Currently, period trackers and fitness and health apps are all owned by private companies who own, use, and sell individuals’ most intimate data.
Queering the Quantified Self (QQS) proposes an alternative system where people democratically own and interact with their body’s data. While looking at ownership, the project explores how technology companies push a normative understanding of individuals’ bodies: who should be experiencing periods, what a “fit” body looks like, how long sex lasts, etc.
Through owning both the tools and the data, QQS proposes a way that diverse communities, from women to people of color to trans people, can ask and answer their own questions about their bodies.
QQS will explore queer approaches to self-tracking.
The principles that define the Quantified Self movement will be discussed, looking critically at its alignment with hyper-efficiency and masculinity. In its place, QQS will explore queer approaches to self-tracking and how a queer perspective can reorientate body measurements towards collectivity, subversion, and being comfortable in individuals’ bodies.
QQS will work to collectively create a queer database, recording and exchanging individuals’ body’s data, and then participants will come together to discuss and share what they’ve recorded and what they’ve learned.
From those experiences, QQS will develop digital tools that could help to collect, analyze, and visualize body data. The project explores how participants can autonomously collect, own, and use their body data without it being solely decided by private technology companies. Through QQS workshops, tools, and data cooperatives, Queering the Quantified Self imagines a democratic future for our bodies’ data.
Updated November 2022