The proliferation of inexpensive, small, and connected sensors has created a new set of possibilities for self-tracking and life-logging. Individuals are using these tools to generate data about exercise and activities, physiological states, cognitive abilities and moods, environmental exposures, and many other aspects of life. We are proposing a set of design explorations in the area of self-tracking to better understand the potential of sensor-based technologies to produce self-knowledge. Our approach is informed by the concept of critical making (Ratto, 2011). Critical making uses the act of design as an opportunity to explore and materially engage with theoretical and conceptual issues. Through the shared act of making, scholars, students and stakeholders jointly analyze and reflect on theory and practice. This project will allow us to ask a series of important questions: How do we understand and contextualize sensors and data they produce? Are we collecting the right data, or only the data that are sens-able? What meaningful aspects of life are inaccessible or overly accessible to sensors? How do we understand the patterns that arise from sensor data?
Critical Quantification Project Team:
- Matthew Bietz
- Cory Knobel