After months of uncertainty YT picked up the keys this week for the latest SPC lab which will provide the shelter and storage for the majority of the equipment and media evacuated at the close of Borough Hall. Its a second floor space in the Uniform room of the Old Police Station of Deptford.
SPC have maintained the policed legacy network infrastructure feeding all 45 rooms since it’s adoption by Temporary Contemporary a decade ago. Today it links to a Redraw internet gateway, over a long distance microwave connection at the Thames Barrier!
Our stack of boxes and racks of audio effects, switches and books still languish in the PCL vaults awaiting relocation, yet the first layer of network, catering and media playback equipment are already in place. We inherited some useful fixtures an fitting from the last tenant, a kitchenette and wooden flooring system. There are three outside walls and five windows so prepare to freeze come November. Everyone is expecting the place will be refurbished by 2020 so we hope to make full use of it until then.
Right now it’s light and airy with great views, come and visit soon!
Meanwhile DDBC group spent recent weeks dressing the Doomchained progress for review at Collusion. The Cambridge day trip gave us the opportunity to hear about the other commissioned artists and talk over work in progress. We are exploring the bitcoin blockchain for media artifacts, scaning for patterns of behavior to uncover some secrets and describe crypto-currency and blockchain development concepts at events and exhibition during April 2019. Some of that work has been jump started by Brangerbriz group who have recently uncovered their blockchain navigator at trade shows in the USA. Our research work continues throughout the rest of this year and will be reported here.
The Mazi consortium met at the Zurich pilot location during May, to pick up on the process of engagement and research that concludes at the end of 2018. Our hosts, Nethood.org have been busy, both working to accommodate us for a few days but to co-ordinate some training and testing of the Mazi Toolkit with local groups and in a variety of situations.
The first day of discussion and debate took place at the newly appointed L200 social space in the heart of the latest gentrification area in the city. Traditionally home to immigrant workers and shopkeepers, it’s an area that has escaped earlier waves of regeneration and retains a human scale and international flavour in contrast to much of the city.
In the morning, we gathered at Kraftwerk1 to tour the 80’s housing coop complex and hear from some of it’s pioneer members about it’s origins and collaborative living ambitions. There is such a strong sense of achievement and continuity here that is strangely contrasted by complacency in the process which so many rely on.
Fresh ideas and a commitment to reinvigorate cooperative living processes are being explored not least as the population ages and some re-configuration and adjustment will be needed. Youngsters who have grown up here may be key to understanding what steps could be taken to improve on levels of involvement and understanding. A photographic exhibition in the main social cafe featuring the keystone elements of the coops establishment and development was compiled and presented using the toolkit. When the next exhibition takes it’s place, the Mazi Zone containing all the materials will remain accessible there for all to continue contributing to.
We then crossed the road to visit the Stadionbrache garden project in occupation of hotly contested city football stadium grounds. It then made perfect sense to bake pizza at their famous outdoor ovens! The appeal of cooperation in the dough shaping, topping and baking was compulsive. We sheltered from the strong sunshine amidst timber canopies and acacia shade, to discuss our public work, networking MAZI and bread breaking!
Our tour moved on to Kalkbreite where the latest generation of cooperative householders show us around the very impressive enviable living conditions. The secluded spaces and street accessibility make light of the complexities at play here.
The spectacle of its success coincides with an upsurge of interest and enthusiasm for cooperative housing. Zurich has set about increasing the level of state and cooperative housing from 25 to 33% by 2030. Much of the capital investment required beyond the community fund raising, will be be supplied by the Banking sector who will continue hold the bulk ownership in many of these projects, a reciprocal arrangement that seems to be widely accepted and understood.
Zurich like so many european cities lives for the river where in this case, great effort has been made to provide safe swimming access to its very clean waters which were a joy to swim in at the end of a very busy and warm day. Sorry no pics!
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 support materials and a set of digitised sketchbooks from Four Corners as inspiration.
Work at each corner had to be decicive and inclusive of the group members. Their agenda, is much like our own, to research how to plan and operate in public, express 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.
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 have become regulars 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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 hosts 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!
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 !
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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]
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.