Introduction to Online Autonomy
These tools are available online and for free. In order to engage our participants we adopted these tools for simple workshops and meetings. Collaborators agreed to tease out the possibilities of using Jitsi, Etherpad, among others and opt to find new means and ways to engage each other creatively, as well as practically. The first collaborator, An Paenhuysen curator and editor at aaaaa ppppp publishing, led a creative and critical writing session to help loosen the imagination by simple exercises. The approach is based on task by task facilitation in drawing and writing from memory and one's personal desktop. The second cycle was held with Florian Weigl, curator at the V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam. Florian had published open call for online studio visits at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. At this point he was curating the 3X3 for the V2_institute of Unstable Media, a programme which provides artists the space to share and test new ideas with a live audience.
Together with each participant, we discussed the option to reformat, as well as how to find a new host for art under the conditions of social distancing. This included notes on media artists, remote residencies, and provided a good baseline to start sharing resources with the public, along with another collective in the third and final cycle.
Introduction to Online Autonomy
In order to strengthen our online autonomy, we adopted a set of online tools which depend on both exchange and publication for artistic activity. For instance, to start off with, the participants in this project were invited to use Jitsi for every webconference and Etherpad for collaborative writing.
These two platforms have the key characteristics suggested by communities leading the Digital Solidarity Network, they are both open source and non-extractive. A number of organisations who work in part as activists for data politics are making these tools available from the privacy of their server. Open Source tools and forums allow these platforms to develop with direct feedback between the general user, and the advanced developer. This label refers to code which is available for access and reuse, and under creative commons. In addition, Non Extractive Tools make it difficult for larger companies to scrape personal information en masse. Such that, a list of demographics and qualitative preferences which is written by a community of users and saved on a non extractive tool, such as Etherpad, cannot be harvested for data on Google. This allows a community to retain the wealth of data it withholds online and makes it difficult for companies to use it for unnecessary surveillance, ad campaigns, among other market driven activity.
The only way to access and reuse content on tools which are both non extractive and open source is by gaining direct access through the explicit permission of a user from the same community. Therefore the control and value of its content as data for marketing bots is retained within the explicit permissions of the community and its active members.
Any tools or additional resources required to host the session were provided for by the mediator, and also followed up in order to facilitate the artist’s practice between one session and another. For instance, if a couple of artists required further technical assistance, such as expertise in audio for 3D simulations, streaming, reformatting their work as a Non Fungible Token, outside experts were noted and invited to provide assistance in the same manner, i.e. 01 intense meeting, along with minor check ins across a wider frame of time. Participants also opted to share their own resources, and expertise, such as providing multiple cameras, synchronising a streaming session, and technical services to reformat each other’s work.
A U T O N O M Y
U N D O A B L E
On a practical level, this extended format also provided room to check in with the artists and their resources, as well as methods of participation. Three instances can be used to formulate this type of engagement, 02 informal checkin across an extensive period of time, and 01 intensive session to develop content at hand.
The intensive sessions for cycle one took place over 02 to 04 hours on ever other Saturday in the month of June 2020. This included a silent writing workshop with An Paenhuysen, a communal workshop to remix each other’s work as a group, and a public workshop to open up the project to new contributors in the future. The second cycle included a mediator, a curator and an artist discussing their experience in developing work with unconventional formats. Two new artists joined the session on a voluntary basis and also contributed by sharing their expertise in speculative design, and VR. The Third Cycle followed up on one of the major issues discussed in the digital studios visits, how to find a new host for artistic practice and its many variations. In order to do so, we shared resources with another collective in order to guarantee a long term host for this projects output, as well as tested out new tools, including the development of 06 iterations with Non-Fungible-Tokens.
Ethereum is a distributed network of computers running software (known as nodes) that can verify blocks and transaction data. You need an application, known as a client, on your computer to "run" a node. In combination with a wallet, your node takes a chunk of your computing power to recollect transaction data for the network. The etherscan proacross thousands of nodes on the Ethereum Network, making it pretty much forge proof. Most of these nodes are on the periphery of the North Atlantic, crossing information between Germany, the US, and the rest of the networks global reach.
Jonas Lundt, artist, adventurer in capitalism, and all out fun guy, had created a set of physical tokens along with his own currency in 2015. Each token forms part of an physical object which resembles a large puzzle made out of foam board. In part, they represent investor's stake in his practice by giving physicality to the investment they made in his personal cryptocurrency entitled, JLT. It is way to give inherent value within the physical object by aligning it with its own financial system. It can also be traded across the market and turned into other crypto currencies. The NFT contract allows artists to each out to investors willing to support their practice, and also represent their stake by taking curated decisions.
Accounting for the Self
This is an essayistic podcast which brings together spoken word, library sound, and psychedelic folk. This episode takes a long view on how selves are constructed through storytelling. Moving from double entry book-keeping to 21st-century art practice, via confessions, court cases and histories from below, the authors ask whose stories have been told and celebrate the importance of multiplicity, de-centering and difference.
This application turns your phone into a webcam. The settings provide for a private stream which takes place in a peer to peer connection. This can be used to engage safely across a community of peers and their private spaces.
In combination with web conferencing software, the stream can be used for an additional feed, and to share any objects in your studio without interrupting your main videocall. This was adopted for both studio visits, as well as performance based work. Whereby, artists continued to stream and present their work on one window in a gallery on jitsi, and added another window to stream an object from another point of view in the same room.
More creatively, artists participation in this project also shared a street view. This approach provides an additional aspect of liveliness, however, it can prove tricky if two microphones are picking up signal from the same space.
Twinery is an open source tool used to create interactive stories with a nonlinear structure. It is easy to use, and takes the user by hand to create an interactive story. This approach was pioneered by artists such as Mark Amerika, listed below, and this tool makes it possible to create similar experience by generating HTML. This code can be embedded on any content management system, such as Bertha or Wordpress. A cook book is also available with readymade examples for simple games under low bandwidth, and diy adventures in text and hyerlinks.
Catalog of Digital Discomfort http://titipi.org/projects/discomfort/CatalogOFFDigitalDiscomfort.pdf
This publication is useful to manage collaboration and encourage autonomy. It is formulated around tactics focused on decentralisation, as well as useful tools and examples. The tactics refer to ways and means to engage in diversity and also offer alternatives to mainstream platforms. Their recommendations work across different formats, and encourage a hybrid approach for both online and offline engagements. Its politics are anti-solutionists, and prioritise autonomy, subjectivity and solidarity. It's the kind of publication that we can look up to, and use as a good point of reference for peer to peer work. Primarily, it helps to create a vocabulary for collaboration. This vocabulary is split into 10 semantic references to align every participant’s needs and resources.
Here they are listed below
#3: Material conditions
#9: Tools and infrastructure
A space, light focused on the Table, microphones
The Long Table is also a performance; people can participate by sitting at the Table, in the light, and using microphones, spectate by watching and listening from the outside, and move between these roles as and when they choose.
A long table, twelve chairs
Approximately two banqueting tables in length: any longer, or with any more participants, and you will struggle to maintain a single conversation.
Surrounding chairs for spectators
Well-spaced and easily accessible, to allow for the free-flowing choreography of coming and going from the Table.
White tablecloth, marker pens
Everyone at the Table can write their own comments and notes, to help document the conversation. The cloth provides a physical record of the event.
A hostess, and etiquette
The Table will moderate itself, and there is no need for anyone to ‘tie up loose ends’ at the end; however, a hostess can ensure everyone follows the etiquette, and close the conversation at the set time
[v]Room of Requirement, a project by architect and researcher Elaine Bonavia, recently funded by the Arts Council Malta special Covid call for proposals. In the Covid-19 pandemic scenario, many questions about the use and the accessibility of cyber space emerged. Which role will virtual space play from now on? Experiencing “space” mainly depends on human perception; how do we perceive and navigate through these uncharted digital environments? This and many other interrogatives will be investigated. The room aims at exploring new ways of using VR and remote collaboration as well as questioning the fine line between today's extended versions of private and public space. The project will culminate with an exhibition of the work – coming from the gathered material exchanged through a virtual room swap and an event where attendees will be invited to enter the [v]Room of Requirement in VR. The exhibition will take place in August 2021 at AP. The project is supported by Arts Council Malta and AP Valletta. The artists/collaborators for the Virtual room exchange are: Hugo du Plessix with U2P050, Erica Guista, Alexandre Mballa-Ekobena, Letta Shtohryn, James Bonavia, Fransiska Benkel, Aidan Celeste and Mateo Argerich.
This is an online platform used to create virtual environments. It is simple to use and splits the process into five stages, 1. Define, 2. Design, 3. Add, 4. Plan, and 5. Submit. This makes it ideal for pedadgogic environments, and traditionally used within educational programmes and museuology. It allows you to create an exhibition space by first defining its spatial features, such as dimensions of walls, doors, and apartutres, and then goes on to design these features with texture and light. All the materials are available on a side bar.
The user drags and drops lines to build the walls of an exhibition space in the first stage, and then designes its details in the second stage.
The third Stage entitled "Add" is where objects are uploaded for display. These can include 2d objects, such as flat images for photographs, paintings, text, and moving image, as well as 3D objects such as sculptures imported as a model. By registering for a free access to the platform, you can upload anyfile up to 4mb, including sound, and meta data such as title, description, and informatoin about rights to the content it depicts.
To mediate presenation, the user is also invited to plan a tour in the fourth stage, and then go on to publish it in the fifth. Dyring the visit, users can interact with the objects and gain access to furhter information, as well as chat to each other on the sidebar.
#dancingwiththevirtual #resources #travel
In alignment with our needs to combat to our own lockdown islandness, the project becomes an open access destination for future trips by providing a platform for personal and individual retreat. It aims to be an ‘option’ and a node of potential in the list of possible places to go, considering post-lockdown life.
Internal Hot Spring by Dustin Wong and Yoshinari Nishiki
In part with Irrational Collective, Bristol, the artist Yoshinari Nishiki adopted Dustin Wong’s work as a soundtrack for an immersive online experience. The webpage is made for VR and uses google maps to track down a feed from eight notable springs across Japan: Minamisanriku, Aomori, Yamanashi, Shinjuku, Hakuba, Izumo, Hakone, and Kyoto.
D I G I T A L W O R L D
P O R T A L S A R E
D A N C I N G
A R O U N D U S
A N D E D G I N G
C L O S E R !
Peer to Peer
In addition to the information sheet, close the introduction with your contact details,
and start the process of obtaining consent. This takes the shape of a form with boxes to tick for clarification, along with a signature by each party, and date to record the agreement at hand.
[?]The agreement asks the participant to clarify that they:
Agree to Participate
Can elaborate by making conditions for every question
Dictate exceptions for every question
Can ask you to clarify and understand the purpose of the study
Can ask you to clarify and understand any foreseeable discomfort
Can ask you to clarify and understand any foreseeable benefits
Provide voluntary agreement
Can withdraw their contribution without any difficulty
Agree to publish, along with a reference to specific formats of presentation
Agree to use specific contributions by the participant
Agree to integrate their contribution as part of an aggregate
Agree for the researcher to secure and protect their contribution of data
Provide a date of agreement, along with their full name and signature for consent forms,
Provide A Date of agreement, along with a distinct code to safeguard anonymity for data collection
Artwork Documentation Tool
This tool provides a detailed form for artists to self document their work. It is primarily made for complex artworks, such as interactive art, time based media, including the use of both software and hardware. It can also be adopted by any other object of art which depends on multiple parties and different skills to reproduce it. The structure develops a set of instructions to rebuild the artwork, step by step. Along with references to the variations it can take. These instructions can be used for a variety of exhibitions, including galleries, museums, and collectors. The designers recommend just explore and answer what's relevant. It is based on the Variable Media Questionnaire, and inspired by the 2016 Manifesto by Rafael Lozano Hemmer. LIMA produced the Artwork Documentation Tool to simplify the process and empower artists to control and preserve their own objects of art with this tool
The Variable Media Network provides a similar database and case studies for objects of art which are made of different objects of media.
Unlike a traditional object of fine art which is based in a single medium, such as wood sculpture or an oil painting, the physical properties of media art are generally technical and therefore, secondary to the conceptual properties and their manifestation. In order a concept and its manifestation, documentation for media art takes into account variability. Much like the tool provided above, the Variable Media network provides a form to engage artists in recodring their primary concern to retain the concept, and most importantly, to what extent can its manifestation change. This brings into consideration the fact the same object of media art can also be presented with a slight variation in every manifestation(Laurenson, 2006).
The variable media questionnaire allows the artist to decide on a set of parameters which are subjective, and open to change the manifestation of an artistic project without detriment to its authenticity.
Rarible Unlockable Content
Rarible is platform to encode digital objects into a blockchain network. In addition to coding your digital object on the blockchain, rarible also allows for hidden content. This content is only revealed with a personal key linked to your wallet. This content can include versions of the same object in a higher quality, or even further details such as best practice notes in terms of presentation, as well as additional material by the artist .By combining traditional archival documents, such as provided by LI-MA, and the Variable Media network, and including it in your digital object on Rarible, this data can be locked into your NFT.
LIMA. Variable Media Network. RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER. (2015). Manifest for Conservation and Artwork Documentation Tool.
Defend Our Movements https://defendourmovements.org/
This website provides advice on how to safely use mainstream tech and withhold the autonomy of a user from being identified in a crowd. Such its Q&A sections provide advice on daily use, such as changing security settings on your phones, as well as more specific applications such as CRM-Database Managers, and Cloud Storage.
For instance, with regards to video conferencing, the organisation recommends the free service by Jitsi for its ease of use, as well as the paid service by Goto Meeting. This advice comes with general advice about their practical application, such that:
1) If you connect via a regular phone line, encryption is not possible. Your entire conversation can be captured. This means any program that allows a phone connection is insecure by its nature.
2) Encryption is often not end-to-end. Your communications are encrypted as they travel between you and the server, and again from the server to the other participants. This means it’s possible someone can connect directly to the server and access your communications there without encryption. So the rule to remember with all these programs is to choose your provider wisely and ask if they will protect your meeting data.
Letta Shtohryn investigates the entangled relationship between the physical and digital realm, explores post-human thought, human-nonhuman collaborations and speculates about the future. As a method, Letta employs speculative investigations, storytelling, sci-fi inspired amalgamations, using new media, sculpture, video games, commercial goods and imagery. She engages with layers of “reality” that are at odds with each other as well as investigates social constructs and paradoxes. Letta’s work also explores gender constructs and gender representation, as part of her identity is being a full-time woman.
Letta has been with us since the first cycle of Driven By Points Made Apart in the summer of 2020. At the time she was closing off a show with The Unfinished Art Space at MUZA, Malta, and looking forward to showing work under the curator, Klio Krajewska at the Valletta Contemporary. Throughout the online sessions, she took an active lead in sharing her expereince with online curating, such as her contribution to The Wrong Biennale, as well as resources for online engagement in VR worlds, such as Mozilla Hubs. In part, she also contributed to [V}Room for Requirement, a project by the contributor and participant Elaine Bonavia. For Temporary.Show, Letta took the lead in researching NFT Platforms, and is also curating media for #somethingfishy.
Samuel Ciantar is currently reading for a Masters in Architecture & Conservation at the University of Malta. He is interested in the thresholds of art practice, architecture & design. His work revolves around researching new ways of perceiving our position within larger ecological processes.
In 2020 he was working with Critical Concrete in Porto, and came back to Malta over the summer. The ideas he developed were based on dealing with entropy, and the experience of displacement. Amid a global pandmic, it was difficult to judge how long he is here for, and how to go ahead and engage his practice. He offerred to share his experince in using Are.NA, an online tool to share notes and developments across research projects. Most of the content is highly visual and builds on artistic practice and the myriad ways it can be visualised. As a narrative, Samuel hooked into the strange divergences between the physical and digital make up of the same object. This allowed him to experiment with 3D scanning media, and its extensive readings of materials, including light. The narratives he built were mainly about erosion, protection, and conservation. In addition he also share a few odd tools for capturing media in 3D, as well as broadcasting over multiple devices, such as OBS.NInja
Johannes Buch's practice includes graphic and exhibition design, photography, and curation. Johannes curates with the urban fabric by designing essential details. This often takes the shape of in-situ sculpture, among other disciplines, such as his contributions to the studio, FoAM Filfla, Anna's Weekend at Blitz Malta, and Fleeting Territories.
As an alumni of (nl)ArtEZ Institute for Art & Design, he studied Graphic Design in Arnhem, as well as Art & Communication Design in Enschede. In addition, he also holds a Master of Arts in Exhibition Design from HS Düsseldorf where he graduated by developing a multichannel cinematographic exhibition about Ethnographic Music and Film.
The content from De Licerias and their residents is archived by Johanness Buch. You can find it on temporary.show listed under 2020 FIRST WAVE. Johannes was also a participant of Driven By Points Made Apart, and took an active lead in designing publications, as well as myriad ways of hosting online conversations with multiple screens and voices. As part of the last cycle for Driven By Points Made Apart, Johannes invited us to cross paths with De Liceiras 18. Together with the founder, Maja Renn, we discussed how to reformat in 2020, online interventions to keep each other engaged, as well as putting our resources together for collaboration.
The Consentful Tech Project https://www.consentfultech.io/
This project is a campaign for advice on using an online interface and what it means to provide consent as a user. Their defining pillars are abbreviated into FRIES, such that, consent is
Doing something with someone is a decision that should be made without pressure, force, manipulation, or while incapacitated.
Anyone can change their mind about what they want to do, at any time.
Be honest. For example, if someone says they’ll use protection and then they don’t, that’s not consent.
If someone isn’t excited, or really into it, that’s not consent.
Saying yes to one thing doesn’t mean they’ve said yes to others.
Aidan Celeste is an artist and research support officer with the Horizon 2020 Project AMASS at the University Of Malta. He graduated with an MFA in Digital Art (2013), and is skilled in research and coordination for interdisciplinary projects. Celeste has also contributed to publications about socially engaged art, such as (nl)Open Set, (it)Altofest Displaced, and as part of a curatorial team, such as (nl)Data in the 21st Century by Dr. Michel Van Dartel, and the upcoming (mt)FUSE by Elyse Tonna.
His approach as an artist aims to ask better questions and engage critically with the world around us. In Malta, this work included What Will Fall, a spatial intervention developed from an industrial sized fishing net for Dal-Bahar Madwarha in 2018, and his contribution to artistic communities, such as that of Fragmenta Malta in 2015, and Momentum in 2019.
Manuela Zammit is a contemporary art curator and art historian currently reading for a Research Master Critical Studies in Art and Culture at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She previously graduated with a MFA in Contemporary Curating from Manchester Metropolitan University and completed a curatorial internship at Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam. She is currently based in Amsterdam with her 5 typewriters that she uses to run @textpresso, an ongoing fun and playful typing experiment.
Aidan and Manuela took on the role of lead artists and ran the project, Driven by Points Made Apart. They mediated with collaborators, and facilitated the online engagement, as well desktop research and publications with every participant listed below.
Are.na is an online platform to share media across communities with an interest in artistic research. It is ad free and provides an alternative to facebook. It favours channelling media ona peer-to-peer level. This helps to provide a cleaner approach to browsing and works against the market driven approach of online giants. https://www.are.na/
Etherpad This is an online writing pad which allows for multiple users to type in at the same time. Users are generally identified by a distinct colour code, and a chat box for more informal exchange across peers. Communities have also used it as a platform to read and discuss specific text, and to engage in silent writing exercises. Some good fun can also be had with asci art. Variations of the same tool allow for web conferencing, images, as well as more animated features, however, at base it is an online word pad. It is available over multiple hosts with an interest in the culture of open source and non-extractive media. For the session we tapped into the pads provided by FOAM network, as well as varia, and wikimedia.
Here are a few public instances to run a an online pad.
This pad allows for a simultaneous video conference and chat boxes.
This pad includes options to append images, by copying and pasting directly on the pad.
This pad runs for roughly one hour, and then gets deleted. A great way to keep things temporar and off the radar.
For an extensive lists of sites that run a pad, click here
In a time when screen time is a minute by minute experience, sometimes two, sometimes three, it becomes easier to focus with multiple screens at once. Alternatively, we can forget the screen altogether, and look at other ways of getting in touch online.
Wet Signal Voice Gardens by Kari Robertson is focused on building a data base of voice recordings, and presenting it as cacophony of sounds over any browser. Users of this website can record their voice, save it in, and receive it back in playback. With every recording, a blob of colour takes shape on screen. This blob is a trigger and hovers across your screen. Multiple blobs can scatter across your frame, and everytime one blob hits another, the sound is triggered and played back immediately. The result is a cacophony of experimental sounds building up into a sequence.
A bicycle built for two thousand by Aaron Koblin, is a much earlier work. It is also focused on building a database of voice recordings, however, it’s aim is to hack Amazon’s Mechanical turk and use its basic functions to break against its uniform approach to making content. Traditionally, it is used to engage cheap labour in mindless tasks, such as pressing a button when the right subject appears on screen. In contrast, Aaron Koblin invited the workers engaged on mechanical turk to imitate a sound. The sound was originally part of a recording for Daisy Bell made by a computer in 1962. The recollection of all these extracts was used to create something close to harmony. Once edited into a full rendition, workers realised that it is a full song, with all the nuances of a bad choir in harmony.
Over Temporary.Show we are still missing participants who are well versed in the sound arts. If you have any tips, tricks, or tools in mind that can be featured in this tool box, please go ahead and get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycle 02. Digital Studio Visit between (de)Johanness Buch and (nl)Florian Weigl. Testing out multiple views and timing for broadcasting.
Cycle 02. Digital Studio Visit between (mt)Letta Shtohyrn and (nl)Florian Weigl. Going for an online excursion to share work from Vimeo and Google Maps.
#epidemiolog #dreamingsessions #collaborativedrawing
Drawing pads can also be used to remix each other’s work with basic shapes, as well sketches. Text, as well as images can be swapped on a platform such as Excalidraw. These pads are limited to the sharp movements of your online cursor, the finger print on your phone. However, these limits can be used up to their extent, and embraced for their faults as much as our limited experience in drawing on screen from our own home. The artist Aaron Kooblin had amassed thousands on online drawings of the same sheep to create the project,
WBO Collaborative Writing Boards
https://wbo.ophir.dev/ This is a free and open-source online collaborative whiteboard that allows many users to draw simultaneously on a large virtual board. The board is updated in real time for all connected users, and its state is always persisted. It can be used for many different purposes, including art, entertainment, design and teaching.
This project brings together a loose collective of artists for ad hoc experiments. These include a combination of Participants who are open to collaborate, formal Collaborators who can run workshops and interventions across our peers, and Contributors who can share more specific resources and experiences.
Collaborators are invited to run workshops and interventions for our loose collective of peers. These workshops generally takeplace on Saturday mornigns, or Thursday evenings. If you'd like to run an intervention, we're more than happy to host and make space for it in our OPEN STUDIO. Subsections are curated, and participants are invited to follow up on each intervention and in their own time.
Contributors for MAY 2021
Kane Cali (Studio) writing on 3D Scanning, and Printing
Glen Callejja (Studio Solipsis) writing on Mapping and Innovation
Clive Vella (Airwars) writing on Online Resources for GIS Investigations
We are still missing peers who are well versed in the sound arts. If you have any tips, tricks, online interventions, or simply, a useful tool in mind, please go ahead and get in touch on email@example.com
More specifically, we are also looking for contributions about: Physical Computing for Speculative Designs; Hosting Augmented Reality objects in Public Space; Soundscapes with Spoken Word.
These contributions are generally 500 to 800 words, and will be included in the ongoing toolkit. Contributors are also invited to take on the role of a formal collaborator by providing a workshop for this community and its peer network of artists.
Cycle 02. Digital Studio Visit between (de)Elaine Bonavia and (nl)Florian Weigl. Sharing renders in reference to motion capture and 3D Scanning techniques for VR.
Natural Poem. Sometimes poems are already written in our everyday and just need to be framed to become visible. Go around in the space and see if there are any poetic elements you could frame with your hands, your body, or with any other form of juxtaposition. Photograph this poem.
Paenhuysen, A. (2019). Writings from Creative Writing in Art Criticism. A workshop with An Paenhuysen. This workshop was concieved and produced by Nicole Bearman (We Live Here) and Margerita Pule(Unfinished Art Space) supported by a Project's Support Grant, Malta Arts Fund - Arts Council Malta, and by Valletta Vintaage and Artpaper.