Data is telling tales about us. Can we trust these stories? DoxBox trustbot is a hot-pink ‘puppet-robot-hybrid’ who wants to chat. Through face-to-face or online conversation, DoxBox builds impressions about us based on what we do or don’t share and which organisations do or don’t collect data about us. DoxBox wants to find out how carefree or cautious we are with data. It wants us to reveal how informed we are about cybersecurity.
DoxBox helps us consider the trustworthiness of those we share data with, and how many data versions of ourselves we create online. It nudges us to think about the benefits or burdens of these data doppelgangers. DoxBox draws attention to the humanity or inhumanity of algorithmically and electronically mediated relationships. It encourages us to consider how data collected about us might change if factors like our age, gender or nationality were different. DoxBox makes us think whether we should question the hard evidence that data seems to provide. While seemingly an AI, DoxBox’s interactions are controlled by the Operator enacting a ‘tech drag’ performance. DoxBox rewards participants for sharing with its own unique ‘Trust Credits’.
Creator Alistair Gentry says “What surprised me about my research at the ODI was that the data we volunteer is just the beginning. There are vast quantities of extremely valuable data generated around all of our online activities without us knowing it and then yet another layer of data that is inferred from it. My research led me to want to satirise how we have become a ‘product’ to the companies that create the apps as the most valuable thing about us has become our data.”
Created following a nine-month residency at the ODI in London in 2018 and 2019.
Commissioned by ODI Data as Culture and produced as part of an ODI R&D project exploring trust in data collection, sharing and use, funded by Innovate UK.
Online version further developed in 2020 in collaboration with researchers at King’s College London, through the King’s Together Multi and Interdisciplinary Research Scheme.
**Due to Covid-19 DoxBox is currently only performing online. See booking below **
Future ‘face-to-face’ performance and tour dates will be updated here.
DoxBox trustbot is available for online performances and events. Face-to-face bookings are subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Trust us, you’re worth it. Please contact us (email link).
Bespoke software, human performer, fabricated acrylic robot, artificial intelligence
Copy That? Surplus Data in an Age of Repetitive Duplication
2020 online and at the Open Data Institute
Alistair Gentry (UK) is an artist and writer, amongst other things. He lives in the UK, currently in London. His work for publication, performance, broadcast and installation is often “subversive” (SFX), at times “startling” (The Independent)…