Dissecting My Data Body: How to Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality in the Digital Age

Marilène Oliver, Scott Smallwood, Stephan Moore, J. R. Carpenter, Jonathan Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We are constantly being warned that our personal data is vulnerable, that it is being used and abused by artificial intelligence, giant tech corporations and controlling governments. But do we really understand what "our data"consists of and what can be done with and to it? Is it possible to unravel the complex entanglements of data gathering and processing technologies in order to see and understand our data in a meaningful way? My Data Body is a virtual reality (VR) artwork that brings together some of our most personal and sensitive data such as medical scans, social media, biometric and social security data in an attempt to make visible and manipulable our many intersecting data corpuses so that they can be held, inspected, dissected and played with as a way to start understanding and answering these questions. My Data Body has been created as part of the interdisciplinary project Know Thyself as a Virtual Reality (KTVR), a multi-faceted project that explores the ethics and aesthetics of the contemporary "data body". KTVR brings together researchers across the arts and sciences, to innovate new creatives methodologies, educational resources and ethical guidelines for working artistically with personal data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 7 2022


  • biometrics
  • Imaging Video
  • Personal data
  • scanning
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Virtual Reality
  • Visual Effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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