Step, step, rest, step: challenging age-related norms and biometric bodies through self-tracking data-rematerialization

This paper presents a research-creation project that aimed to explore how the experience of self-tracking and the data retrieved from self-tracking activities could be used to creatively critique the norms and regulatory mechanisms embedded within self-tracking devices and practices as they come to intersect with pressures and injunctions lying on seniors’ bodies. More specifically, we discuss the processes of research and creation involved in the ‘Dancing with Fitbit’ project (, oriented by the key question: How can we use data and the lived self-tracking experience to disrupt the biometric bodies produced by self-tracking technologies, as they intersect with ideals of ‘successful aging’? The article presents the processes at stake in the development of the project, so as to highlight how creation and research co-informed each other and to render explicit the tacit knowledge produced and embedded in the interrelated creative processes (Paquin, L.-C. 2018. Faire le récit de sa pratique de recherche-création. We first present the ‘creation-as-research’ (Chapman, O., and K. Sawchuk. 2012. “Research-Creation: Intervention, Analysis and ‘Family Resemblances’.” Canadian Journal of Communication 37 (1): 5–26. doi:10.22230/cjc.2012v37n1a2489) approach mobilized. We then present the subversive forms of data materialization (through choreography, sounds, visuals) we carried out and how they relate to the initial creative and critical intents formulated by the project. We conclude by highlighting the importance of the collaborative and processual character of the project.

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To cite this article:
  1. Durocher, M., Thulin, S., Salles, J., & Frizzera, L. (2019). Step, step, rest, step: Challenging age-related norms and biometric bodies through self-tracking data-rematerialization. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 1–18.
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