Chattr asks a challenging question; how far will we accept private conversations being captured and shared online? Chattr is a provocative design experiment that shares the private conversations of visitors to the event, online. Choice will be like the ‘choice’ given us by the Internet firms. Sign up to our terms, or you do not get the service you desire – the luxury of the Chattr lounge.

Numerous internet companies operate by offering a service for free, in exchange for your personal data. Chattr is a newly commissioned artwork and provocative design experiment. It asks a deep question about the internet and our life online – how much of our data are we willing to leak into the public online domain?

The artwork runs alongside a series of high level debates on an ambitious international initiative to build what is being called a Digital Public Space.

We live in an always online world, and are growing accustomed to our online interactions being saved, stored, and sold by global online companies. The lines between offline and online, and also private and public, are becoming increasingly blurred. It is now commonplace to see Google’s Street View cars capturing images that are shared online as a feature in Google’s online maps. Images of our streets and homes, and of people too, can be browsed by anyone online without our knowledge or consent. Could private conversations captured in public places be next? Where do we draw the line?

A provocative experiment and artwork, Chattr gives participants a taste of what this world would be like. Mirroring the policies of social media platforms such as Facebook, visitors who do not consent are refused access to a service, in this case a special lounge offering comfort and free drinks to participants.

A team of artists, designers and ethicists are on hand to record and remix the conversations, and to study people’s response, in order to provoke debate on the challenging ethical questions posed by an always online world.

Chattr is a FutureEverything project supported by The Creative Exchange and the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It is by Ben Dalton, Drew Hemment, Elliot Woods, Mel Woods, Joel Porter, Lara Salinas and Joeli Brearley.

Chattr premiered at the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas & Digital Invention in March 2013, and was presented at TodaysArt in The Hague on 28th September 2013.