Safety in Numbers

How do we know what we know about hormones? In a series of participatory online performances, groups of strangers will co-create a visual / textual collage on the topic of what it means to navigate or understand hormonal bodily experience. Each performance centers on a specific bodily experience; lasts up to 2 hours; invites up to 15 participants; and offers 20CHF compensation to each. The first session will explore hormones and gender expression; more detail and an open call will be circulated through SoC social media.

Community Practices

Safety In Numbers investigates community data practices. When we undergo care for chronic illness, mental health, or gender confirmation, we are undergo an intense process of quantification. This can become a tool of gatekeeping or harmful internalization of imposed norms. At the same time, measurements and self-monitoring enable us to project-manage (as we must) our own healthcare. The data we accumulate can also feed into community support and knowledge-building in many existing, vital online self-organized resources.

Reflection

Safety In Numbers provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how data is already mobilized, expand our imagination, and create possibility models for subversive discourse around data. We all participate, though not always enthusiastically, and often without direct awareness, in the quantification of our own bodies. This is a commonplace experience, which includes everyday activities like step-counting or period tacking, but it is often made individualistic by the tools available. This reinforces the perception of our challenges and triumphs with these tools as idiosyncratic, isolating, and sometimes even problematic – in part because there are not many spaces for sharing, exploring, validating, and understanding our data-body experiences.

At the conclusion of this project, the resulting collaboratively-produced digital collages – as well as reflections from the performances – will feed into future publications through SoC that will further catalyze new conversations that happen all too rarely. 

Image (left): Glyphs constructed in the process of digesting intense emotional experience. “LOOK INSIDE” (2020/2022) spans 6 continuous weeks, each glyph reflects the emotional timbre of one day, varying in relative valence and coherence. Pen and paper rendering displayed at Atelier Automatique (Bochum) in June 2020; digital rework in 2022