Data visualisation - data graphics
Marcin Ignac BY-NC-SA

Data Union Fork: Tools for data strike! #2

Do you want to use digital tools for a data strike? Are you interested in artist & feminist hacker Larisa Blazic and her research towards a Data Union Fork and the new phenomena of social contracts in the blockchain context? Join this workshop!

You don’t need any specific technical expertise to join. We’ll be using wood, paper and other analogue means to engage with this topic.

Entrance is 5 euro, including one drink. The workshop will be English spoken.

DECODE workshop

In this second workshop in the DECODE residency series participants are invited to explore ways to utilise union organising language (collective bargaining, grievance, good-faith, mediation, picket line, strike). We’ll look at this union language through work from artist Larisa Blazic using pseudocode and visual programming (common software design practice) for contractual arrangements between people and legal entities.

We will start by short introduction to’s Zenroom, progress by looking at a number of examples, some generated in the previous workshop, some form DECODE Barcelona case study and some form historical personal data breaches of trust between citizens, state and corporate sector such as third-party doctrine and bulk interception, to move on to making our own contracts for hypothetical new problematic scenarios using 'plain English'.

"Ceci n'est pas un contrat"


20:00 - Introduction by artist Larisa Blazic
20:10 - Introduction to’s Zenroom
20:20 - Recap of previous workshop and examples of Barcelona case study
20:30 - Developing our own Social Contracts
21:30 - Finish & drinks


While regular contracts have presumably been in use since alphabets came into existance, the concept of smart contracts has only been around for a couple decades and it's inextricably entangled with blockchain technology.

A contract, in the blockchain context, is a software. As regulation and legislation are catching up with the technology and most of it is consumed by monetary/financial aspect of the phenomena, there is no formal agreement on legally binding software as contracts. However, the concept of a contract has been historically used by powerful parties to insure their own interests.

Data Union Fork is focusing on potential for creating socially smart contract, smart social contract, if is has to be smart, and/or rights focused collectively defined contract as a tool for organising. By introducing collective contract creation as a vehicle for collective action within the DECODE blockchain framework, the potential for innovation is such that combined with the concepts of 'data commons' could indeed help transition to a meaningful social change stimulating individual and social well-being.

Moreover, whether and how citizens may create and interact with decentralised computational architecture based self-executing contracts and how this may impede on citizens’ rights are all significant questions when conceiving such a system.

This series of workshops are a vehicle for a collaborative artwork to emerge, with contribution from participants, as an interactive installation at the end of STARTS Residency programme in January 2020.

About Larisa Blazic, artist in residence at Waag & DECODE

Larisa Blazic is a London based digital artisan, educator and feminist hacker. In her most recent work, Data Union Fork, as part of Vertigo STARTS Residency at Waag, she explores collective response to personal data abuses by state and corporate sector and creates experiments based on technologies developed within the DECODE project.

More about the Data Union Fork

We believe that there is a need for mass organised collective action regarding data: to defend and manage personal and population-wide data. Through a series of interventions, workshops and events, Data Union Fork, sets to develop a collective, creative, and democratic response to the social, economic, and cultural implications of mass scale data harvesting and to fully leverage the value of that data in the interests of democracy, equality, and justice.

In this project, citizens, activists, legislators, technologists and artists come together in discussion, examining efficacy of everyday behavioural tactics relating to data, surveillance and autonomy to enable anonymity, data disruption and pollution, autonomous organisation, value negotiation.

About DECODE project

Today’s Internet is becoming increasingly centralised, slowing innovation and challenging its potential to revolutionise society and the economy in a pluralistic manner. DECODE is a project in which practical alternatives will be developed for managing online identity, personal and other data and collective governance in a citizen-friendly and privacy-aware fashion.

Data Union Fork: Tools for data strike is supported by the VERTIGO project as part of the STARTS program of the European Commission, based on technological elements from DECODE, with the support of Waag and Dyne.

DECODE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 732546.

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Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 732546.