Datafication of Sexuality

Thursday 22 July 2021 

Sussex Humanities Lab 

University of Sussex 

We invite proposals for a workshop on the Datafication of Sexuality, hosted at the Sussex Humanities Lab and with the FACT/// Network. A hybrid event, it will take place from 1PM to 3PM on Thursday 22 July on Zoom and in the lab. This workshop will feed into a larger research project that examines issues in relation to the datafication of sexuality and algorithmic sexuality.  

We welcome participants interested in any aspect of the datafication of sexuality. Workshop topics might address the following questions. What is the history of the datafication of sexuality, sexual publics, and sexual minorities? Which actors collect this data and to what ends? Which tools and techniques have been used to collect, categorise, and visualise this data? We especially welcome proposals that examined how these practices have developed from the 1980s to the present. 

Presenters will be asked to contribute a short presentation and engage in discussion and development of ideas. We are interested in building a network and a bid that links to a project that contextualises consumer genomics (e.g., 23andMe) research initiatives pertaining to LGBTQ+ publics within the history of the datafication of sexuality. 

If you are interested in presenting, please email Sandra Nelson ( by Wednesday 30 June (extended). Thank you.  

The Chain

The Chain has just launched as a series of interlinked reflections from theorists, artists, activists, and others of the Intersections: Feminism, Technology and Digital Humanities (IFTe) network and beyond. Each link in the chain responds in some way to the previous entry, and offers suggestions for entries to follow. Are algorithmic voices gendered? Are algorithmic voices friendly? Who does the work? Can the subaltern do a TED talk? How can we reimagine ourselves in a zoomified world? Start exploring these questions, and others.

We’re launching the Chain as a 3-month writing project that responds to contemporary circumstances where we can’t meet easily, where we are zoom-swamped, and zoombified, where glancing interactions are rarely possible. We are missing times and moments when ‘breaking out’ isn’t a zoom function, when serendipity doesn’t have to be programmed, when ‘walk throughs’ are in physical space, and where interventions follow on. We are missing the kinds of entangled modes of thinking and doing this kind of flow more easily enabled; writing about media art, coding that speaks to theory, practice that finds articulation in words.

This Chain was funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Networking Call’(grant numbers AH/V00199X/1 and IRC/V00199X/1).

Robo_Po /// Robo_Op

The Lab is once more open, and the first order of business is (obviously) to host our all-singing, all-versifying, maybe-some-dancing embodied AI performer, Cleo Mesmer.

This promises to be practice-led research at its very best: collaborative, interdisciplinary, exploratory, emergent, placing cutting-edge tech into a critical and reflexive context, exploring both the power relations from which technological innovation emerges, and the alternative possibilities it harbours.

For more about the project and the events, visit Evelyn Ficarra’s site.

We are also calling for two kinds of collaboration:

  • Poems: Submit poems (50 words or less) for performance as part of Robo_Po. More details here.
  • Voice: Submit fragments of sound to help us build a new voice for Cleo, perhaps one which seeks to acknowledge rather than conceal otherness, constructedness, and more-than-human entanglements. More details here.