These posts often crash together reports of SPC studio, outreach and refurbishment activities which are pressing for time, require documentation or risk slipping away!

We have worked with many artists, musicians and performers over the 20 years of regular tech workshops and studio sessions at Deckspace and most recently in the Old Police Station at Uniform room.

Babar Luck is a regular visitor and faithful student who has tuned his experience of self publishing and promotion to both offline experimentation and comprehensive web development of this mastery. His Mazi based ‘spaceship’ travels with him to live performances as Citizen Folk Band, East Trinity and solo sets, each delivered with great panache. We helped him resurrect babarluck.com which like so many domain names had slipped out of control over the years, so that now it forms an intersection of all his activities and adventures. Next Show is at the Birdsnest on 21st December (yes it reopens on 6th) so hope to see you there. Buy one of his many albums to send a friend!

Our main focus of recent months has been fixed on plight of beloved droog and long term collaborator Alexei Blinov. His death just last week of organ failure followed six months of struggle with pancreas and liver cancer, chemotherapy and health services.

A fabulous circle of friends enveloped him with love and support throughout, not least in respect of his creative drive and fierce intellect, but for the huge sense of fun and selflessness he encouraged in all who knew him. A very special friend indeed.

A public Transition Celebration is planned for Sunday 15th December at one of Alexei’s favourite bars, Strongroom in Shoreditch London 3-10pm, please come early and celebrate his life and times.. together!

A sensational gathering of friends and family shared in the unique celebration of his life and times. It centred around this wonderfully apt and beautifully crafted plasma capsule which scanned and smoothed Alexei’s passing on and up to next phase of further exploration and infinite dreaming..

See the growing collection of Alexei images and video clips in this shared album.

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Here are a few subscriber projects where YT has been able to offer support creative development to customise simple tools that enhance their public representation.

James Braddell AKA Funki Porcini first dropped by Obsolete 1995 to introduce himself and his work, a very different time to the one we all now inhabit. None of us anticipated quite how the experimental approach we took to networked media, shared resources and critical thinking then would continue to inform on our lives and practices 25 years on.

Things 2016 was the first website that James has made for Funki Porcini that we refreshed together recently. It collects together all his record releases, artworks and films, those released through Ninja Tune and later his own Uterus Goldmine.

We wanted to identify a process of working that would not present update difficulties and flexible enough to accommodate new ideas. Each release or public activity can be added in CMS blog form that can be extended to hold the next things!

Studio59 is the latest album so do listen to it and check this review!

Pete Gomes called up to tell me Gareth Watkins and friends would be enacting The Hamlet Machine during Bloomsbury Festival 2019 and did we have a 360 degree camera? Sure, so we visited and dropped it in amongst the performers whilst they drilled their process. Senate House has been getting a lot of attention recently for its austere exterior and deco interiors, the Crush Hall was a stunning setting.

Over the weekend Jerneja Rebernak invited me to join a waterside workshop with the Planetary Institute where she would talk us through the mechanics of her pocket lab which utilises the Mazi toolkit. It frames research into shoreline flooding that forms part of MA study at The Bartlett Institute, on show there from Thursday 3rd December.

We used our smart phones to connect up to the inbuilt hotspot which then presented a selection of prepared repositories for environment sounds, images and reflections on the topic of rising water levels that will effect us all before long. Any recordings we made or images of our walk were easily uploaded to these shared libraries over fast WLAN to the built-in storage so useful group interaction possible without need for broadband uplink, keeping stuff local.

Looking at the flatlands around the river Lea at Cody Dock, it is not hard to imagine how rising tides will recapture this ground all too easily. We met briefly with Simon, project leader for refurbishment and development, who lives in a barge at the dock and knows all to well how precarious life is on the waterways and the dangers we face as climate continues to change.

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On a recent visit to Ilford, YT got up to the top floor of Redbridge Town Hall where SPC are currently re-igniting the legacy network infrastructure with high speed fibre broadband and wireless access for Spacestudios.

Refurbishment work is underway throughout the building not least at ground floor level with large gallery space and refashioned entrance ramp ready for mid October. Inside there are two floors of newly available studios for local artists as well as Spacestudio artists, to secure a suitable workspace out east in this impressive building.

Loyane’s Bianchini‘s exhibition of artworks on show at The Cello Factory in Waterloo, were created during a Zsuzsi Roboz scholarship at Morley College. Throughout the year she was free to take any course to work with different materials and test new methods. This resulted in a range of print, fabrication and imaging experiments with metalwork, augmented reality and photogrammetry artefacts.

When we next meet again it will be at CSM 3D to define some ‘Digital Markers’ with Kings Cross communities.. much as we worked on together in Brazil with Reverso in 2017, more on all this later!

On Saturday 21st September it’s this years Selce AGM and 5th birthday, a Salsa Solar’bration (please!). Get your ticket now..

Each year the coop members, directors employees, volunteers and friends all meet up to discuss future plans to celebrate the progress of renewable energy work and share ideas. The seven school roof solar arrays in Lewisham and Greenwich will shortly be redoubled with a further seven community installations. Don’t miss out on this upcoming opportunity to invest in this South East London Community Energy success story.

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Summer rolled right over us and despite the despair of a catastrophic euro drama looming, some great fun was had here in SE8, not least during Nestival at the Birdsnest pub. YT clipped on sports cameras to mic stands and atop teetering PA’s, capturing some of the great bands playing. To help ensure listenable audio, took the trouble to record sound separately which required a bit of post event compositing.

It all started with Harmergeddon’s great performance on stage2 and we were lucky to catch them as a cool beer had proved a distraction outside..!

Babar Luck introduced the latest World Citizen Folk Band line-up in some glorious sunshine outside in the acoustic tent.

We were very keen to catch a rare performance from Jack Blackburn and The Conformists but before setting up the stage sound Jon Le Champigon popped out for a change of environment to play flute, sing and strum guitar for us all!

Rapscallions AKA The Conformists played a great short selection of new and familiar songs, hey hey London!

These should have been uploaded to the Tallbastard channel where we have nearly 300 subscribers so perhaps we can get them listed there as well soon.

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5ghz link out to the square

DDBC spent a string of longs days outside Cambridge Junction to help construct the exhibition of Collusion Commissions 2019, in time for a preview on 11 April.

This huge effort of will and organisation has resulted in a public spectacle of action and imagination, presenting research outcomes and rewarding creative collaborations.

The Bitcoin memorial totem stands centre square of four neo-industrial units, a ‘digital hamlet’, containing all the commissioned works, which opened for public access Friday 12th April, then each day until the end of Easter Monday, 22nd.

Each of the commissioned works articulates insight onto aspects of AI systems, augmented experience and hybrid media that’s fun to explore, rewards participation and is easy to appreciate. Local press and TV joined us for a few hours on the windswept square followed by sponsors Cambridge Consulting and ARM with invited guests for beer and cake! Over 1500 people visited over the 10 days, we recorded some of the daily footfall here.

For all involved it’s been a year long challenge to focus first on a research process that responded to the aims of the commission, then identify suitable material for public exhibition.

For DDBC this has meant some deep digging into Blockchain insertion and extraction techniques, modulation of text to speech systems for open research interaction and record keeping. Messages recovered from the Bitcoin blockchain are being sifted into 8 channels for vocalisations of Hello- World, Love, Faith, Shout-outs, Tales, Poetry, Adverts, and Memorials.

Over a 1/4 million bitcoin transactions contain text insertions, a trend started by Bitcoin originator Mr Satoshi with his message in the genesis block. Can you find it there?

Each message needs review and categorisation to be spoken at the totem, more than our modest team could achieve alone. Much as any recovered archaeological artefacts need cleaning and sorting before the origin and intent can be claimed, so we invite you to visit DDBC.io and support the rediscovery process.

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Baked veins

It’s been a busy start to the year at Uniform, the latest SPC lab. This month we will conclude the MAZI EU commission with a final review in Brussels. Each of the consortium partners will meet once more to present the outcome of 3 years research and development into the MAZI toolkit. All the reports and publications relating to the work are already available at the public website where you can download a fully working operating system image (v3) to flash on to micro SD cards for Raspberry Pi 3B+. Our regular Mazi workshops resume in March so get in contact soon to schedule a session.

The momentum of the  Creeknet MAZI pilot in Deptford, the outreach initiatives at CSM and interconnections Maydayrooms flow on. A clutch of fiercely independent community action and resistance also push forward with an agenda to preserve Tidemill Gardens, promote community run library at PCL, utilise radical social spaces in Squats and DIY spaces in the area..

Meanwhile infrastructure development in Arthub continues at the Deptford studios and in Woolwich where a huge new studio floor has been added to the long established warren of well lit and facilitated spaces upstairs. Both have had Ubiquiti wireless network equipment installed to at first distribute broadband utility to all the artists. Redraw Internet provided the fast start connection to Woolwich Arthub from over the river via 5ghz link.

This month a 1GB fibre service will be installed to serve all the studios a level of connectivity to scale up to requirements over the coming 5 year lease. Meanwhile infrastructure development in Arthub continues at the Deptford studios and in Woolwich where a huge new studio floor has been added to the long established warren of well lit and facilitated spaces.

Both have had Ubiquiti wireless network equipment installed to at first distribute broadband utility to all the artists. Redraw Internet provided the fast start connection to Woolwich Arthub from over the river via 5ghz link. This month a 1GB fibre service will be installed to serve all the studios a level of connectivity to scale up to requirements over the coming 5 year lease.

Mycaene House is a community centre in Charton Village, Greenwich. SPC first extended the office broadband into 4 floors during 2014 with a set of low cost routers and this spring we will return to update the network with latest wireless broadband equipment and help with development of meeting support systems and streaming media capacity.

An educational program of workshops to help people get online is underway to help improve skills for those with little experience who may struggle with the demands of network life or whom seek to improve on their knowledge .

Brickfield Studios was opened 4 years ago after completion of refurbishment by new owners Space Studios. This month we added comprehensive infrastructure monitoring for the wireless network and updated all the equipment firmware to match.

Now any jitters of service can all be tracked and improved where possible. Already, it’s possible to see increase of connections and and variations in the scale of use. The Sandstorm server installed there before we began the MAZI project consumed us, has fallen out of use for lack of promotion but still working just fine! We hope to have the time this year to get back on to all these threads with some quality time and focus.

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This years SPC home page look came about due to some rich seasonal food and rare dive into basic Java scripting!

It’s the page presenting key links to the SPC lab work in progress or which we want to remind you of!

AMP – has evolved in response to use and exploration since it’s outset in 2016 when it was clear that the combination of willing souls and appropriate tools coincided to make such a prospect realistic. Activist media is being enriched with complimentary data using timebased and subjective recording methods to improve annotation of these hidden histories.


BAK – the first and most loved of the SPC spaces this pubic access media lab set the frame for so much that followed it’s closure in 1999.

UNI – Most recent and smallest of the SPC labs is situated in the infamous of Deptford buildings the Old Police Station on Amesham Vale, some claim is in New Cross. History can’t be denied and tells us New Cross is within Deptford!

OWN – The open wireless network has been rejuvinated as part of the MAZI work along Creekside so that researchers and contributors could better stay connected and utilise local broadband network infrastructures that their Mazi toolkits could link up to.

block stack hack

DDBC – This Collusion commissioned work in progress is due for exhibition in Cambridge early in April 10 days between 5-15th so please visit us there. Our research into blockchain insertion and message recovery has uncovered thousands of corporate communications and personal testimonies all of which will feature as voices from the past in our installation at centre of an exhibition village outside Cambridge Junction.

Reverso – We had a great response visit from Sao Paulo workers at the end of 2018 following our trip to their favellas in 2017. Work goes on here in Central St Martins and at locations around that huge city of cities in Brazil using the MAZI toolkit to co-ordinate social action and represent community culture of distributed spaces. Roll up, roll up get your fresh zones here!

Sao Paulo workers visit Pepys community Library family!
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Latest steps to prepare the sponsored EX Networks server so it’s ready for exploration of blockchain scraping techniques have been successful. The DDBC project now features it’s own version of MFTM and BlockSci, both provide tools to unpack individual block transactions to further evaluate the contents in our search for human reviewable materials.

Next we must improve on these techniques to unpack clustered transactions that we expect contain more complex data types, images, sounds, code as well as more lengthy texts and patterns. Time has got away from us these recent months, so we are now under pressure to engage developer assistance for extraction and representation of discoveries. Experimental Nodejs, C++ and Python code drive this process , all skills in high demand. All this toward a spring 2019 Collusion commissions exhibition.

As the MAZI Creeknet pilot draws to a close, SPC has been negotiating with contributors and connection suppliers in the local area. Together we will synchronize with existing mesh network hosts in SE8 to bring latest infrastructure elements into play in conclusion of the three year pilot process.  An additional set of Ubiquiti mesh radios are being installed during October to extend fast network access along Deptford Creek for the use of all, not least so that the distributed spaces along the creek enabled by the Mazi toolkit can link up to share outcomes.

Next generation Internet will feature crypto-enhanced distribution and retrival forms of peer exchange. Popular media resources, specialist interests and social services all seek the continuity and open accountability blockchain technologies offer but there is a long way to go before widespread understanding and adoption.

Meanwhile attention has turned again to WWW innovator Tim Berners-Lee and recent launch of Solid – social linked data, for building decentralized social applications – check the public page for uniform. YT still favours Sandstorm for day to day ease of deployment, hands off maintenance and great adaptability, perfect for slackers – but lets stay open minded eh..

Edinburgh is altogether atop of Arthur’s Seat!

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The recent MAZI visit to Edinburgh concluded with an all day Symposium: Do-It-Yourself Technologies for Action and Empowerment – Thursday 18th October in the old Veterinary School, Summer Hall.

We welcomed many friends, guest speakers and local networkers to celebrate a most productive and pleasurable week of workshops, review MAZI toolkit development and acknowledge collaborative progress.

Our week began with a workshop session co-ordinated with the Unmonastery pilot group and IR11 to host an all day testlab in the old Coop store on Pennywell Street in Muirhouse. A mix of resident artist, visiting engineers and local academics shared in Raspberry Pi unboxing, software exploration and collaborative configuration sprint, to establish a dozen fresh ‘Mazizones using the MAZI toolkit.

Some of us met again after lunch on Sunday at Skylight bar inside Tolbooth Market off the Royal Mile. We were introduced to the partners of a new co-working space in one of a set of rooms, around a courtyard, being reconfigured as food market and social club. They were very keen to investigate network publishing and membership co-ordination options to encourage data sharing, creative collaboration and improved sense of involvement in the new venture.
On 16th and 17th October, MAZI consortium hosted two days of public workshops in the Summer Hall, where everyone had time to work through the options for setting up and customising the toolkit to suit their particular project or method of working.

We were all stretched to feed the needs of such an energetic and enthused group each day. So many ideas and interventions underway the air was thick with brainwaves and network intensity!

Some also took time out to personalise their Raspberry Pi cases and hear more from award winning artist entrepreneur Denise Allan of Wee Replicators pioneering use of recycled plastics for 3D drawing pens and printers.

Over all over 60 happy researchers took up the offer to continue working with a Mazi zone of their own, which we look forward to hearing more about in the months ahead.

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A harvest festival finale’ event for MAZI is scheduled in Edinburgh for October 18th. It will be preceded by Unmonastery testlab days in Muirhouse on 13th, 14th with Mazi workshops at Summerhall on 16th and 17th .

All are invited to participate in the MAZI making and to share in the information bounty in collective celebration of offline and complimentary networks. The network publishing toolkit runs on a Raspberry Pi and allows for flexible installation, customisation and innovative application of your activities. Contact the organisers at Napier and grab your selves a ticket to ride the waves with us all for a few days.

If you are already familiar with these small computers you might be pleased to hear about how to utilise the space on those pesky micro SD cards without handling them more than necessary. We use the Berryboot PI bootloader to swap between retro gaming, media jukebox and the Mazi toolkit. Alex has built up a definitive Pi OS repository of squashFS images to test out and deploy where you also will find the latest Mazi version awaiting you.

The collaborative and DIY working culture is very much the theme as those with shared studios increasingly feel under pressure to meet rising rents or move on out of town. So it was great to make a return visit to DIY space for London on the New Cross / Bermondsey boundary to pick up the PITPNXD T-shirts to discover new residents 1831 who have set up their custom embroidery machine in the old vinyl store. 

On a road trip back from visiting mum in a Surrey hospital, Google routed YT through Croydon (really), traffic then slowed me just around the corner from a new project space by David Panos where I was well overdue a visit, wow!

Conditions is a new one-year studio programme for 12 artists each year. It gives 24/7 access to studio space and structured critical conversations to develop artist’s work, as well as encouraging collaboration and collective work on exhibitions and events. All held in a custom conceived workhouse lovingly prepared by David and his collaborator Mathew Noel-Todd, Brighton Uni escapee. We all missed the August application deadline for this years intake, though I recommend a visit next time you are passing through.

This Antifamily LP he co wrote and produced over a decade ago is one of my favorites!


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Uniform 80M-110M |100k | 1m

During the last few months of Bitspace, RF veteran Tom, media engineer Roman and YT met on a few occasions to discuss activation of some practical radio experiments. The plan is to use low cost RTL-SDR (software defined radio) integral to DVB-TV adapters to record local radio space. So it was great to get them together again this week and set up of some basic frequency scanning and heatmap rendering of the environment up at Uniform. Red areas show higher energy frequency use and blue/green the lower levels. We utilised a new tool rtl_power which improves on previously available software.

Tom was kind enough to review some of the principals and pitfalls of such work as well as guide us in the set up and use of some great RTL tools for linux that drive the SDR to output CSV files. These records were uploaded to a web service to visualise spectrum.

After a bit of orientation it was easy to focus in on interesting regions of intensive and sparse RF landscapes. The top image shows a middle range of 80Mhz through 110Mhz we know as the FM band where legacy commercial and pirate analogue broadcasts live. Radio enthusiasts may be familiar with these graphics but it’s fascinating to hear more and experiment with options. So many great resources exist to support research not least at the Radio Society website.

Uniform | 24M-1766M | 100k | 1m

This image shows a 1 minute scan of the full range of the DVB SDR capability between 24Mhz and 1766Mhz at 100k intervals. Click on it to see more detail as it’s wideband!

Our intention is to build a series of RF listening posts to install along Deptford Creek as part of MAZI pilot ‘Creeknet‘ that continually scan the environment and publish a comparative record of radio activity from end to end.

Further research into available equipment revealed just how much interest and activity is in play. A sub $100 device for wider spectrum research is the Adalm-Pluto so we ordered one to test that should arrive for next weeks session! Come up to Uniform on a Thursday to find out more and help us out!

The first day of September was celebrated is grand style at the Party in the Park for New Cross and Deptford with a variety of local music, arts and campaign stalls sharing their creative energies and enthusiasm for the area with over a thousand revelers and partymakers enjoying the refreshments and great food on offer. A few T-shirts (S, M and L) are still available for those who missed out, just £8 from the website.. funds for next years Party are already rolling it, thanks so much to everyone who donated.. and if you haven’t yet please check out the website!

The core PITPNXD group have been organising for months and somewhat against the odds, funded and facilitated a great day out for all with over 25 bands and performers, dozens of community stalls, a wellbeing area as well as ‘Tent City‘, the focus for this year, in conference to discuss local housing concerns and promote co-ordination between cooperative and association groups.

Plenty more images and video material can be found at this shared image library, so if you have a selection of images to share there please upload some of yours and enjoy the growing collection.

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It’s been a busy week for Creeknet MAZI pilot as we welcomed friends to try out some of the new species monitoring and environmental reporting tools at CDC on Deptford Creek.

The impact workshop was a day of reflections and activity around future development and uses for MAZI toolkit as the 3 year project plan and local pilot reaches it’s conclusion.

Throughout, we have been actively engaging with groups outside as well as in the local pilot in Deptford and Greenwich. Many attending have already had a taste for how they may like to continue working together.  Others visiting have taken the time now to find out more and meet-up to get a first hand experience and the opportunity to set up and operate a MAZI toolkit, to work on in their own time.

We were so pleased to welcome friends from Reverso who have now been working with YT for a year to support use of the Mazi tools in ‘Distributed Spaces’ of Sao Paulo and with their 3D students at Central St Martins.

Some 20 people in all joined us for a fabulous day of open conversation, introduction to the range of work in progress and low tide walking. Some OU colleagues traveled from Scotland, others came early from MK to help prepare for the days activities, so many thanks to all who made it.

Much interest is now springing out from the installation, testing and reporting of how a portable networking toolkit can offer effective alternatives to challenge preconceptions of how we work collectively and creatively together.

Visitors to the Creekside Discovery Centre will soon also be able to track tidal temperatures at comparative depths in the river alongside the species logging and analysis processes for secondary school students.

An array of temperature sensors have been installed on the river bank and fitted to a customised MAZI toolkit by engineers at Open University. The equipment has been fitted on the back of the creek at the end of 80m of toughened conduit to protect against the elements and rodent attention. Previous installations were short lived and frustrating to maintain because of these issues, so we are now hopeful of collecting some useful data over much longer period.

Book yourself in at CDC for a Lowtide Walk and experience the delights of kick sampling and species appreciation whilst helping to increase the collective data and awareness of Deptford Creek.

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At the end of June YT attended a Safe Havens session at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures in Coventry, where invitees from across the spectrum of free research,  social activist and cultural fringe, gathered to discuss experiences of collaboration and action.

There was much talk of where existing data is stored and who pays the Amazon bill, then how better meta data annotation practices and understanding of how resources can be distributed and protected for future access.

Our blockchain research group proposed a crypto ‘data sludge‘ that is pumped between network peers and reassembled on demand for those hosting a data torrent wallet.

The slip from operational independence to corporate homogeneity has to be reviewed, not least to ensure greater transparency on how essential environmental science data is afforded and resources orchestrated.

Workers at the Van Pelt Library, Pennsylvania reacted quickly to the spectre of Trumps administration, driving climate change-motivated take-down of Environmental Protection Agency’s data. Their attempts to create a safe haven for the data were rapidly overwhelmed by requests from scientific community, the extent of fragility and huge scale of the task. Works still goes on but with sights realigned toward improving on accessibility and signposting within data silos!

The socialising of information and refinement of it’s form and accessibility, formed part of the agenda at Mazi Summer School in Volos Greece.

The Mazi group met over three days at the Brick Factory Museum building to pull together some of the vital information about our experiences operating regional pilot projects, public engagement and network development, into a handbook for toolkit users. Great effort is now being focused on how to co-ordinate the MAZI project resources, personal anecdotes and practical guidelines together in a series of booklets using Onmibook

This open source project began a decade ago as Booktype by Adam Hyde. Today the Source Fabric group included it in a suite of great collaborative tools. Adam was also key in establishment of the Floss Manuals publishing missing manuals for leading open source software projects.

The stand alone features of the MAZI toolkit hint at how communities can operate while offline, using local resources to co-ordinate and collaborate rather than reaching out to cloud based corporate solutions by default.

We heard great presentations from visiting researcher Chris Elsden currently exploring the implications of blockchain technologies in the context of international development for non-profit organisations, and from Jude Mukundane of GrassRoots Radio project about their excellent telecom based FM broadcast system which adopts the RootIO radio system..

Down at the Volos city beach we were pleased to discover these floating data mines, collecting information from a set of onboard sensors to measure temperature, humidity and motion, much as we have in prepared for installation along Deptford Creek as part of the Creeknet pilot.

Weekly Mazi meetups restart after the summer break in September with a focus on extending the senses to monitor environmental conditions and reporting on resulting data streams. If you live and work in the SE8 area please contact Make@spc.org to get more involved.

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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.

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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!

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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 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.

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