caroline sinders

New Orleans, US

For the past eight years, I’ve been studying the intersections of design, art, and social justice. My practice is one deeply focused in plurality and interdisciplinary studies- I am both an artist and a researcher. The research feeds the art, and the art deepens the research. As a researcher I’ve conducted equality focused design research work supported by Omidyar Network, the Mozilla Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Open Technology Fund, and the Ford Foundation. I’ve also collaborated with the United Nations, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, and others on intersectional, internet policy based research (on topics like dark patterns, online gender based violence, harassment and censorship against journalists, data privacy,  AI's impacts on speech, algorithmic harm, etc). As an artist, my work has been supported by the Clinic for Open Source Arts with the University of Denver, the Mozilla Foundation, the Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Ars Electronica’s AI Lab, the European Commisions’ SciArt (Science Art) Resonances Fellowship Program, Transmediale, the Center for Long Term CyberSecurity at UC Berkeley, Eyebeam and BuzzFeed with the Open Lab Program, Pioneer Works, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as well as others.

My practice of ‘research driven art’ is inspired by the works of Data Feminism, Arte Útil, Xenofeminism, Joanna Moll, American Artist, Mimi Onuoha, Adam Harvey, and Forensic Architecture. In particular, Adam Harvey’s V frame, Mimi Ounoha’s Library of Missing Data Sets, and Joana Moll’s The Hidden Life of an Amazon User come to mind. These artists use research as a tool to guide their practice, and to structure what they create. Tania Bruguera (Arte Útil’s creator) uses art as a tool to accomplish an intended outcome. My work moves in the opposite direction: I start with an intent, and use art as a tool to enable research and exploration around ideas. The art I make is less about accomplishing a goal, and more about exploring and uncovering forms of truth. Research driven art occupies a liminal space of research, journalism, and art. These aforementioned works and artists can be viewed solely in the mediums of ‘art’ or as ‘research’, but are much more richly seen when viewed as research based artistic activist practices. The works and practices aren’t just to bear witness, though that alone would be worthwhile; they question, provocate and offer a solution to a problem. This should not be viewed as a form of techno-solutionism however; the ‘solutions’ the artists provide are not meant to create an end to all other potential solutions, but serve to offer rather, temporary or open-source fixes for gaps in equity and violence created by society and are poetic witnesses of those gaps. These kinds of solutions or‘band aids’operate in a similar space where I pursue my own practice. Bandaids exist as necessary provocations or patches while with participatory design and deconstruction, artists, human rights researchers, activists, technologists, and communities can overhaul the system or destroy systems together. The togetherness and collaboration is key, though. But nonetheless, provocations within art and design can create imaginaries for new realities. These new imaginaries, rooted in research, policy, and social justice is precisely what my work explores and creates.