Criss crossings

The 3d Pathway staff at CSM Fine art department set first year students a challenge, to utilise the ‘street’ area of the Kings Cross campus building as studio for a week whilst theirs was unavailable.

The task was to work in four groups to construct alternative working space using the MAZI offline network toolkit to express their impression of the street, experiences working in public and responses to the collaborative brief.

YT attended a briefing session with all students and department staff the week before to introduce MAZI and explain use of the many existing options for it’s use, as well as suggest ways of bending it into new shapes. We prepared a guide MAZI called Kimchi loaded with materials from Reverso and a set of digitised sketchbooks from four corners as inspiration.

Their agenda, much like our own was to discover how to plan and operate in public, establish network presence and communicate it’s existence, offer publishing options, promote engagement and document outcomes.

A week later we all gathered in the street to hear from each groups about their experiences and reflections on using the toolkit. Their responses were eccentric, exploratory and defiant, so that went as well as we could have expected!

For some, just working outside of the studio challenged their preconceptions of 3D study, others were annoyed to be diverted from other interests or bored by the investigation. For many it was stimulating and introduced ideas we hope they will continue to work with again.  We spent a few hours hearing outcomes and shared thoughts about the publishing purpose, sharing of information and definition of public space. It was a useful reminder of how perceptions of the development work differs. MAZI training and support material needs a lot more attention before final project delivery at end of 2018.

Over at Creekside Discovery Centre in Deptford work continues on development of a water based sensor array for installation at the Ha’penny Hatch so that tidal variations of temperature, salinity and turbidity can be recorded and published to their local data systems for use by visitors and students.

A species monitoring system is already configured for testing and will soon be in daily use. Low tide walkers carry iPad tablets to in waterproof holsters to the river, collecting data, counting species types and capturing images. This is part of a longer term initiative within the Creeknet pilot project, to explore environment sensing options and how the demands of different systems can be integrated into the MAZI toolkit.

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Cull truer

Passing by the Borough Hall yesterday, YT was amused to see the modest banner drop and massive section 144 notice alongside the Gentrification n definition, attracting much attention from passers by!

RBG have been slow to respond to the changes they themselves brought about by abrupt closing the hall at end of May, without any public plan for it’s future use or protection.

Now, those of us previously excluded so nonchalantly can watch on as a little wrestle of power commences. Our old keys are no use as entrances front a rear are well sitexed barricaded so let’s hope those inside have a longer term plan and resolve to hold out to have their fun.  The new residents will begin offering building tours for those bringing food and drink to share. Try knocking the door or singing “The Thieving Magpie” !

The 1938 ‘deco structure has many extraordinary features and failings but few will survive the next stage of it’s transformation, planned or otherwise so take a look. An occupation MAZI has been established for configuration by occupants so that passers by can now add their comments, voice opinions and express frustrations!

Over at the office building squat adjacent to the the Anchor and Hope Pub, the TAA show, has mostly packed up after a storming couple of weeks exhibition and events, despite police disruption of their modest plans for DIY entertainments.

Meanwhile we are settling in at Coopepys the community arts space at the foot of Daubeny Tower. There will soon be a fresh timetable of print and publishing sessions to add to the weekly Monday and Wednesday painting club and high speed broadband has been switched on so that MAZI work interrupted during the transition can resume. Contact make@spc.org for information or check the SPC event timetable.

An initiative to record all the community artworks produced, is underway for compilation into a printed catalogue. Your painting, printwork or fabrication should be included if you made it at Coopepys anytime in it’s history, even if you keep it at home! Please bring it along one Monday or Wednesday evening or email make@spc.org.

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Stair cycle

This months dominant feature has been stairs, not least the nine flights at Borough Hall up to Deckspace but also those linking the street and workspaces we regularly visit.

In the countdown toward our Greenwich exit we have been dragging out larger items down the back stairs which descend to the Borough Hall basement and beyond to the boiler room and beyond to this lofty ventilation void first visited in back in 1999 with Barridale Opera House.

The 7 year lease at OPS rolls over again for a 10th year. During a recent visit to adjust their wireless link for continued broadband access, we viewed this 2nd floor studio space and storeroom at the top of the iron fire exit stairs of the old police station now DIY arts centre. The room is big enough to hold the active SPC projects but in need to some repair and reconstruction, with time short perhaps just a bit too much extra work to take on now.

We have been up and down to the PCL vaults a hundred times this month where much of the SPC library of tech periodicals, cultural ephemera, tech and AV technology has been stored for now.

The weekly Wednesday workshops there, have been progressing well with many local people as well as our seasoned regulars now attending the computer clinic. we are all enjoying the dramatic riverside landscape and Library of resources available here.

Just around the corner on first floor of Daubeny Tower  is the community art space, Coopepys, six rooms for painting, crafts, photography, fabric and media production. SPC has a long term relationship with this undervalued community resource that has been open and active for over 30 years. Today it opens each day as painting studio and host weekly Monday and Wednesday evening painting club. A huge collection of paintings by the Pepys community is currently being digitised for a retrospective publication in support of the space.

A decapitation of community spaces is underway, not least in the poorest reaches of the borough where shared cultural resources are most limited. Lewisham Homes have been increasingly pressuring the Coopepys coordinators for it’s return for use as living space. This will be vigorously resisted unless a suitable ‘like for like’ alternative can be made available.

Such a space exists on the Pepys Estate, on the first floor of Aragon Tower, facilitated with a section 106 a tthe time of refurbishment but which remained unused despite many attempts to activate it since the tower was sold off for development in 2003. A classic application for its change of use to domestic due to community innactivity has now been lodged at planning, so perhaps this option, will be also be lost?

The TAA (temporary autonomous artists) exhibition and festival was moved at last minute to a riverside office block adjacent to Anchor and Hope pub just upstream from the Thames Barrier. By the time we got there to visit on Sunday, it was the quiet hangover of the night before! Each floor of the abandoned building had been refactored in some way or freshly painted with the urban icons of anti establishment and political jibe. On the top floor, successful contestants of ‘The Royal Shit’ were exhibited in a pasteup fresco. To top it all, a trip to the roof and spectacular panorama, what a beautiful day!

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Land scraped

Even as we continue the process of sifting and sorting decades of accumulated technology manuals, media periodicals and event ephemera, fresh material arrives for review and deserves acknowledgement.

The very latest arrived just yesterday from Simon Crab. His recent recordings are compiled on ‘Demand Full Automation’ which followed on from the ‘After America’ album of 2015. Both continue along the illustrious pathway carved out by Bourbonese Qualk which he and Miles Miles rounded off with ‘On Uncertainty‘ an age ago. All three present fine qualities of texture, rhythms and sonification for repeat listening whilst packing!

The Deckspace library has been boxed ready to shift out and the 8, 16mm, slide film, photo and print will join a mountain of VHS, Video8, Hi8, DAT and MiniDV CD, DVD and backup hard discs, ready to ship out.

Back in 2013, a Deckspace archive review was co-ordinated by Adnan Hadzi and YT, as part of Post Media Lab so we will be able to make more of this available, once an arrangement for it’s future hosting has been confirmed. Some custom made furniture from Obsolete studios (1995-1997) Backspace (1996-2000) and now from Deckspace (2001-2018) which have been constructed to fit in and around the old projection suite, all await transportation down the six flights and out.

Dozens of ancient web servers, screens and printers have already made it out for recycling but by the end of the month there will still be another stack to abandon here. Down in Bitspace and adjacent storeroom, there is still much work to do.

EC, sorted !

Exploding Cinema store their screening equipment and event booklet production archive here, alongside crates of power, network and AV cables. A massive cull of un-fixable, inactive and utterly useless hardware, PC peripherals, boxes of now obsolete wireless access points, microwave cables, antennas and worn out projectors from last 25 years will be heading to the skip.

Next Sunday 29th April SPC welcome all for a final viewing from the roof of Deckspace and ask your support and muscle as we shift packed boxes out to PCL . Thanks !

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Snipped off

Just as we felt a sense of recovery from the shock of loss at the closure of Deckspace, we now hear from outgoing Greenwich Dance director that ‘news just in’ from their board of trustees (or was it RBG) setting a very short timetable for closure of the building and evacuation of all activities, not least our place of recent retreat, Bitspace.

We have until May 2018 (now just two weeks) to distill all the materials, machines and mayhem of SPC into shape for, well am not sure quite what just yet!

Over the last 17 years of our Greenwich operation, so much has changed for us all, it would take more than the pages of this blog to represent. Before any such indulgence, the practical process to gather ourselves and identify suitable next steps must get going.

When asked about the meaning of SPC the preferred response is that it’s ‘abbreviated space’. We have successfully held space open for creative use and experimentation but when circumstances change, we must respond with an expectation that each turn exposes fresh opportunities.

Coopepys faces similar issues as it’s ‘life long’ community lease at Daubeny Tower in Pepys estate is being contested by Lewisham Homes. Six spaces for painters, photographers, fabricators and community organisers are well loved but under threat. We have a long term relationship with the space and will certainly take up their kind offer to migrate some of the many SPC projects and subscriber activities.

Pepys Community Library is open 5 days a week thanks to the initiative of community activists from the estate who have taken on the responsibility and made a strong commitment to residents there. As part of its ongoing development SPC now host the weekly wireless workshop and will open the Library there each Wednesday from 10am till 6pm.

Investigations are already underway for new project HOLD at the other end of the Deptford foreshore building on the edge of Pepys Estate, though this is still less than certain. The old storehouse was built in 1780 and is between the desolated plot of Convoys Wharf and the Southwalk border. It’s currently a very serene corner of Deptford with small park and presents a sweeping Thames panorama overlooking the financial stew on the Isle of Dogs. The river along this stretch was home to the Tudor Docks and used to build British Navy ships for 350 years.

On another tack, the Glasshouse Trust are offering visual artist groups 12 months share of offices and exhibition space at Ravens Row in Artillery Street, Spitalfields. This invitation closes today so I hope they will look kindly on our appeal.

During the recent Exploding Cinema show at the spectacular Cinema Museum we were reminded how precariously their future swings in the balance in the dash for cash and release of responsibility that all local authorities lust for.

Central st Martins 3d students will be spending the first few weeks of their summer term out on the street as they explore the making of space opportunities offered by Mazi toolkit. They will be shaping up how best to configure options and set out public access to four separate offline initiatives that should accommodate examples of their working practices, initiatives to engage with each other, trade, test and contest concepts of public and private, direct action and consent.

Let’s hope they have time to pause and consider why we find ourselves in these situations and how to understand and tackle difficulties presented. I find Dmytri explanations inspiring and instructive and perhaps you will get something of value from this blast of oxygen!

counterantidisintermediation for venture communism

 

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Xchange holdings

A fresh initiative from local residents has emerged, to reactivate the Pepys Resource Centre spaces of the Deptford Foreshore alongside the Thames and promote xCHANGE.

Pepys residents and long term co-coordinators of Coopepys have recently reactivated the Pepys Community Library and very spacious but under utilised basement spaces for social use.

At the other end of the block the Superintendents Storehouse, Deptford Foreshore SE8, is a mirror of the library and features a similarly appointed set of spaces also seeking reactivation for social uses and which have been left abandoned since the LBL craft resource centre was closed in 2007. Both places are in the hands of Hyde Housing and Coopepys join SPC in negotiations with their property department for a long term lease to accommodate a new community HOLD.

Coopepys  and SPC will hopefully be joined by Build the Lenox and SELCE, well known and respected social enterprises seeking early use of the HOLD.

The ground floor offices and basement vaults were integrated as craft resource centre and sailing club in the 70’s. Exterior access to the vaults is offered via a winch and stairs shown here. Profound darkness of the unlit spaces hasn’t yet made photography possible.

To suitably equip the establishment phase we have enlisted the help of Cobudget and Loomio systems both of which have been designed to support the development of community collaborations.

Here are a selection of foreshore images for now!

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Planet Merkle

Since first posting the Collusion proposal in Autumn 2017, Bitcoin and the fortunes of so many ICO’s have tumbled and turned. By the time we receive the initial stage funding, valuations of all currencies could well have been transformed again. We can be sure that this instability is far from over and in our own way we hope to introduce options for blockchain use to match high levels public interest and that suggest alternatives to currency speculation spectacle.

How are we going to progress quickly enough through the hurdles ahead, if we are to deliver on the plan? One that defines a spec for a doomsday blockchain that we can activate to record discoveries of human readable media and information lodged in the swell of public blockchains.

Distributed databases rely on the take up of interest and activity of peers, all of whom must share in verification of data that’s recorded however unconsciously. We are awash with tools to facilitate collaboration and iterate though we are yet to identify any set or system to readily adopt.

IPFS and the Blockchain are a perfect match! You can address large amounts of data and place the immutable, permanent IPFS links into a blockchain transaction. This timestamps and secures your files, without having to store the data on the chain itself.

Hello and Welcome to IPFS!

██╗██████╗ ███████╗███████╗
██║██╔══██╗██╔════╝██╔════╝
██║██████╔╝█████╗  ███████╗
██║██╔═══╝ ██╔══╝  ╚════██║
██║██║     ██║     ███████║
╚═╝╚═╝     ╚═╝     ╚══════╝

If you're seeing this, you have successfully installed
IPFS and are now interfacing with the ipfs merkledag!

2018-the-year-for-data-driven-blockchains

Nothing here is that simple, so we are preparing ourselves for a difficult process and ready to improvise the design to hold the target in sight whilst we uncover the elements needed. Some of the key tools are to hand so we need to attune our senses to those emergent solutions for integration into our Doomchained pretotype.

Research into the published media materials accessible in the bitcoin blockchain has uncovered much of the low hanging prose and pastiche. Our hope is that a suitably redressed catalog of findings may well fit the basic brief but this isn’t the sole objective of our quest. We want to offer the invitation for all to contribute research results and be rewarded for the effort.

Local&&Ledger think tank meets occasionally to ponder aspects of community coin concept for local authority finance management. At our last get together in Raylab we explored the subject of how local authority expenditure could be augmented using a combination of proxy voting (Liquid Democracy) and distributed database systems where the act of engagement in decisions accredits community members and empowers them to influence part of the budget emphasis for social aims and cultural production. Only a small part of any council funding is available for such fine tuning as the huge majority is locked into civil administration and environmental management expenditure that have little scope for reallocation.

We really don’t know where this research and sleep walking may lead us but it’s already akin to the convolutions and paradoxes we learned to love in the Hitchhikers guide!

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Embarked on

This week DDBC visited Cambridge for the project launch of Collusion Commissions at the start of a year long development process.

DD|BC is a collaborative project to audit public blockchains and discover published materials, traces of experimentation, civic records, an uncovering and account of lives lived in the first age of crypto currency.

  “How will the 21st century be remembered? Beyond the financial hype, people around the world are embedding messages and memorials in blockchains to preserve them forever. Like the Domesday Book, the Doomsday Blockchain is the first project to carry out a systematic survey that treats this data as a historical and cultural medium. We are are excited to work with Collusion to create a system that allows people to participate in turning these technologies into a public medium for us all.”

We joined the four other commissioned artiststo meet with Ruskin fine arts, Cambridge Consultants and chip developers ARM to introduce each project plan. Collusion have commissioned development of five research projects for an exhibition in Cambridge spring 2019.

Each project expressed very different responses to the commission call and we spent a very enjoyable afternoon talking over some of the proposals for work and plans to exhibit the outcomes a year from now. We toured the superb facilities at Cambridge Junction and heard about the ongoing project activities at Collusion Lab, took turns to plunge into virtual 3D and Augmented Reality constructs, submit to the propaganda machine and discuss some of the finer points of each others plans.

Work now commences for us all to prepare and develop first stage research and production. In preparation YT spent a few hours setting up a Mazi Toolkit for offline use whilst in the session to start the annotation process.

During the train journey tutorial Daniella had a first look at the tools and our discussion was overheard and enjoyed by self confessed technophobe Alison, who was very keen to hear if these tools could improve on north sea communications and help her grok up on Raspberry Pi lore to impress her grandchildren.

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Outside in

Whilst sheltering from the harsh wintry weather of recent days it has been possible to prepare for a string of activities and events in March and April 2018.

Mazi partners at Napier University in Edinburgh have scheduled a free hands on workshop ‘hackathon’ during the Datafest 18.

Program Or Be Programmed: Investigates the implications of small data, local context and “Do-It-Yourself” technologies. YT and Mark Gaved of Open University will introduce the Mazi toolkit and co-ordinate with those attending to explore options and experiment with the tools already available.

Please join us at Codebase – 38, Castle Terrace. Edinburgh. EH3 9DZ. View Map Mon 19 March 2018 – 09:30 – 12:30 GMT and stay for the afternoon symposium till cake!

Just as soon as we return, Creeknet resumes weekly Mazi meet-ups and toolkit workshops at a chain of workplaces, homes and street based installations along Deptford Creek. Please check our Activity listing and get involved to find out more about DIY Networking.

Wireless Wednesday Workshops will move to Pepys Community Library on Deptford foreshore storehouse on the ‘odd’ side of the 1870 mansion blocks overlooking the Thames. So please bring over  your sick tech and explore this great space with us at the revised times 12 till 6PM each week.

It was over a decade ago SPC first posted proposals for the rescue and reactivation of PRC. Today the Xchange coalition of local interest groups have been opening and operating the library resource whilst preparing the basement for a broader program of socialisation.

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Faultline

On the way into two days of meetings with Mazi partners in Brussels, we made a visit to the print department of La Cambre to meet with professor of lettering, Pierre Huyghebaert and colleagues. Their recent investigations into legacy state printing machinery uncovered some of the 1000’s of stone lithographic plates stored on site in Abbaye de la Cambre grounds.

The one pictured here has sparked a chain of interest and excitement as it shows a fractured map of late 19th century Congo territories. Students at the Print school based in the l’Institut Géographique National de la Défense compound discovered broken pavement sized ‘plates’ built into an earth retaining wall during post war period. Thought to present a risk to national security as late as 1950’s, they were broken up and stored in huge underground bunkers.

Belgian colonial history of this period is most widely known as The Heart of Darkness ruled by savagery that resulted in genocide and dismemberment of the enslaved millions in Congo by Leopold II during his quest for international status, power and profit. The fractured plate maps a rip in time and conscience at a moment Belgians seek a better understanding of their history and relationship with Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. A student group are planning a trip there to follow the trail along the fault line and report experiences and findings onto a their portable MaziZone.

YT has been meeting with Jean Pierre Muller of La Cambre and Mick Finch, Anthony Davies and Elizabeth Wright of Central St Martins to map out some plans for a collaboration between us all and the Architecture School in Kinshasa to further explore the history with Belgium and collect stories from those in both places.

CSM return to Sao Paolo later in March, to pick up on the Reverso initiative and reassemble all 10 of the project partners for an update, to set out plans for further collaborations and training through the year.

The Mazi toolkit continues to evolve with V2.3.1 now available for download and flashing to micro SD for use with your Raspberry Pi 3. Our SPC toolkit now includes several peripheral add-ons, a Pi Camera, hi power USB battery, 12w solar panel and SenseHAT which can be put to use in response to the needs expressed for add-hock customisation and install.

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Mind blown

Today, YT began gathering together the many computer shells and scratched screens out of Bitspace, ready for recycling at ECO pick-up point in Crofton Library. A car load of relic iMac, TFT and legacy network hardware now awaits dispatch for disassembly, sorting and leaching of precious materials. 

The details of who, how and where all this work actually takes place remains mysterious as it does for all that paper, glass and aluminum supposedly recaptured in the growing collective effort to recycle something from the mass we dispose of so easily.

This wind of change continues to blow us around and about which of course we like, particularly when we are un-installing huge microwave parabolics on slippery rooftops. Redraw collected most of the stack this morning, for redeployment linking rural communities around the UK.

Up in the Deckspace stairwell, the rather larger pile of legacy web servers and more general trash await collection and with that our agreement with Greenwich Dance to clear up for safety’s sake will be complete. As for how much more needs to be done around the building to satisfy the borough insurer we can’t be sure and perhaps these expectations really cant be met.

Our current tack has to be more ‘suck it and see’ than scheming a future path, though recent viewings of alternative premises have gone well so far and we are hopeful of a yet more illustrious address than the Royal Hill we currently HOLD.

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Deckspace sunset

Yesterday when I took this image to send to our Garry of Redraw Internet I had just no idea today we would hear bad news.. After 17 years we got just two days to clear out of Deckspace notice to grab work in progress and decant to Bitspace on the first floor.

Greenwich council have been reviewing all their public buildings in the wake of Grenfell Tower disaster and earlier this week visited us at Borough Hall for the first time in a decade.. Our hosts Greenwich Dance have had a series of nasty shocks and SPC are not the only casualty this week, as most sublets of rooms seem likely to be terminated as well. Will find out more this coming week.

The grade2* listed building has been systematically neglected by RBG and it’s in a terrible state, all flat roofs have been leaking for years, doors are off hinges and most of the toilets failed long ago.. but they were shocked to discover we were up there doing what we do (whatever that is?) and threw a massive fit, threatening to shut the whole building if we didn’t clear the deck immediately!

Seems a bit harsh really but we have always operated on the basis we would yield to such a request – really expected a bit more notice though.

This will have a big impact on community wireless infrastructure and all the local connections that use the fast network provided by connection provider Redraw. We have the weekend to reconfigure what we can before the doors will be locked. So if you think you have something special stored or just want to get a final look out from the roof over Deptford and Greenwich visit this afternoon or Sunday morning until 1pm..

Great response from friends and subscribers, here are some images from the weekend grind.

We will continue with use of Bitspace until we hear different, it’s stacked with the materials and equipment dragged down the stairs. The weekly Wednesday workshops will also continue between 2 and 8pm. See you there!

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Supersense

This week YT returned from a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil with staff from CSM 3D, which included a concussion of visits to suburban favelas, occupied houses and the downtown city centre over eight days. Whilst the density of this experience may take a while to digest, the lasting impression of so many new faces, places and situations is intense.

Our aim, minuscule in the city scale, a mission to expose value in the collaborative use of Active Archiving, 3D Photogrammetry and DIY networking we named Reverso.

Utilising the Mazi toolkit beta, we pulled it all together in Portuguese and published to it’s integrated offline webserver then presented for local access over a series of wireless hotspots introduced during workshops. A glimpse of this process is now reflected at the public website where we will continue to integrate insights and ideas that promote positive reaction.

For so many there, a change in fortunes is overdue but despite the growing international call for awareness and action in response to deepening poverty and despair, it’s going to be left to those facing the gravest precariousness to find a way out of their respective difficulties. These seem like the longest odds but the alternatives are less than palatable for those on such fringes.

An emergent architecture, however fragile, spans the ravine around which, communities, families and lives are assembled and lived out. Sunlight rarely makes ground in the most densely stacked favela infrastructures. Power cables and plumbing snake at head height. Faces peer in and out of the windowless spaces as we tread carefully along back alleys and scale stairs. The aged, infant and indolent weave past us and throughout the timeless structures of towering brick and corrugated roofing. Which century are we in again? images

Somewhere there out of reach, something less reasonable lurks unchecked. Stray offline here at considerable risk, for these are hard fought territories and the trust on show is paper thin. Out on the street, police cars speed recklessly between traders, cyclists and residents.

Our visit draws to a close with optimism for community led reconstruction.. rehousing at this scale a formidable challenge, non the less possible for the great humanity evident, the self awareness and determination is irresistible ! [images]

 

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Doomchained

Imagine a scenario where all centralised forms of information have disappeared in a calamity. When future historians uncover records in the widely distributed crypto currency ledgers they reassemble an image of lives lived. A ‘Doomsday Blockchain’.

“It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. We can now revise that and witness the attempt to imagine capitalism by way of imagining the end of the world”. Fredric Jameson (2013)

As a collective of four; designers, educators, technologists and theorists, we are seeking opportunities to develop and test metaphors for the blockchain that can resonate with the public.

We applied to the Collusion Commisions for development and support to advance our shared interests and examine how the blockchain has already been utilised and abused, it’s currently not known how many hidden traces are there to be discovered.  Collusion invited artists to come forward with proposals that situate creativity at the heart of digital culture. “We want to hear from diverse voices with new ideas.” 

Doomchained addresses the theme of ‘data culture’ by exploring and visualising the Bitcoin blockchain as a tangible artefact,  a universal blockchain ‘tuner’ for exhibition and personal use. The current financial value of Bitcoin is currently 95 billion dollars with 14 million wallets in use. Yet, the aim of this project is to engage with the blockchain not as a financial tool but as a social and cultural artefact that is forming the first publically owned supercomputer. It’s patterns and affordances are shaping our political forms of organisation and conforming a lasting record of our daily lives.

As active individuals we each have long term investment in ‘free research’ over a wide range of interests as well as experience with UK and international commercial and academic environments. Together we look forward to an intensification of exchange and wider sharing of knowledge publicly.

Dr. Christian Nold is known for his large-scale participatory mapping projects that have been run in 16 countries and involved thousands of participants, with Bio Mapping and currency activism such as Bijlmer Euro. He is based at UCL and currently managing an EU funded project on participatory and DIY science.

Alexei Blnov is a free researcher working out of Raylab in Haggerston, London. A well known and experienced I/O specialist with a passion for high voltage and radio frequency experimentation. Currently researching electro stimulation of neural feedback and blockchain resourcing.

Daniela Boraschi is an information designer and academic and has worked for a world-leading publisher designing science books for young audiences. She has collaborated with Nold as designer on the Stockport Map and Brentford Biopsy. Today she is today researching the history of evidence in cancer screening and teaches Media Studies at the University of Essex.

James Stevens is the founder member of SPC and lives in Deptford, London. His  enthusiasm for social exchange characterise many aspects of this work, never shy to facilitate the grand ambitions and support embryonic initiative of others with patience, experience and resourcefulness. He continues to interweave these many threads into a self-sustaining infrastructure, supporting domestic and public life in continuity with family, long term collaborators and fresh interactions alike.

Review on going research reports Ice-Scraper and Shards of Sharing.

Contact the collective by email ddbc@spc.org or keep your eyes on the ico’s!

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Subtle ties

‘SPC offers shared access to physical workspaces and networked resources by subscription.’

That’s a line written a decade ago that we believe still explains our offer and invitation to join us as we collaborate to keep the spaces accessible, delegate costs and share resources.

The Minesweeper hull will become a floating nature sanctuary in the creek

This year we have welcomed several new subscribers but it’s taken till now to introduce them and review their work here.

When the Minesweeper burned to the waterline in January 2017, there was almost total losses of equipment resources and materials for those who relied on the print lab access. Despite this tragic loss no person was injured and the collective have recovered their energy one way or another, finding alternative workspace and have picked up on their respective initiatives.

Kevin Seven, Jo , Alex and Alexandra all took up SPC subscription and currently make good use of the Deckspace medialab in Greenwich. It’s been a joy to share the lofty delights of the old projection suite with them and bring them into the mix there.

Kevin managed the screen printing lab and has worked hard to reanimate the workshop program. Thanks to the public generosity of so many, a fund was collected to help facilitate new print lab and equip it for the use of the collective but available space is scarce. Thankfully DIY Space for London were keen to embrace the opportunity and enlisted his energy and expertise to setup a printing facility at their great resource space just off Old Kent Road. go there and join, it’s just £2 !

Alexandra also had a boat moored by The Minesweeper and lost shore access as consequence of the fire. Her boat sits idle on the creek in the interim and perhaps her time on the river is over. She teaches media studies and maintains her research from a desk in the music room of Deckspace.

Alex lives in the squatted spaces locally and co-ordinates poster design, print and campaign initiatives that intervene on public commercial advertising with messages of truth, courting controversy and pressing issues that inspire fresh thinking.

Jo ‘s studio was in the pilots cabin on the deck of the Liftmore boat adjacent to the Minesweeper and suffered badly from the fire. The mass of water poured on the inferno during the attempted rescue, damaged artwork stored there not already scorched. He has been very busy elsewhere since setting up a working desk in Deckspace during the early summer. Where are you Jo?

Vytautas is a film maker and producer who first visited with Tom, Jim and Nathan during their subscription period in 2016. They worked together at that time to record a improvisational dialogue of accentuated relationship interactions, based as it were in real life and use of the space. Great viewing.. you will have to visit to get to see it!

Dave Baker has many online pseudonymous and is known for his Trailer.tv  sessions on Creekside as well as prolific output as musician and media production. We cross paths late at night in Deckspace, his preferred time of day for creative experiment and music mixing.

We aim to cover operational expenses with the subscriptions and keen to sustain access and conviviality than pressing each other for fees. That said, your support and subscription is most welcome so please get in touch if you want to join us at work here or find out more… make@spc.org

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On offline

SELCE is the renewable energy coop based in Greenwich and this year TB joined their board of directors to extend support for their great work promoting energy awareness and action on fuel poverty.

We traveled to MIlton Keynes with the ‘Solar Roller’ and attended the first Offline Festival for two days of camping, a string of fascinating talks and great company. Collecting and storing energy from the sun is a precarious activity as another low pressure weather front clouded over the only source proved!

When the rain stopped from time to time we celebrated the rise in watts available for the powered sound and lighting for the tent and talked with attendees about how to hire the rig for future events.   

The roller also boasts a 4g enabled wireless router for Internet access, so we used the Mazi toolkit to build a custom information point to present promotional documents, report on energy being generated, invite comments and present a photo gallery of it’s use on hire.

Our understanding of these by now mature technologies is limited so to upgrade my own knowledge, enlisted myself and friend Luciana to the Demand Energy Equality workshops held each month at their Ladywell workshops.

We spent a very enjoyable Saturday together in a small but very focused class learning more about the state of energy science and practices of solar panel design and construction.

The sad demise of UK’s only panel manufacturing plant (in Wales) provided materials needed for the construction. Silicon wafers are sliced from torpedo shaped crystals, sandwiched to form card thin biscuits and printed with conductive circuits.

Our task was to connect these cards in a series array so they would release 12v*1 amp=12w when exposed to sunlight. The silicon wafers are surprisingly brittle and hard to work with but with care and and support of tutor Ian Westmoreland, we all managed to assemble the array and generate power!

Here is the final construction in it’s laptop bag, fitted with a regulator that converts the 12v to 5v for charging of batteries and other USB devices, smartphones etc. It was well worth the £95 fee for the excellent instruction and of course a functional solar panel to boot!

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