Personal Data, Common Good.


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  • Summary

    In 2047, we will have reclaimed our personal data from tech monopolies and put it at the service of society. Our installation invites fellow drones to co-create a collaborative data system for the future while exploring their swarm intelligence.

    Full description of the concept


    At the outset of the 21st century, the role of personal data had become so important in the emerging digital society that many spoke of data as the new oil.Whilst digital services produced an ever-increasing quantity of information about us, it was only a handful of corporate tech monopolies and states that owned these technologies and profited from them. Inaccessible to us, our data was used to serve the interests of the few rather than the needs of the many. Instead of creating collective benefits, this post-democratic system gave rise to surveillance, fake news and a new precarity of gig workers.

    In 2018, however, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation sparked the imagination of users, activists and developers to collectively demand an alternative. Together, they began to reclaim the ownership of their data and build a community-owned data ecosystem.

    Today, 29 years later, data remains the key driver for the creation of value in our society, but we are now in control of our digital identity and autonomously decide who uses our data and for what purposes. No longer is our data the object of exploitative surveillance, nor an asset in the hands of profit-seeking and intransparent corporations. Instead our data has developed into a shared resource that is democratically managed and directed towards socially beneficial projects. As a result, we have witnessed the emergence of new forms of collective agency, spontaneous social collaboration and a sharing economy that gives right to its name.

    We now collectively benefit from a resource we collectively create.


    "Personal Data, Common Good" is a time-evolving, interactive installation that invites the exhibition community to envision an alternative future for our data system while becoming aware of their swarm intelligence. For this purpose, our installation will be build on and directed by a democratic and collaborative data sharing system that we will install on site. Firstly, our project will give participants the opportunity to contribute their visions of the future to our database. Secondly, this data will be visualized and explored in the form of a sculptural representation that will be co-created by the participants over the course of the festival. In the end, our installation will therefore not only create an aesthetic value, but also become a physical visualization of the community’s digital imaginaries.

    By collaboratively connecting data, people and knowledge, the process of our installation will reveal the social potential that can be created through democratising the network effects of our data. Thus we will not only co-create an installation, but also an actual prototype of an alternative data ecosystem. Collaborative, democratic, social: Let's build the future of our data!

    About the group/Artist

    Pragmatic Utopianism Lab (PU[L]Lab) is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary political art collective. As part of a disenfranchised and depoliticized generation, we reclaim a voice for young, radical and forward-thinking ideas that aspire to shape the future of this world in the midst of tectonic shifts. Drawing on backgrounds as diverse as speculative design, internet research, tech ventures and the social sciences, our multi-format installations encourage their audiences to critically interrogate the emerging contours of the digital society and to embrace the democratic and social potential of our technological futures.

    We strongly believe that our societies have fallen prey to a false dichotomy: the status quo as the insufficient, but rational and the visionary as the desirable yet impossible pathway for our social development. Our work aspires to disrupt this deadlock with a new imaginary for our digital society that presents itself as both pragmatic in approach and utopian in ambition.

    Budget overview

    Material costs
    10.000 (Minimum) - 20.000 SEK (Ideal)
    Minimum: In general for the basics of our Instalation. Materials that are, in case of need, representing our idea of an interaction exhibit in a rudimentally output.
    Maximun: For a detailed implementation of an interdisciplinary exhibit, that should produce interest of the participants to get in touch with our issues and encourage an interaction of workshop situations.

    2.500 SEK (Optional)
    For the production costs of printed matters. On one hand for a info-brochure as a take away for the participants. On the other for an editorial, that points up the growing process of the artwork as part of the whole exhibition.

    Travel expenses & Accomodation (Eight group members)
    8.000 SEK (Optional)

    How can other drones co-create with you?

    Co-creation is at the core of our concept (See above).

    We are also very much looking forward to collaborate in the preparation and realization of our installation with interested drones. In this case, please send us an email with a small description of how you wish to contribute to our project.

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