A glitching computer between two plants A distorted image of Lena Forsen

January 30, 2020
Barcelona, Spain

Co-hosting an off-site session with
ACM FAT* Conference



CtrlZ.AI is a zine fair focused on technology and artificial intelligence (AI). It's a creative intervention for those who are critical of AI and what these new technologies have to offer us. While the discourse coming out of Silicon Valley breathlessly promotes the seemingly endless utility and potential of AI, most of the rest of us — especially those of us who are members of marginalized communities — view these technologies with skepticism and concern.

Ctrl + Z is the near-universal keyboard shortcut for "undo." The invocation of this keyboard command is meant to emphasize the idea of pause or reconsideration, rather than going backwards. CtrlZ.AI is a venue for expressing this sense of reflection on AI and other sociotechnical systems which impact us every day. We aim to be an inclusive platform for artists, technologists, researchers, activists, teachers, and students to showcase their zines and other DIY creations.

CtrlZ.AI will be held as a joint session with the 2020 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*), an interdisciplinary conference focused on understanding and mitigating the harms of data-driven algorithmic systems. CtrlZ.AI is part of the FAT* CRAFT sessions, which aim to take a more holistic approach to issues of fairness in sociotechnical systems. By pairing CtrlZ.AI with FAT*, we hope to bring the academic research community into conversation with artists, activists, and diverse communities affected by algorithmic systems.

CtrlZ.AI is free and open to the public. You do not need to be registered for the FAT* conference to attend this zine fair!

What’s a zine? Why zines?

Zines are self-published, self or independently-distributed, small-circulation magazines that offer an accessible, liberating, and community-oriented mode of creating and disseminating content. We chose zines and related DIY creations as the primary medium of communication at CtrlZ.AI due to their low barrier of entry — to both creation and readership — and because of the significance this publication model holds for many marginalized communities.


CtrlZ.AI is a joint project by Emily Denton and Alex Hanna, in collaboration with Tiny Tech Zines. CtrlZ.AI is inspired by Tiny Tech Zines (created by Rachel Simanjuntak, Tristan Espinoza, and Tyler Yin) and the New York Tech Zine Fair (created by Mimi Onuoha and Taeyoon Choi).


CtrlZ.AI is financially supported by Google. Sponsorship helps ensure that we can have an event with limited barriers to participation by a broad sweep of attendees.


Calling all artists, technologists, researchers, activists, teachers, and students! There are four ways you can participate in CtrlZ.AI:

Propose a workshop

We want you to run an on-site workshop! Workshops will run for 45 minutes and can take the form of a broad range of activities, including lectures, interactive activities, or collaborative design or zine making. We are pleased to offer funding support for travel for workshop organizers outside Barcelona. Workshop proposals will remain open until 11:59 PM PST on November 30, 2019.


Host a table

Sell and/or show your zines with a table! If you are able to come to CtrlZ.AI, apply for table. You will be able to request a full or half table. We have a limited amount of funding available for tablers coming from outside Barcelona. Tabling applications will remain open until 11:59 PST on Dec 15, 2019.


Apply for the Convoluted Layer

Sell and/or show your zines without being there! We're introducing the Convoluted Layer as a way for folks to showcase their work, whether they can be at CtrlZ.AI or not. We encourage works that offer critical tech perspectives, discusses how diverse individuals experience technology, and imagines alternative tech futures. Convoluted Layer registration will remain open until 11:59 PST on Dec 15, 2019.


Submit to the collected volume

Submit your work! We're collecting self-contained zines and creative fragments for a CtrlZ.AI collected volume, to be published after the zine fair. Even if you don't have a fully worked-out idea, we'd love to include it. We are accepting fragments on a rolling basis.



A facepalming statue

Follow us on Instagram @ctrlz.ai and Twitter @ctrlz_ai_zines