Why to Ferment Data?
The invitation to ferment data is an invitation to play with data. It is an invitation to discover and invent data processing through practice of fermentation. Fermenting data is a practice of sensing and sense making and as such it is a practice of aesthetics, knowledge and sociality with each other humans and nonhumans, as makers and processors of data.
Rather than to think of data processing as belonging to statistics, and other forms of computational modelling, data fermenting reclaims data as common practice with those who become data and those who collect and process it to consider and see how care is part of this practice and how it is also a form of control.
Fermentation has been used since prehistoric times as a method of food preservation to sustain families and communities throughout the seasons when access to fresh foods and necessary vitamins and nourishments was limited. Fermented drinks such as wine or beer were used in rituals in many different religions and traditions across the world. Fermentation as biological process of food preservation is a process of caring for the body and the soul and a way to know environment and its needs. Fermentation is always a process that concerns the future of the community, it is about sharing and relaying on microbes to preserve and care for health of community. It is a process that simultaneously engages care and control, and balancing act of living with others with joy and care.
Fermenting Data is a way to think, make, work, grow and play with microbes and vegetables and utensils and other things and people with whom fermenting is done. It is a process that drives what tools are used and what tools are invented to facilitate this process. It is a way to record and figure what and how can be done as data fermentation. It is also a way to intervene into data collecting and processing as driven by what can be learned from fermenting and data when they are part of the common practice shared by community.
To ferment data is to speculate and invent a way to live together as people and others who care.