This workshop asks participants to analyze their intimate, lived relationships with technology and concepts such as data privacy; interface microaggressions; conceptual, legal, and technical glitches;. Participants will use their own devices to examine the Terms of Service of their installed applications, locating the most confusing, absurd, illogical, or abstract segments. A Terms of Service Fantasy Reader will be constructed, creating a radio play of personal frustrations, interface anxieties, technical problems, and bureaucratic language, as most participants likely encounter the underlying agreements behind beloved apps for the very first time.
Terms of Service are legal documents that define the grounds upon which a certain service is to be used and as a contract explains the obligations of both the service and the user. As such, they are conceptually demanding, long and often hermetic to read. At the same time, they are one of the main battlegrounds for user rights, as a legally binding statement. These documents get “signed” on a daily basis, when downloading and installing an app and are very often difficult to find, even for the user who is interested in reading the terms under which they are in interaction with a specific service. This workshop is meant to allow the “luxury” of the time to collectively read through multiple Terms of Service of various commonly used apps, bring forth discussions that get raised and extract the most particular parts of the texts. How does a one model for all type of design inscribe itself into the Terms of Service of various applications and how has a certain type of language come to be? What are the implications for everyday usage of technology in contexts such as the current COVID pandemic?
Darija Medić is a digital practitioner and researcher, working in the fields of media art and archeology, curating and production. Her work resides in the context of the public domain and its shaping, language and its social practices, media and its archeology, technology and its philosophy.