Rules of Engagement

November 2020–2021

Curated by Antonio Roberts
Launched at the ODI Data Futures Summit

Rules of Engagement presents the work of three artists whose collective works make a case for ethical practices when working with data.

Following numerous scandals involving data towards the end of the 2010s the industry is now being forced to ask critical questions about its data collection and handling practices, and to consider embedding ethical practices at all stages. The old model of ‘move fast and break things’ has brought with it accelerated innovation but also an increased risk of data mishandling and misuse, leading to real-world implications for often already marginalised groups of people.

The three artists presented are united in their critical approach to the systems that have allowed unethical use of data. Through their work they ask important questions about data ethics and the lived experience: Why might there be mistrust in current practices? Should data collection even be considered in the first place: What are the benefits and pitfalls of collecting data? How are biases encoded into data practices? What do ethical models of innovation look like? Who are the people/communities impacted by data misuse or invisibility?

By seeing people as more than just data points, the artists in Rules of Engagement encourage those with power to reimagine how we engage with data. By doing so we can ensure a data future where data, and the people it affects, are treated ethically.

Rules of Engagement has been guest curated by artist, musician and curator Antonio Roberts.

Rules of Engagement has been produced by Hannah Redler-Hawes, Director, Data as Culture as part of the Open Data Institute’s R&D programme exploring sustainable ethical practice around data, funded by Innovate UK.

Participating artists

View the artworks