This photo shows the installation Pop Up Disabled Data Set during the opening of the group show at the space of 'We are AIA'. The installation consists of large fabrics in different colors and materials that are hanging from the ceiling from neon orange straps. These straps also move through and connect the different sails, and flow down towards the ground. Underneath are some white round pillows made from plastic bags. Multiple people sit on benches and pillows in front and behind the installation, experiencing the art work and chatting.

COUNTING FEELINGS is an artistic research project that considers data for Trans* and autistic lives and engages it for our embodiminded positions to re-count (tell about) and ac-count (claim political agency) for our experiences differently. Moving from a politics that asserts 'nothing about us without us’, COUNTING FEELINGS celebrates Trans* and autistic authorship, figuring our politics of comradeship, embodied data practices and dreaming.

COUNTING FEELINGS was realized in collaboration with Konstanze Schütze and the University of Cologne during MELT’s Media Art Fellows Program and kindly funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State North Rhine-Westphalia.

Pop Up Disabled Data Center

The Pop Up Disabled Data Center consists a series of stitched together fabric and plastic planes that in the space work like a tent to form a protected yet permeable space. The work prompts reading with accessible language practices like embroidered braille. Included alongside are data sets that have been collaboratively built by Counting Feelings workshop participants.

A wide angle photo of the Pop Up Disabled Data Center shows three large and colorful sails made from differently textured fabrics in front of large windows. The left sail is a soft violet sewn together with smaller orange and grey fabrics and has braille embroidered. The middle sail falls in round curvings and is bright yellow, orange and grey. The sail on the right is made from bubblewrap that shimmers in opacities and hovers above an orange blanket placed below. The sails are connected via orange straps that weave in and out of embedded metal gromets, and that are also holding them via attachments on the ceiling. From these sails, grey booklets containing the data sets dangle downwards on long grey strings that permeate the fabrics. Below, small clay figures are scattered across on the floor. A closeup shot of the installation Pop Up Disabled Data Center shows three pieces of fabric being held together by orange straps and grey ropes. The fabrics are made from wool in a bright yellow, semi-transparent bubblewrap and a grey denim, with the denim having three holes strengthened by metal structures through which the orange straps run.

Data Set of Weight

This work is a weighted blanket titled 'Data Set of Weight'. Weighted blankets are objects that are closely tied to experiences and expertises of calming down for many autistic people. Each compartment of the blanket contains a different material from everyday life such as the tags we cut out of clothing to avoid sensory stressors, collected stones, or joyous materials such as glitter. This data set can be felt in a sensorial way and has an embodied effect on its "quote on quote" readers or processors.

In the middle of this photo, an orange blanket floats, folds and rests across a dark grey bench. The blanket is made from a warm knitted textile, while the pockets are shiny and look smooth to the touch. From viewing alone, the contents of the pockets cannot be determined, but it is clear that the materials are different. Around the blanket, there is floor space with small white clay figures arranged around vinyl fonts. Above, there are two fabric sails: One is an orange textile, one is a fabric made from bubblewrap. On the left, a booklet is dangling down from above so that it can be picket up and read when sitting down and using the blanket. A grey booklet with the title Data Set of Weight. Collecting of objects and materials within a blanket held together by a large metal ring is dangling in front of a blanket made from knitted orange textile onto which a glossy plastic-like pocket is sewn on the right.

Groundwork for Reimagining Data

Beginning nodes for revolutionary data practices or groundwork for reimagining data consists of a grid like floor installation with statements emerging from workshops with Trans* and disabled participants considering our engagements with data; these statements entangle with clay data points that visitors are invited to move around to express interest in the statements and to play and stim with.

On a grey floor, the letters Pleasurable Data appear in vinyl. Around them, small clay sculptures are arranged in rows and heaps, forming various proximities and relations. From the top of the photo, a grey box with an orange woolen blanket enters the image. Photographed from above, this image shows a flat pillow made from braided plastic ropes, on the center of which a grey booklet connected to a string rests. Two other elements on the grey floor are two statements printed in vinyl that read (not) quantifiable and BYOB with some more letters covered by small clay figures. More clay figures are arranged around these statements.

Data Sets We Wished Existed & Other Data Sets

During the NRW media arts fellowship, we hosted three workshops on the role of data in the everyday, two of which were closed for only Trans* and/or disabled participants. In this workshop, a data set collecting dreams and propositions for needed or desired data collections was created and titled "Data Sets and Lists We Wished Existed". More data sets on topics such as community organizing, spoons & cutlery as metaphors for disability experiences, body affirmation and more were collected by us throughout the fellowship. Medienwerk NRW offers recordings and PDFs of all data sets and lists that were developed during the fellowship period, as well as a podcast episode recorded with Sophie Emilie Beha and MELT.

Photographed from above, this image shows a flat pillow made from braided plastic ropes, on the center of which a grey booklet connected to a string rests. Two other elements on the grey floor are two statements printed in vinyl that read (not) quantifiable and BYOB with some more letters covered by small clay figures. More clay figures are arranged around these statements.


On a grey string and held together by a large metal ring, the booklet 'Body Affirmation Data Set' dangles. It's front page reads: 'A collection of resources that help Trans* and autistic people thrive in our bodies. This contains health care resources, DIY recipies for embodied access tools, and open questions.' In the background, pink and white lights create a beautiful pattern, but no objects can be recognized.
In front of the orange wool fabric that makes up the installation Pop Up Disabled Data Center, the data set 'Energy (Ac)Counting' dangles on a large metal ring. It reads: 'A Data Set of Cutlery and Kitchen Utensils'. The credits read: 'MELT X regenerative energies communities'.

Counting Feelings premiered at the Fachbibliothek Kunst & Textil, Universität Köln with the support of Anna Sprenger, Rubina Ünzelmann and Konstanze Schütze, and exhibited also at 'Energy Giveaway at the Humuspunk Library' curated by Regenerative Energy Communities (Helen V. Pritchard, Miranda Moss, Daniel Gustafsson, Eric Snodgrass) at We are AIA (Awareness in Art). Photos from Universität Köln taken by Iz Paehr. Photos from We are AIA taken by Nicolas Petit CC4R.