Invitation: Performing Encryption Improvisational Workshop
Sometimes the best way to tackle the big questions is obliquely, and in motion.
4 June 2015 - 4 June 2015


If the downside of perpetual archiving is perpetual surveillance, then bodily encryption practices are part of an overarching strategy for controlling and disseminating personal data. Yes, we support Open Data – but when the data come from your body it is sometimes necessary to decide what is open, for whom, and when.

Trace the body in the algorithm, reaffirm physical presence in Big Data, and see if your digital encryption key feels more like yours if it was generated as a duet between your movement improvisation and computational processes.


This is a beta-stage interaction design experiment that inserts movement into the generation of a digital encryption key by replacing the mouse movement of a standard encryption program with motion data captured by a Kinect.

You don’t have to be a dancer: is there a pattern of movements that might be associated with you? Hand, arms, body moving in space, inverted, idiosyncratic … You can perform these in the studio for capture by the Kinect, either with others watching or in private.

What will you get?

You will leave the workshop with your private encryption key. We will also give you an encrypted file of the video of your movement as an archival trace of your improvisation. Your movement will be archived both in the key and in the video. You can use the key to de-crypt the video of your own movement, or you can use it for other data communication.

And the research?

As this is part of research into the performance of memory, the last hour (from 15:00-16:00) of this workshop will be devoted to critical and creative discussion around Encryption, Openness, Bodies and Memory in the performances of data and the performances of daily life.

For more information, contact Susan Kozel at

This event is part of the Performing Memory strand of the Living Archives research project and follows on from our previous Somatic Archiving event in February 2015.

Susan Kozel mfl