The Study Group

We invite junior researchers, artists, activists and other interested parties to join a study group to accompany the Workshop on Obfuscation. In addition to actively participating in the workshop itself, the study group will meet twice before and once afterwards. Our goal is to provide an arena for deeper reflection and engagement with obfuscation, a more tight-knit and longer breathed space for collaboration for those interested in this topic. Study group participants will be mentored by leading researchers on obfuscation Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, as well as artist and designer Femke Snelting. We hope the study group will provide the basis to engage in obfuscation collectively beyond the ephemeral and rectangled formats of online events. 

The work of the study group is organized as follows:

  • The study group will come together twice before the workshop to present and discuss the work of each participant and the pre-recorded videos and other materials produced for the obfuscation workshop. Together we will explore open problems and challenges around the topic of obfuscation, create connections and identify collaboration opportunities across communities. We will steer, guide and provide support to the study group, working in smaller groups to enable closer, informal interactions. You will also be invited to join and actively participate at the vernissage.
  • During the workshop, study group participants will play two main roles. On the one hand, participants will actively steer and contribute to the discussions, document and keep track of the highlights and main contention points for the purpose of synthesis and documentation. On the other hand, participants will also be able to present their own work during dedicated sessions.
  • After the workshop participants will reflect on the talks and discussions at the workshop. Together we will prepare a postscript of the event that captures the views and perspectives of the different communities working on obfuscation. The postscript will document open problems and promising avenues of research and collaboration. The post-script will be uploaded to the workshop's website and participants will be credited as co-authors.
    In addition, under the direction of Khadijah Abdurahman and Reni Hofmüller, study group participants will contribute to the production of a podcast.




(Tentative times are given in UTC and are subject to change according to study group availability)

April 30, 2021 - Study group session #1: Introduction study group participants
Mentor: Helen Nissenbaum

 15:00 || Introduction
 15:30 || Round of presentations and organisation of groups
 16:30 || Break
 17:00 || Break-out sessions (team work)
 18:00 || Closing

May 6, 2021 - Study group session #2: Preparation for workshop
Mentor: Finn Brunton

 15:00 || Engage with materials and organize supporting work at main event (prepare for sessions)
 16:30 || Break
 17:00 || Prepare study group presentations parallel sesions at 3rd Workshop on Obfuscation
 18:00 || Closing

May 19, 2021 - Study group session #3: Recap, discussion and preparation of post-script
Mentor: Femke Snelting

 15:00 || Open round of comments on 3rd Workshop on Obfuscation
 16:30 || Break
 17:00 || Organize work on the postscript
 18:00 || Closing 

Sponsored by:

Organizing committee:

Ero Balsa (Cornell Tech)
Seda Gürses (TU Delft)
Helen Nissenbaum (Cornell Tech) 
Jara Rocha (Independent researcher)

Report of the 2nd Workshop on obfuscation (WO 2017)

The Workshop Report from the 2nd Workshop on Obfuscation, available as individual articles on this website as well as in a printer-friendly PDF.  Whether you were able to attend or couldn't make it, we hope this report will provide further resources towards developing obfuscation both as a theory and praxis.

We have asked our panelists to each provide a brief essay summarizing their project, concept, application—with an emphasis on the questions, challenges, and discussions raised during the weekend. As with the workshop itself, this report is a starting point rather than an end point.