Queering the Quantified Self
Queering the Quantified Self is a platform for citizens to create, own and analyse information about our bodies. We all ask questions about our bodies, from the daily (“does drinking coffee in the afternoon affect my sleep?”) to the life-altering (“am I recovering quickly enough from Covid?”). Where do you go to answer these questions?
- Social media gives us presidents advertising bleach for Covid, TikTok diets and posts explaining that 5G causes cancer.
- Specialised forums offer support but are mostly anecdotal and unscientific.
- Tracking apps give our data to private companies who will happily hand it over to curious governments or sell it to anyone paying.
The difficulty in finding information on our bodies is even greater for those of us who don’t fit the usual conception of a ‘standard` body: fat, disabled, trans, racialised, female… In medicine, our ‘alternative` bodies are under-researched. Meanwhile, if we try to research our bodies ourselves, tracking apps limit the scope of our research through normative ideas of how a body should look and behave.
Queering the Quantified Self proposes an alternative: the users who make the data are the ones who own it; the communities who need the research run analyses themselves.
Odd Studio is an international, award-winning data and design studio. Their portfolio includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ministry of Health, Environment and Citizenship in Brazil and the Lego Institute.
Radical Data are a collective who create data analyses and make tools for art and activism. Their clients include the UK government, FSC and Leiden University.