Towards a ‘minor data’ manifesto
Author(s): Smolicki, Jacek; Frigo, Alberto
With this paper we aim to introduce a concept of minor data. In relation to debates around data that concentrate on utilitarian and security-related implications of data production, aggregation, and dissemination practices, we have identified a lack of attention toward the aesthetic and cultural value of personal data practices. Minor data as we discuss it here is intended to be seen not as a solution to problems related to big data. Similarly, minor data is not motivated to compete with the concept of big or small data; it is not an attempt to counter-act but rather to build a parallel narrative on how personal data practices can be conceptualised and performed differently; it is a reflective and critical contribution to the debate on the pervasiveness of data practices at large, performed from a particular, minor perspective constituted by a set of artistic practices. Through a performative, semi-structured conversation we discuss our aesthetics as concerned with crafting personal data practices to shed light on alternative forms of talking about and living with data and technologies concerned with data accumulation and dissemination. The paper consists of a brief introduction in which minor data is introduced in relation to other concepts that use data and a modifying adjective (big and small) that stresses the quantitative dimension and scale. After this introduction and a brief contextualisation we present the reader with a draft of a manifesto in which several important attributes of minor data are laid out. This manifesto is followed by a conversation that addresses the conceptualisation of the manifesto. The conversation is a retroactive step, moving back as to reveal the flux of thoughts and observations that led us to the more solidified points of the manifesto.
Smolicki, Jacek; Frigo, Alberto: Towards a ‘minor data’ manifesto. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 5 (2016), Nr. 1, S. 199–214. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/3332.
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