Insecure Attachments

An experiment in developing feminist data protocols and a study of the complex relationships between between data vulnerability and affective vulnerability.

Interpersonal vulnerability has recently been embraced in both academic and popular culture contexts as a potential catalyst for positive outcomes. In contrast, among growing interpersonal, corporate, and state-level privacy concerns, the vulnerability of information is increasingly volatile, multiplying opportunities for exploitation. This project highlights the inherent tensions between making our selves and our data vulnerable.

The initial run of Inscure Attachments lasted one month in 2016, during which the project’s collaborators assumed the role of both researchers and research subjects, and remotely inhabited a publically accesible digital space modeled after a domestic setting. Their presence in the space included a real-time archive of the entirety of their text-based communications, daily live-streamed hangouts during which they attempted and subsequently analyzed a series of progressively vulnerable conversations and exercises, as well as shared digital care packages. The experiment was made public by repurposing existing platforms, demonstrating the difficulty and tedium of accessing one’s "own" data through their interfaces.

At the completion of the month-long study, the project was re-envisioned as a static publication of findings, where it is presented alongside documentation of the protocols used to access and share data.