltrán will introduce the work of the IoHO in its attempts to shift this unbalance, also presenting the latest developments in the project of establishing a Data Workers Union.

Manuel Beltrán is an artist, activist and researcher. He researches and lectures on contemporary art, activism, contemporary social movements, post-digital culture and new media. As an activist, he was involved in the Indignados movement in Spain, the Gezi Park protests in Turkey and several forms of independent activism and cyber-activism in Europe and beyond. His work in The Glass Room, Data Production Labour, gives visitors the chance to become part of the big-data economy just by scrolling through their social media feeds.

Brett Scott: The Politics of Blockchain Technology - Saturday, 28 October, 2017 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

We hear a lot about the technical wonders of blockchain technology, but the political philosophies, economic ideologies, ethics and governance structures found within the blockchain community are often glossed over. In this session, Brett Scott will dive into the hidden social dynamics and schisms found within blockchain projects, and explore where the technology fits within the broader financial and economic system.

Brett Scott is an economic explorer and financial hacker traversing the intersections between money systems, finance, digital technology and cities. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (2013). He works on financial reform, alternative finance and economic activism with a wide variety of NGOs, artists, students and start-ups, and writes for publications such as The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired Magazine and He produced the 2016 UNRISD report on blockchain technology, and is a Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab, an Associate at the Institute of Social Banking and an advisory group member of the Brixton Pound. He helps facilitate a course on power and design at the University of Arts London, and facilitates workshops on alternative finance with The London School of Financial Arts.

Silkie Carlo from Liberty: Big Data, AI and Human Rights - Wednesday, 1 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Joss Hands: Networks, Things and Objects: The Saving Power of Gadgets - Thursday, 2 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Scarlet Kim & Harmit Kambo from Privacy International - Thursday, 2 November, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Crofton Black War Taxonomy: An Encyclopedia of Conditions for Lethal Force - Friday, 3 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

War Taxonomy looks at the record of transactions between the US Defense Department and the private sector. This data - over 15 million items over the last nine years - traces the corporate facilitation of the state’s monopoly of violence. It is both a compilation of financial instruments and a map of the projection of force. But its size and scope present challenges of interpretation and meaning. What can the shadow cast by a network of contracting relationships tell us of events and effects in time and space?

Crofton Black is a researcher and writer. He is co-author, with Edmund Clark, of “Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition” (Aperture 2016).

Eliot Higgins (Bellingcat / The Brown Moses Blog)The End of Secrets: Conflict in the Engagement Age - Friday, 3 November, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Silkie Carlo: A Feminist Lens on Mass Surveillance - Saturday, 4 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Varoon Bashyakarla (Tactical Tech) and Louis Knight-Webb (Who Targets Me): Personal Data and Elections in the 21st Century - Sunday, 5 November, 2017 5:00 pm -6.00 pm

Power and Accountability in the Digital Economy: Personal Data and Elections in the 21st Century - Monday, 6 November, 2017 6:00 pm -8.00 pm

A discussion led by members of the New Economics Foundation, London School of Economics, and one of the directors of bringing together activists and campaigners to talk about tools and solutions for workers in the new digital economy.

Jamie Bartlett(Demos): The Rise of the Radicals - How Outsiders are Taking Over - Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 3:00 pm - 4:0 pm

Jamie Bartlett, who recently hosted the BBC series ‘The Secrets of Silicon Valley’ and is author of the new book ‘Radicals’.

"How to Hack Your Breaking News Feed" with editors and reporters from Mashable UK - Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Carl Miller: Digital Power - Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Carl Miller, founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos and author of the forthcoming book Power, talks about his attempts to track down and expose new forms of digital power that our shaping our lives.

An Inquiry into the Undetectable: Eyal Weizman of Forensic Architecture in conversation with Marek Tuszynski - Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 8:15 pm - 9:30 pm

Eyal (architect, professor at Goldsmiths, University of London and director of Forensic Architecture) and Marek will be talking about new forms of data-enabled investigations into and how they can help us learn more about previously undetectable occurrences of violence and human rights abuses

Wesley Goatley: Critical Data Aesthetics - Friday, 10 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wesley Goatley (creator of the Glass Room’s work “The Listener”) explains how critical art and design can engage with the politics of data.

Cryptoparty!Co-hosted by CryptoPartyLDN (Silkie Carlo of Liberty and Fabio Natali of Reckon Digital) - Friday, 10 November, 2017 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

We will have flash talks, drinks, and workshops in what should be a fun night with special guests.

UK Film Premiere: PRE-CRIME(2017) Written and directed by Monika Hielscher & Matthias Heeder - Saturday, 28 October, 2017 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

What if the murder of tomorrow could be prevented today? Welcome to the real Minority Report. Predicting future crimes sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s real – and it's happening right now. The film PRE-CRIME travels to Chicago, London, Berlin and other major cities to see predictive policing techniques in action: the computers and omnipresent cameras that capture and record our every move, message and purchase, and the algorithms that evaluate and analyse them. Ratings of how likely we are to commit a crime are attached to our personae. Computers spit out lists of tomorrow's criminals. But what if it's you who ends up on this list? What if the data is wrong or biased? How can we be guilty of things we haven’t done? PRE-CRIME investigates the opportunities and dangers of predictive policing techniques and meets people who use them and those who have been victims of them. Who is – and who isn’t – protected by the algorithm? We are the first generation to hand over control over our own freedom to computers. But how much freedom are we prepared to give up for the promise of total security?This will be the UK Premiere of the film, which has been touring film festivals worldwide.

Algorithmic Disobedience with Surya Mattu - Saturday, 11 November, 2017 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

What does disobedience look like in systems of algorithmic decision-making? In this workshop, artist and engineer Surya Mattu will walk through some tactics and activities for understanding the power dynamics of our data-driven world and what we can and can’t do about it.

Film Screening: Manu Luksch - The Billion Dollar Dissident: Smart Cities, Spyware and Silenced Voices - Saturday, 11 November, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Film Screening: Black Code (2016) - Saturday, 11 November, 2017 8:15 pm - 10:00 pm

Screening of a documentary about Toronto’s Citizen Lab and their work with activists worldwide who are working to protect free speech and privacy online.

Throughout The Glass Room, Tactical Tech trained Ingeniuses ran introductory level one-hour workshops that offered practical tools and resources to empower more control of your data.

Making Choices in your Digital Life
Whatsapp, Gmail, Google Search – we use these apps and tools because everyone else does, and because… what else is there? This workshop was designed to enable you to think more critically about the tools you use, what questions you should ask, and why the answers matter. It introduced some alternative chat apps, email providers, and search tools to allow you to take more control of your own data.

De-Googlise Your Life
‘One account. All of Google,’ is Google’s tagline. But what does this mean for those of us who use Google search, Google Docs, Gmail, and other Google services? What information are we handing over? Are we comfortable with a blue print of our lives being with one company… and why might we want to ‘diversify’ the services we use? This session explored these questions and the question of data ‘centralisation’, whilst also looking at what alternatives we have.

Investigating Metadata
We generate metadata all the time – when we send emails, post online, take a picture or even just walk around with our mobile phones in our pockets. This session explored metadata: what it is, why it is important and how our everyday lives can be predicted by analysing it.

Mastering Your Mobile
Your phone is talking to you, and it is constantly generating and transmitting data to others. This workshop is designed to open the box on your mobile phone. Explore how it works and find what choices and changes you can make to increase your security and privacy. Walk away with practical tips and tricks on basic phone security and detoxing your data traces.

WTF (What the Facebook)?
What aspects of your life are you sharing with Facebook? How much does this company know about you through your daily use of products like Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger and other Facebook-owned services? Why does it matter? This workshop takes a critical look at Facebook, and explores tactics for minimising the data traces you leave, through strategies and settings.

Boost your Browsing
Searching, surfing and shopping, much of it happens in your browser. Curious how your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and so on) leaves you open to tracking and profiling? This workshop focused on tools and strategies for gaining more control over your data traces, by looking ‘under the hood’ of your browser, into settings and configurations; discussing strategies of use; and exploring a few specific add-ons and extensions that will transform your browsing experience.

How the Web Works
We are always connecting to the internet via our mobile phones, tablets and computers, but do we actually know how the internet works? Learn how you can connect to the internet in different ways, and who has access to your communication along the way. Walk away with tips and tricks, but also a good understanding of how it works, so that in the future you can figure out what you think about the latest service, platform or app and if you want to use it.