I am working at Blast Theory for the next six weeks to assist in their latest interactive experience. Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating ground breaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting.
The purpose of this residency is to assist the Blast Theory team of artists in the development of a new project that engages with user profiling and personalisation.
Many of our everyday activities, experiences and interactions with technology engage with some level of user profiling: capturing and understanding the personal and behavioural qualities of these users and their individual trajectories through life. This information can then be used to personalise the engagements they have with various services and experiences. Alongside the commercial industry, artists are now increasingly looking towards profiling and personalisation to deliver artistic or performance interactions, which the aim of enhancing the user’s experience. Blast Theory have a long tradition of experimentation and engagement with socio-political performance art and the current global concerns over privacy and ownership of personal data appear like a natural area for these artists to engage.
Blast Theory’s past work historically participates with profiling (ex. Prof Tanda & ivy4evr) and their intention appears to be a continuation along this path. Therefore, they were keen to understand the current ‘state’ of the research within this area and also recognised that many other artists, academics, broadcasters and curators are equally engaged with this topic. In response to this, Blast Theory have partitioned their annual conference Act Otherwise to explore, discuss and reflect upon issues of personalisation and profiling, with a range of professionals from the fields listed above. The Act Otherwise – The invisible Hand: On Profiling and Personalisation conference will take place on 27th & 28th February 2014.