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The RDA Data Rebel Alliance 2.0: Transformative Data Futures

15 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Submitted by Freyja van den Boom

Meeting objectives: 

Art is not a mirror with which to reflect reality but a hammer with which to shape it

– Bertolt Brecht

The Data Rebels Alliance invites passionate researchers, scholars, and practitioners from diverse disciplines to join our Birds of a Feather group focused on exploring research at the intersection of the arts and science.

Why ?

Arts-based research is a term that covers a variety of research methods that use one or more forms of art to collect, analyze, or present data. Arts-based research can offer different ways of knowing the world that involve sensory, emotional, and intellectual aspects. It can also enhance the creativity, collaboration, and communication of researchers and participants.

Arts-based research can be useful in the context of data science, as it can help with the goal of building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing and re-use of data. Some of the benefits of arts-based research are:

We are seeking individuals who are interested to contribute to shaping an active RDA community of rebels with a mission to work towards transformative change in our respective fields of work by exploring innovative research approaches and interdisciplinary collaborations.

“Our task is to make trouble, to stir up potent response to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places.”
― Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene

The objective of this first session is to a) see whether people are interested to join and b) to discuss what our mission/focus should be. (We will start by sharing our idea which is to find like-minded people within RDA who are already active and/or interested in the relationship between arts and data/research)

Participants of this session will have the opportunity to comment on why we should establish the RDA Rebel Alliance, the group’s focus, objectives, and activities if we decide to take this forward.

What we hope to achieve with setting up the RDA Rebel Alliance is

If you are enthusiastic about exploring the possibilities of arts-based research and creative practices in your field and want to be part of an inclusive community that supports and inspires one another, we invite you to join our Rebel Alliance.

The motivation for the Rebel Alliance is that we would like to connect people within the RDA community who use less common research methods including various arts, design and futures studies approaches depending on what their respective research requires.

Themes of interest include, but are not limited to:

Meeting agenda: 


20 min The need for Rebellious Research: Introducing the motivation for the BoF and hearing why/what motivated people to attend.

5 min Arts Provocation to get people into the ‘right’ mood/mind to brainstorm

30 min: Break-out Groups: Brainstorm session using Design Thinking to find common interests and shape/select possible topics for the BoF to focus on)

30 min: Plenary Group Discussion: Go/NoGo: Do we agree we have a mission within and outside of RDA and if so what do we want to collaborate on achieving

10 min: Close with the mission statement and agenda for the next meeting

5 min Artistic intervention to leave people with a sense of communit

Type of Meeting: 

Working meeting

Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

Previous work includes presentations and AIFutures workshops conducted in Japan, Taiwan and NY. The feedback and insights gained indicated there is a need for community building around arts-based research.

Thailand University, AI Ethics and Diversity Futures Workshops and Guest Lecturer on THAILAND FUTURES and Environmental Humanities

Parsons School of Design, NYU Guest lecturer/artist presentation. Speculative Design and Radical IoT
Topic: Speculative design AI FUTURES, The State of Glitch

Tamkang University, Taiwan Guest lecturer, Graduate Institute of Futures Studies
Workshop series on using Speculative design within Future Studies, focus on AI and Societal challenges
including Climate Change, Human-AI interactions and non-western cultures

Open Hardware Summit, 2023
Speculative Design and Futures Workshop The State of Glitch

Volkswagen Stiftung/Herrenhausen Conference, 2022
“AI and the Future of Societies” Poster presentation: The State of Glitch on speculative design in Transdisciplinary AI research

ACM FAccT 2022
– Session Chair and AI Imaginaries research

Amsterdam University Netherlands
Guest lecturer, M.A. International Technology Law Topic: Love, sex and violence beyond flesh and blood: Regulating Human-Machine Interactions

BoF applicant serving as contact person: 

Freyja van den Boom

Additional links to informative material: 

publications/reference readings

Artefacts and C[H]arms, AI narratives project workshop report Vandenboom, F (2022) on file with author

Brownsword, R (2019) Law, Technology and Society: Reimagining the Regulatory Environment, Routledge;

Brecht, B. (1960). The Caucasian chalk circle. London, U.K.: Methuen

Bartlett, R. (2013) Playing with meaning: using cartoons to disseminate research findings. Qualitative Research 13(2) 214–27;

Cross N (1982) Designerly ways of knowing. Des Stud 3(4):221–227.

Dunne and Raby (2013) Speculative Everything, Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, The MIT Press

Eisner, E. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Chatziathanasiou, K (2022) Beware the Lureof Narratives: ‘Hungry Judges’ Should not Motivate the Use of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in Law. German Law Journal (23) 2022, 452–464.

Graves, Jen. 2014. What Only Artists Can Teach Us About Technology, Data, and Surveillance. The Stranger, December 10, 2014.

Greenwood, J.  (2019, February 25). Arts-Based Research. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education.

Gardiner, R. (2015). Troubling method. In Gender, authenticity, and leadership (pp. 108–129). London, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Leavy, P. (Ed.). (2017). Handbook of arts-based research. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Schön D-A (1984) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Basic Books, New York

Van den Boom, F (2023) The State of Glitch, a speculative design provocation for inclusive AI futures, in Morals & Machines Journal published by Nomos publishing house. DOI:10.5771/2747-5174-2022-2-42


Meeting presenters: 

Freyja van den Boom plus Guest

Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 

Artificial Intelligence and Data Visitation (AIDV) WG

Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 

Social Dynamics of Data Interoperability IG

Contact for group (email):

If “Other,” Please specify:: 

Transforming Research and improving diversity and impact in society through Arts and practice based approaches

Driven by RDA Organisational Member: 


Please indicate at least (3) three breakout slots that would suit your meeting.: 

Please indicate a minimum of (3) three breakout slot (s) that would suit your repeat session in a different time zone.: 

Are you willing to host a second, repeat session in a different time zone?: 


Have you previously held a session at plenaries?: