Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality
Navigating the ethics of working creatively with personal data
Keywords:virtual reality, data, ethics
Research-creation has existed in an ethical gray-area since its introduction to the academy. In developing the Know Thyself as Virtual Reality project, we realized that the current standards for ethics review for university- based artists are not adequate for research-creation projects which tend to involve ethical concerns distinct from conventional research and art. This is particularly clear when a research creation project, like KTVR requires the use and manipulation of the personal data of others. Digital data can be useful to researchers and artists alike, but it also implies a wide variety of unique ethical concerns. While regulations and policies need to be updated for all researchers, the lack of ethical guidelines for artist-researchers compounds the risk that they face when working with personal data. In order to gain a better understanding of the implications of the growing proliferation of data, much of the focus of the KTVR project (and the content of the VR artworks) has turned to understanding emerging and evolving frameworks for the ethical use of human data in research- creation projects.
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