Data Practice Bibliography

boyd, danah. 2006. “Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites.” First Monday 11:12, December.

Hu, Yuheng, Lydia Manikonda, and Subbarao Kambhampati. “What We Instagram: A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types.” ICWSM. 2014.

Keefe, Patrick Radden. “The Detectives Who Never Forget A Face.” The New Yorker, August 22, 2016.

Lee, Pamela. “Identity Theft.” Jessica Silverman Gallery text

Liu, Alan. “Transcendental Data: Toward a Cultural History and Aesthetics of the New Encoded Discourse.” Critical Inquiry 31 (2004): 209-38.

Liu, Hugo. “Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communications 13 (2008): 252-275.

Manovich, Lev. “The Anti-Sublime Ideal in Data Art.” Lev Manovich. 2002. 2016-07-20.

Manovich, Lev. “Notes on Instagrammism and contemporary cultural identity.” 2016.

Ostrow, Saul. Decoding O’Doherty, Art in America. December 2007.

Paglen, Trevor. Scripts,

Whitelaw, Mitchell. “Art Against Information: Case Studies in Data Practice.” The Fiberculture Journal 11 (2008 DAC conference proceedings).

DTL 16, Data Transparency Lab

FAT-ML 16, Fairness Accountability Transparency in ML

Eleven Electronic Media Questions for Artists

2015-07-31 12.01.23

Q1. How do you like to communicate? Rank everything from voice phone call, texting, email, in person, etc. Top five only.

Q2. How do you search for art on the internet? What do you find?

Q3. What is your oldest digital file? How do you store it?

Q4. What is your oldest extant artwork? Where is it? How is it stored or displayed?

Q5. Do you have an art documentation system, and if so, what? Have you seen other art documentation systems that you liked? Do you remember how you made work ten years ago?

Q6. Search for yourself. Google, Facebook, etc. What do you see? Do you see anything missing?

Q7. Where is your oldest digital self hidden?

Q8. Do you have any media policies? If yes, detail. A media policy is an action or protocol that you put in place that regulates media. For instance, not having a Facebook account is a media policy. Only watching two hours of television a night is a media policy. Figuring out when to post on Instagram (Instagram Prime Time) is a media policy. Etc, etc.

Q9. List all current media and social media accounts accessed via the internet. Specify two or three favorites. Do you have any aliases, and if so, detail to your desired comfort level. Have you ever had an on-line account suspended or deactivated, if so, detail as above. Do you archive social media history, track meta-data, and if so detail.

Q10. Is your public representation a result of a deliberate strategy or strategies on your part, or is this just internet magic? Discuss. Do you own FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME?

Q11. What simple things do you do that are likely to work in the future? Especially for areas like password managers, image file formats, archival data, on-line, etc?

Something great from the New Yorker: The GNU Manifesto turns 30 by Maria Bustillos. Previously as Dream Freely. See Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Best practices for conservation of media art from an artists perspective for art best practices. Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, in Preserving Your Treasures.

Notes on the Grove

Notes on the Grove is 8.5 x 11 inches, 105 color pages, softbound.
Log for the Grove is 8.5 x 11 inches, 71 black and white pages, softbound.
Entertaining with Cannabis: A Journal of Concierge Services is 5 x 8 inches, 187 black and white pages, softbound.

Ongoing, started summer of 2015

Notes on the Grove is printed matter that links art practice to horticulture. This serial publication is a combination of The Surfer’s Journal with America’s Test Kitchen or PBS’ Mind of a Chef, but for the general theme of plant cultivation. The companion volume, Log for the Grove, is a blank workbook that contains typeset forms for recording details of botany experiments. A third volume, Entertaining with Cannabis: A Journal of Concierge Services, is an accompanying work of experimental fiction.All books are being given out to selected individuals to seed an exquisite-corpse style collaborative publishing project, due in 2016.

Thirty Years of the GNU Manifesto

The free software movement entering its 30th year is the ideal time to reflect on previous successes and prioritize future work.

The success has been massive. The software industry has been irrevocably changed from a model of selecting the best fit commodity proprietary software component for a given task into a knowledge-based model of crafting known good components into the custom software-hardware machines. Changing the software to fit the task and not the other way around. The idea of contributing back to development communities, and empowering others has moved from the periphery to a central part of all software development. It’s not all rosy, some obstinate people and institutions still don’t get it, but even ten years of perspective gives confidence that the worst structural barriers of the old proprietary software model have been banished for good.

There is still much to do, with both the social and the technology aspects of the free software movement.

The software aspects.

The software universe is expanding at an exponential rate. Software components are being combined into custom systems with exponentially increasing complexity. Managing this complexity is the top technical priority of the free software movement today. Solutions include conscientious documentation practices, and the development and incorporation of new visual tools into software engineering practice that supplement the usual perception of source code as literary text. Visual grammars that change perception, comprehension, and analysis of software sources exist today within proprietary confines and must be surpassed by yet-to-be devised free forms. The free software community must lead this effort and make sure that the tools and visual solutions adopted are free for all to use and fully model the capabilities of free software ecosystems.

The organizational and social aspects.

Free and open software communities are not fixed forms, and need to evolve as social movements. Experiments with new organizational forms that encourage equal participation regardless of gender, generational cohort, geographic region, or corporate sponsorship should be encouraged.


Benjamin De Kosnik is a multidisciplinary artist and engineer. He uses art to illuminate and demystify control systems in technology and media. He creates custom software, hardware, and networked systems that document human behavior on the internet, and uses that data to generate visual artifacts. He generates openly accessible archives, works on paper, single and multi-channel video art, electronic media installations, performances, and talks.


For all else, see Interests.