The Odd Interpreters

The Odd Interpreters is a family of artifacts which reimagine data encounters in the home.

Broadcast is particularly focused on what we call 'Imaginary Leaps', the conceptualization of places and spaces that data venture to on their journey to and from the home. We argue that more abundant, playful, and imaginary encounters with home data might offer a site for reclaiming data for home dwellers. Broadcast uses sound as an analogy to interpret and imagine data's travel. Specifically, the sounds focus on two aspects of data: how they travel, and where they go. Broadcast provokes people to imagine data's volume, speed, intensity, and destinations.

To listen to data sounds, people can 'tune in' by turning the blue sphere on Broadcast.

Soft Fading is an analog device that slowly collects sunlight data on a cylinder of revolving turmeric dyed fabric. We created Soft Fading to offer a subtle and diffuse way of noticing data, or of being with data. We argue that, in everyday life, data do not need to be constantly engaged with. In fact, many people just notice, perhaps from the corner of their eye, elements of data enmeshed within their daily life. As a way to diversify opportunities for data engagements, we propose that data may simply be 'lived with' over time, in a soft, calm way.

We hand dyed fabric with turmeric, because of its natural ability to fade and its amazing yellow color.

Data in the home are often perceived as passive, in the background, and are kept 'just in case' they are needed. With the Data Bakery, we bring data to the forefront and create a 'performative' way of encountering one's home data: by baking it into cookies. Data Bakery is a service that provides a cookie recipe based on two week's worth of smart plug data in a home. The Data Bakery includes a printer, smart plugs, and recipe booklet/guide.

Jena McWhirter, Eve Peng, Chandler Simon, Jeremy Viny, Miki Bin, Ruby Peven, Justin Petelka, Abhyudaya Gupta, Aman Mohammed, Tom Liu, Trevor White, Min Jung Koo, Nick Logler

2018 H2 Mozilla Research Grant

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Soft Fading
Data Bakery