I study how people use technology through (1) quantitative data analysis, including natural language processing, or NLP; (2) qualitative methods, including interview and observation; and (3) artistic intervention, including performance and participatory artwork.

See all peer-reviewed publications on my scholar profile.

Research Threads & Selected Publications

Overview of major projects; each is elaborated below with talk videos and publications. I am actively continuing to work on both "Body Data" and "Code Work" research threads.

2008-2023: Body Data

See also this recent hour-long general-public talk about this body of work from a recent event at the Data for Care Training School, NeMe: Body Data Curriculum (April 10, 2023)

workshop health data Kit Kuksenok, Christel De Maeyer, Minha Lee. 2023. "Drawing as a Facilitator for Critical Data Discourse: Reflecting on Problems of Digital Health Data through Expressive Visualization of the Unseen Body Landscape" in Proceedings of Weizenbaum Conference 2022: Practicing Sovereignty. [Full Proceedings]

essay performance Eggland / Eiland. Contribution to the Posthumanist magazine Issue #2 (Rhythms). Available in EN and DE. (2023)

essay p5.js CRITICAL DATA PRACTICE AT HOME AND WITH FRIENDS Contribution to the Critical Coing Cookbook (2022)

essay Time & Energy Management for Creative Projects (2022)

essay Clock-time, Calendar-time, and Hours of Practice (2022)

essay How to Work (and Play) with Imperfect Sleep Data (2021)

essay Soft Shapes and False Forms (2021), where Marisa Satsia and I interview each other about collecting data about the body, and then giving that data its own peculiar body as a collaborative experiment.

essay Data Feminism in Personal Data Practice (2021)

code p5.js Getting Started with Expressive Data Practice (2021) - small set of p5.js tutorials based on the course materials for "Radical Imperfection in Time-Tracking" at Berlin's School of Machines, taught in 2021.

Art+Science Kuksenok, Kit & Satstia, M. (2021). Know thy Flesh: What Multi-disciplinary Contemporary Art Teaches Us about Building Body Knowledge xCoAx 2021.

Informed by teaching two courses at Berlin's School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe: "Radical Imperfection in Self-Tracking" (2020) and "Radical Imperfection in Time-Tracking" (2021)

Art+Science Satsia, M. & Kuksenok, K. (2021) "From Data to Matter: Anti-Systematic Interventions and Explorations of the (Micro)biopolitical Organism," Proceedings of Politics of the Machines - Rogue Research 2021

Together with multi-disciplinary visual artist Marisa Satsia, we have considered the re-use and repurposing of technologies (both medical and consumer) for observing the human bodily experience. We are especially interested in mobilizing visual art practices for subversive body projects.

NLP CSCW Brooks M, Kuksenok K, et al. Statistical Affect Detection in Collaborative Chat. In Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM, 2013.

InfoVis NLP Kuksenok, K., Brooks, M., Robinson, J.J., Perry, D., Torkildson, M.K. and Aragon, C., 2012. Automating large-scale annotation for analysis of social media content. In IEEE workshop on interactive visual text analytics for analysis of social media.

CSCW Scott T J, Kuksenok K, Brooks M, Aragon C. Adapting Grounded Theory to Construct A Taxonomy of Affect in Collaborative Online Chat. Proceedings of the 30th ACM international conference on Design of communication. ACM, 2012.

When faced with textual data for analysis, such as digital trace data or open-ended text input more generally, I combine both natural language processing (NLP) techniques and qualitative methods for rendering subjective experience comparable and summarizable. I have used a mixture of these tools professionally since 2012, including during graduate school , and explore their more absurd and edge-case aspects in recent art projects.

CSCW Mankoff J, Kuksenok K, Kiesler S, Rode J, Waldman K. Competing Online Viewpoints and Models of Chronic Illness. Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2011.

The mixed qualitative/quantitative methods I learned during the below project (the first research project I contributed to), as well as different approaches people have to tracking and understanding their chronic health conditions, continues to influence my artistic and research practice on body data / the data body.

essay body in time (2021) - reflections on my own history with personal data tracking, which started in 2008

essay Beyond the Quantified Self: Qualitative Analysis and Gentle Calibration of Self (2014) - one of the first explorations I published of my own systematic journaling practices that tried to borrow from the "lifehacking" methodological milieu while stripping the violence lurking within.

2014-2023: Code Work & Change in Software Teams

Note: I am in the process of integrating this past academic work with subsequent experience doing and leading software work in industry settings. I have taught the resulting workshop, "Sharing Programming Knowledge," at varia (Rotterdam, NL; April 1, 2023); at Curve Labs (Berlin, DE; March 16, 2023) and at Phiture, GmbH (Berlin, DE; February 27, 2023). I am very excited to continue to develop and share this body of work in the coming years.

Theory CSCW Code Work K Kuksenok, Cecilia Aragon, James Fogarty, Charlotte P. Lee, Gina Neff. Deliberate Individual Change Framework for Understanding Programming Practices in four Oceanography Groups. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2017). doi:10.1007/s10606-017-9285-x.

Code Work Allen A, et al. Engineering Academic Software (Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 16252). Schloss Dagstuhl--Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik. Dagstuhl, Germany. 2017.

How does change happen in technical teams? and when/why doesn't it? You can watch the last academic talk I gave on the topic here; the audience was mostly software architecture/engineering researchers and practitioners and it followed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Software Architecture group at Hasso Plattner Institute. It was on Usability, Use and Reuse of Software Services, and I presented the case for a taking human-centered approach to understanding resistance to new tools/skills (even when everyone agrees the new things are a good idea).

HPI 12th Symposium on the Future of Service-Oriented Computing. 2017.

Code Work Kuksenok, K. "Influence apart from adoption: How interaction between programming and scientific practices shapes modes of inquiry in four oceanography teams." PhD diss., 2016.

2018-2022: Conversational Agents & Data-Driven Systems

essay Inclusive Automatic Gender Recognition Is A Contradiction In Terms (2022)

essay "Consider Data Cleaning" (2020)

Do you do code work for some data-driven or AI system? How much time do you spend cleaning data? If you answer "too much", shake your head, or feel kind of frustrated or ambivalent about it, I invite you to imagine a perfect world, with respect to how code/data systems are designed, developed, and maintained. Consider: how much time do you spend cleaning data in this perfect world, and how do you feel about it?

Theory Conversational Agent Kit Kuksenok, Stefania Santagati. Readable as Intimate: towards a conceptual framework for empirical interrogation of software implementations of intimacy. AI Love You - Developments on Human-Robot Intimate Relationships. Edited by Yuefang Zhou, Martin H. Fischer. In Print (2018)

Can technology engage humans in experiences of mutual intimacy? Overwhelmingly, what prevents mutual disclosure and vulnerability is not the technical capacity of an individual technological object, but rather the organisational constraints of that object’s production. Although we consider sex robots as a specific case study, our investigation includes anything that can be read as intimate: anything that sits in your home and talks to you. Talking is key, and the history of conversational agents starts as early as the 1960s with ELIZA. We see conversation as the primary means that a technological object asserts itself as a coherent unit; at the same time, from a technological perspective it is (and, arguably, must be) a multi-component architecture, a fractured and distributed self essentially obscured from the person with whom it interacts.

NLP Conversational Agent Kuksenok, K., & Martyniv, A. Evaluation and Improvement of Chatbot Text Classification Data Quality Using Plausible Negative Examples. arXiv preprint arXiv:1906.01910. Prepared for ACL 2019 workshop on Conversational AI.

NLP Conversational Agent Kuksenok, K., & Praß, N. Transparency in Maintenance of Recruitment Chatbots. arXiv preprint arXiv:1905.03640. Prepared for Bridging the Gap Between AI and HCI Workshop at CHI 2019, Saturday 4 May 2019

2019-2021: Speculative Simulation

In the presentation below, I describe how the different threads of my research and art practice weave together:

"Speculative Images" @ The Art of Engagement, The Scottish Public Engagement Network Annual Gathering (August, 2021)
You can: watch the talks; see my slides; and view all other session materials

Exhibition/Performance Dismantling (2019) at the Workshop on Forster, Berlin. (Full recording of the choreography.)

Theory Art+Science Jenson, Sage, & Kuksenok, Kit (2020). How to Observe the Inner Space of a Complex Biological System through Speculative Simulation. Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts, 12(3), 9-24. 10.34632/jsta.2020.9489.

Art+Science Sage Jenson, Kit Kuksenok. Exploratory Modelling with Speculative Complex Biological Systems. xCoAx 2020.

Artist Sage Jenson and I have investigated the locus of agency in a simulated system for live performance as part of an ongoing collaboration. Our research explores ways to craft intutitive, emotionally-evocative experiences of complex systems that model natural phenomena: "The goal of our generative art is to render observable the inner space of complex biological systems that are pervasive in the world, vital to understand, and difficult to grasp." (our 2020 JSTA article)

Contributed invited co-authored chapter to the Future of Text edited volume (download here), "Biological Ink: Extending The Scribe Through Digital Simulation":

"...In this way, digital ink materiality has no counterpart in the realm of physical ink materiality. Digital ink allows the scribe to intentionally shift agency between themselves and the simulation; and to engage with the simulated system agency at a level of complexity and scale inaccessible in a physical handwriting medium."

2012-2016: Language and Culture

CSCW Qinyuan Lei, K. Kuksenok, R. Tang, J. Guo, R. Ji, J. Li. "Identity Struggles as Online Activism in China: A Case Study Based on ‘The Inviting Plan for 985 Fives’ Community on Douban." Proceedings of the 26th ACM Conference On Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing (2023).

NLP Bangalore S, and Kuksenok K. "System and method for collaborative language translation." U.S. Patent No. 9,323,746. 26 Apr. 2016.

CSCW Kuksenok K. "Multilingualism on Social Media in the Maidan Movement." Digital Eastern Europe. Edited by Schreiber and Kosienkowski. 2015.

CSCW Role of social media in 2014 Ukraine Maidan events (Central European University, Phil Howard)

Theory CSCW Kuksenok K, Brooks M, Wang Q, Lee C P. Challenges and Opportunities for Technology in Foreign Language Classrooms. CHI 2013, premier publishing venue in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community. Best Paper Honorable Mention (top 5%)

CSCW Kuksenok K, Mankoff J, Brooks M. Accessible Online Content Creation by End Users. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2013.

Getting Started with Expressive Data Practice (2021) is a very small set of p5.js tutorials based on the course materials for "Radical Imperfection in Time-Tracking" at Berlin's School of Machines, taught in 2021.