Deep Lab

Members (A-Z):
Addie Wagenknecht, Artist/Director Deep Lab
Allison Burtch, Researcher/Artist/Activist
Claire Evans, Futures Editor of Motherboard/Vice Magazine
Denise Caruso, Journalist, Senior Research Scholar, CMU EPP
Harlo Holmes, Developer
Ingrid Burrington, Researcher/Artist, Director of metadata for the Guardian
Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher Microsoft Research, Visiting Professor MIT
Jen Lowe, Data Scientist/Researcher/Writer
Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression, EFF
Lindsay Howard, Independent Curator
Madeleine Varner, Artist/Developer
Maral Pourkazemi, Data/Information Visualizer
Runa Sandvik, Privacy/Security Researcher, Tor Project
Simone Browne, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Hacking technology is a right, not a weapon. Because the deep web is largely void of a female presence—save for sexualized images—female hackers must engage with the future, in order to make our presence in history indelible. And so Deep Lab was born.

Deep Lab is a collaborative group of researchers, artists, writers, engineers, and cultural producers interested in privacy, surveillance, code, art, social hacking, and anonymity. Members of Deep Lab are engaged in ongoing critical assessments of contemporary digital culture and exploit the hidden potential for creative inquiry lying dormant within the deep web. Deep Lab supports its members' ability to output anonymously via proxy tools; in this way, our research can remain fluid via multi-pseodonymous identity. Deep Lab promotes creative research and development that challenges traditional forms of representation and distribution, evaluating these practices alongside typical traffic analysis identification. This process leverages the research of Deep Lab to contend with outdated modes of understanding culture within traditional social structures.
Deep Lab develops key participatory roles in the future. We utilize the Lab’s extensive knowledge of technology and creativity as a mode of analysis and output. As a group, we work to manifest actions better than any corporation or government. We write our own histories, and make history, by continuing in the tradition of female hackers and activists like Cornelia Solfrank, Netochka Nezvanova, and projects like Anna Adamolo.

The feedback system built into digital networks necessitates the sharing of information. A problem arises, however, when the distribution of this information conflicts with the notion of scarcity—a core ideological component of the value of cultural objects. Since the principles of global capitalism and government determine value based on data, we are left with a fundamental friction in the distribution and creation of culture or research through digital networks. Deep Lab's research will focus on this contradiction by exploring new modes of interaction.
Pushing beyond the boundaries of ego and affiliation, Deep Lab members may choose to protect their identity at any point through anonymity. Doing so allows group members to remain self-reflexive. In order to pursue experimental research and make cultural contributions sustainable, practices of anonymity lend members an authoritative, collective voice unencumbered by individual fear.

On December 23, 2014 Deep Lab published our 240 pages of research from the week long residency at Studio for Creative Inquiry at CMU. We also publish our project code, available for download or forking at our github repo.