News/March 2015

Act Otherwise is our annual and intimate discussion forum hosted at our studios in Portslade.

In 2014 with the provocative title The Invisible Hand: On Profiling and Personalisation inspired by the Adam Smith quote that describes the self-regulating behaviour of the marketplace, we turned our focus to the cultural implications of profiling and personalisation.

We brought 40 artists, researchers, designers and developers together for two full days, to discuss in the open forum how people are navigating the world of big data, profiling and personalisation and what this means for them, their work and arts practice.

The content of the forum was devised by Blast Theory, Dr Kelly Page (Columbia College Chicago) and Professor Nina Reynolds (University of Southampton). It stemmed from joint research for our new artistic app Karen, which focuses on profiling and personalisation in a playful way.

The forum featured presentations from:

  • Blast Theory (Matt Adams, Nick Tandavanitj, Ju Row Farr),
  • Professor Nina Reynolds, formally of University of Southampton
  • Kelly Page, Columbia College Chicago
  • John McGrath, National Theatre Wales
  • Martin Flintham, Horizon Digital Economy Research, University of Nottingham
  • Giles Lane, Proboscis
  • Carina Westling, Researcher
  • Lesley Fosh, PhD Student at the University of Nottingham


A detailed report has now been compiled (thank you Dr Kelly Page and Emilie Giles) which captures, in great detail, conversations and case studies from the event.

You can download the full report here.

Act Otherwise will be back later this year – watch this space for more information.