Data selfies and data suckers: internet advocacy through digital art

Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Time: 09:45 - 10:45 AM
Room: Gallery
Skill Level: Beginner
Language: English
Duration: 1 hour(s)
Format: Advocacy, Policy and Research
Presenter: KevinZawacki
Other Presenters: Hang Do Thi Duc, Joana Varon and Becca Ricks
We generally associate advocacy work with petitions, pickets, and door-knocking. But powerful advocacy can be more subtle, and far more artistic. In this session, three artist-technologist-activists will talk about imbuing their digital art with a point of view. All three session leaders create art on the internet, for the internet: apps, films, paintings, and other media that tell stories about online privacy and security. Hang Do Thi Duc ( is a coder, artist and Mozilla Fellow who creates apps and artwork that explore issues like online privacy. She’s the force behind Data Selfie (, the browser extension that reveals how deep Facebook tracking goes. Hang is a German Fulbright and DAAD scholar, and received an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons in New York City. Joana Varon ( is a Mozilla Fellow and Executive Directress and Creative Chaos Catalyst at Coding Rights, a women-run organization working to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and its application. Joana is the force behind Chupadatos, the Data Sucker (, which uses art and storytelling to highlight how pervasively data is being extracted and used in our daily interactions with our city, our homes, ours bodies and our pocketbooks. Especially for IFF, we will present for feedback of the community a demo of a browser extension that help us clean ad preferences within Facebook. It is a tool that we are preparing for the next article of Chupadados about how targeted ads deals with gender preferences. Becca Ricks ( is a creative technologist and researcher thinking about data privacy in the context of corporate surveillance. As a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow, her work investigates how social platforms and digital services collect, monetize, and disclose data about their users. Becca is based at Human Rights Watch, where she researches how individuals use encryption to secure themselves online.
Target Audience:
Anyone interested in art, media, the internet, and the intersection of these areas. (So, pretty much everyone.) There’s something for coders, digital artists, and activists.
Desired Outcome:
We want to start a stirring conversation about the role of digital media online, and in the realm of advocacy. We want to empower coders and artists to insert a point of view and principles into their work; and we want to empower activists to leverage all the tools at their disposal.