Panayotis Antoniadis and Mazi & Nethood

Nethood

Nethood is a Zurich based non-proft organization working on and with communities, cooperations on tools and infrastructure for community-driven organization of living. Including incorporates housing, neighborhood organization, networking, exchange, and learning. Nethood is a partner of diverse interdisciplinary international projects.

It was founded in 2012 by Panayotis Antoniadis, Ileana Apostol, and Jens Martignoni.

Self-description:

Its [Nethood’s] current activities include the facilitation of information exchanges and collaborations between researchers, practitioners, activists, and citizens around its objectives; the participation in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, education, and action projects; and the development of Do-It-Yourself tools and methodologies for empowering local actors to build networked localities that can support each other without suppressing their differences.

The vision of NetHood is to plant seeds of collective awareness, critical listening, long-term thinking, social learning and refective action toward sustainable social life.

Mazi

Mazi is a research-initiative working on alternative technologies for communities, running from 2016 to 2018, in collaboration with University of Thessaly (GR). Its aim is to foster hybrid networking to empower local communities. It is conducting four pilot studies in Germany, Greece, the UK, and Switzerland. In this course, it developed the Mazi-Toolkit.

Self-description:

MAZI means “together” in Treek and the goal of MAZI is to provide technology and knowledge in order to:

  • empower those who are in physical proximity, to shape their hybrid urban space, together, according to the local environment and context.
  • generate location-based collective awareness as a basis for fostering social cohesion, conviviality, participation in decision-making processes, self-organization, knowledge sharing, and sustainable living
  • facilitate interdisciplinary interactions around the design of hybrid space and the role of ICTs in society. MAZI is working on alternative technology, what we call “Do-It-Yourself networking”, a combination of wireless technology, low-cost hardware, and free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) applications, for building local networks, known as “community wireless networks”.
    By making this technology better understood, easily deployed, and configured based on a rich set of customization options and interdisciplinary knowledge, compiled as a toolkit, MAZI will enable citizens to build their own local networks for facilitating hybrid, virtual and physical, interactions, in ways that are respectful to their rights to privacy, freedom of expression and self-determination.
    MAZI takes the perspective of existing grassroots initiatives, whose goals are social and political in nature, and explores ways that DIY networking technologies can help pursue them.

Interview

Hybrid Spaces. Interview with Panayotis Antoniadis
conducted by Felix Stalder, 6 December 2018:

Openki

Openki is an open educational platform.

Openki exist since early 2015 under its current name, but it grew our of “schuel.ch” (founded in 2012), a calendar for self-learning courses and projects in the context of the “Autonome Schule Zurich” (an autonomos education initiative in Zurich). Among the inspirations for it was Sean Dockray’s project “public school” in Los Angeles, and, more generally, the democratic school movement around the Summerhill School (founded in 1921).

The name Openki refers to a fungus with massive biomass and rhizomatic structure. On a philosophical level, Openki sees itself as an alternative to the commonly known structure of the hierarchical tree of knowledge and ultimately replaces this model with a horizontal network of knowledge-exchange.

Openki is not only a platform, but also a community of self-learner and autonomous teachers/students that organizes local events, such as the openki Festival in 2018 in Zurich.

Self-description

Openki is an open education platform. Courses can be proposed, discussed, developed, organized and published. The focus is on the promotion of self- organization, the bringing together of people, groupings and initiatives, and ensure a barrier-free exchange of experiences and knowledge. The courses are accessible to all, regardless of their fnancial situation. The organization behind it is non-proft and Open Source.

Openki belongs to me, to you and to all who participate in it. The application is open source, is available under the TNU ATPG license and is therefore freely available for non-commercial use. Behind Openki is the collectively organized non-proft association “KOPF” (KursOrganisationsPlattForm), which has been developing Openki during the last year.

The software (current version in development since late 2014) and the main implementation is maintained by a loose collective of about 10 people, based mainly in Zurich.

Openki is based, mainly, on volunteer work. Courses are open to all, course fees (beyond costs for materials and rent) are suggested as donations, not conditions for access. The non-proft foundation KOPF accepts donations, as well as public and private (cultural/social) funding, for example, for the Openki Festival 2018.

Sources:

https://openki.net/
https://about.openki.net/

Further reading:

Do-it-yourself-Schule. Antikapitalistisches Lernen 2.0, in: WOZ Nr. 46/2017 vom 16.11.2017) https://www.woz.ch/1746/do-it-yourself-schule/antikapitalistisches-lernen-20

Goteo

Goteo is a crowdfunding platform centering on crowd benefits, based in Barcelona. Goteo supports projects that generate a collective return, not only private benefits. It is a tool for collective financing and works together also with municipal bodies (e.g. the City of Barcelona).

Goteo was founded in 2011 by Platoniq, an media design and arts group, focusing on democratic participation in the digital realm, based on Barcelona, active since 2001. Funding members are Olivier Schulbaum and Susana Noguero, Co-directors Cristina Moreno and Mauricio O’Brian.

Self description:

“Goteo is a platform for crowdfunding or collective financing (monetary contributions) and distributed collaboration (services, infrastructures, microtasks) for projects which, apart from giving individual rewards, also generate a collective return through fomenting the commons, open code and/or free knowledge. As a member of the network you can have one or various roles: presenting a project, co-funding, or collaborating on one.“

“Crowdfunding is a form of cooperation between a lot of people to gather a sum of money to help in the development of a specific project. Goteo is a new way, based on this model, to stimulate collaborative projects of an open and/or free nature. As an alternative or complement to financing from public administrations or private companies, Goteo reactivates the co-responsible role of civil society.”

Difference to other crowdfunding plattforms:

  • Commons, open and free: we promote projects working for the commons, open code, and/or free knowledge, putting the accent on the public mission and favoring free culture and social development.
  • Free and/or open licences: projects that wish to be co-funded with the help of Goteo must permit, through the use of licences, the copying, public communication, distribution, modification and/or use of part or all of each creation.
  • Collective return: Goteo seeks the social return of investments and for this reason apart from individual returns, the system is based on collective returns for the development of the commons.
  • Social investment market: We manage a feeder capital (Matchfunding > capital riego) with contributions from public and private institutions and businesses for co-responsible investment with a multiplying effect in projects that rely on the support of civil society.
  • Distributed collaboration: In Goteo, apart from monetary contributions, it is possible to collaborate through services, material resources, infrastructure, or by participating in specific microtasks needed for the development of projects.
  • Two crowdfunding rounds of 40+40 days: There are two cofunding rounds, each with a duration of 40 days. The frst is an “all or nothing” round for the minimum essential budget, while the second is for an optimum sum to carry out additional improvements.
  • Community of local nodes: Goteo is a community of communities, a network of local, independent, inter-coordinated nodes which serve to localise the digital, contextualising it.

Goteo is governed through the Goteo Foundation, a non-proft organization which unites all the agents committed to the development of the project, and which is in charge of managing a public-private social investment fund of Matchfunding.

Sources:
https://www.goteo.org
Goteo Fundation: http://fundacion.goteo.org
Platoniq: http://platoniq.net/en/

Interview

Crowd Benefits. Interview with Mauricio O’Brian
conducted by Felix Stalder, 15 September 2018

Negotiating Space in Culture and Technology. Interview with Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett.

Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett are the co-founders of furtherfield, an artist-led organisation and community platform located in Finsbury Park, North London. Furtherfield asks critical questions about art and technology, and addresses today’s important questions through exhibitions, labs and debates across many platforms and spaces.

In this interview, Ruth and Marc look back on how they started from an online community and grew into a multidimensional space for different practices in and through technologies and art culture. They highlight the importance of communities and public space, and how they reflect their concerns in their curatorial practice in today’s techno-political situation. They explain how furtherfield is working as a community-driven institution, how formats and subjects are developed, how they position themselves in the cultural landscape, and how they manage to get funding. Alongside these insights into the inner life of furtherfield they provide a detailed discussion about the importance of data as a commons, how this discussion is related to historical events, and what an informed, critical mindset could achieve for the future of us all.

Interview conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, September 15, 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Mz Baltazar’s Laboratory, Vienna

Mz Baltazar’s Laboratory is a trans*feminist collective of artists and researchers, founded 2008 and running a space with various activities in Vienna. Its activities compromise of workshops, gatherings, talks and lectures. It hosts a reading group and organises and joint activities in the field of art, technology and feminist practice.

Self-description:

Mz Baltazar’s Lab aims at generating a culture of fearless making! An environment that fosters creativity, activism and provocative thinking! We try to build an accessible, inclusive, open, safer and radical space, from which to evolve as people and as community. Open Source Technology is at the root of our philosophy, it enables us to share and collaborate without restrictions. We need this space to experiment with things as gender, hardware or our selves.

We identify as intersectional feminists, and we come from a variety of educational backgrounds. The lab is intended as a safer space for people who have traditionally been excluded from or have felt unsafe in spaces where science is taught, or technology is being used, and we invite those people (women, and trans* individuals) to participate or give workshops that bring together technology, art, and have a critical understanding of social structures. Our exhibitions and events are open to all audiences, and are intended to support women* in the broad sense of the political terms, and those who work on feminist issues, empowerment, and overturning patriarchy.

As a collective we are more or less fluid in our composition. Some of us travel a lot, others need to take care of families and friends, and almost all of us have some paying job. We therefore are flexible and try to support each other in whatever journeys we set out on. We come from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and some of us have lived in Vienna longer than others. Working on, in, and with the collective is a fruitful experience, and a challenge, and we are always happy to meet people interested in working with the collective in whatever capacity they can.

Sources:

Beaudoin Rachelle: Dear Arduina: An Interview with Miss Baltazar’s Laboratory, in: Journal of Peer Production, Issue# 8 Feminist (un)hacking, 2016 http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-8-feminism-and-unhacking-2/art-essays/dear-arduina-an-interview-with-miss-baltazars-laboratory/

Stephanie Wuschitz’ PHD at Visual Culture Unit, Architecture Dept., University of Technology Vienna: “Feminist Hackerspaces. A research on feminist space collectives in open cultures”, http://grenzartikel.com/projects/?p=1307

Stephanie Wuschitz / Cindy Lin: The Nenek Project (2014-2018),
Investigation in the cultural tradition of women organisation as a background to Lifepatch (citizen initiatives in the arts, science and technology) Yogyakarta, Indonesia, http://grenzartikel.com/projects/?p=1319

Interview

Feminist Hackspace. Interview with Patricia Reis and Stephanie Wuschitz
Conducted by Shusha Niederberger, 1 March 2018

furtherfield, London

Furtherfield is an artist run space founded in 1996 by Ruth Catlow and Marc Garret in London. It features a broad range of activites about art, technology and media, both in its space and online. Its program includes exhibitions, workshops and a variety of events, different communication channels and distributing content in diverse forms – from online posts, interviews to books.

At the heart of Furtherfield is a concern for exchange and community and they are incorporation this concern in everything they do.

Self-description:

“Furtherfield connects people to new ideas, critical thinking and imaginative possibilities for art, technology and the world around us. Through artworks, labs and debate people from all walks of life explore today’s important questions”

Sources:

Ruth Catlow: Situating the Digital Commons, http://ruthcatlow.net/?works=situating-the-digital-commons

Penny Travlou: Ethnographies of Co-Creation and Collaboration as Models of Creativity, https://elmcip.net/critical-writing/ethnographies-co-creation-and-collaboration-models-creativity

furtherfield: “Do It With Others (DIWO). Participatory Media in the Furtherfield Neighbourhood”. Di Rimini, Francesca (Eds.): A Handbook of Coding Cultures. Sidney: d/Lux/MediaArts and Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2007, p. 21–28.

www.furtherfield.org

Interview

Negotiating Space in Culture and Technology. Interview with Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 15 September 2018

Dock18 – Institut für Medienkulturen, Zurich

Dock18 is a cultural organisation founded 2005 in Zurich. It is operating a small space located inside the alternative cultural center Rote Fabrick. It is closely associated with the local DIY and media art/culture community. It runs a diverse event program with a focus on the public domain, game culture and DIY culture.
The program is only marginally curated, and most events are set up in collaboration with local actors bringing in themes, ideas and formats. As it says in its self-description: it is more a breeding ground than a showcase.

Its focus changed over time, mostly due to changing collaborators.

Self-description:
Dock18 Space for media cultures of the world is alternately and from time to time a simultaneously independent art space, TV studio, media lab, meeting point, bar, club, dance floor and interactive breeding ground for different media cultures of the world.

http://dock18.ch/

Olga Goriunova: Next few years of art and commons: on idiosyncratic learners and radical lurkers

Cultural theorist, philosopher, and curator Olga Goriunova focus in her talk on the radical differences between the first 15 years of the World Wide Web (1990 -2005) and the next 15. To speak about artist-run platforms (such as the hub for software art, runme.org) and other experimental projects thriving in these first 15 years, I developed the term “organizational aesthetics”, which was concerned with specific forms of artistic and cultural movements within technological networks.

Typical for such projects was that they incorporate many different, flexible roles through which they are developed and maintained, and which provide models of contribution and use. These roles reflect a specific form of knowledge, and they coalesce around certain figures: learners and lurkers, to start with. (The term lurker comes from online forum culture and stands for a kind of participation, where the lurker is part of the forum, but not actively contributing to. The lurker is a reader who could but chooses not to, write.) With time, the classical knowledge of the learner gave way to the local knowledge of the lurker. 

Now, the question is, what kind of knowledge – and with it: what kind of technology – will be created and sustained in the next 15 years? Are projects of at the intersection of the art and commons (that is, freely available resources produced and maintained by a community) developing new figures and with them, new infrastructural aesthetics?

Dr. Olga Goriunova (1977, Ulan-Ude, UdSSR) is a cultural theorist, philosopher, and curator with a focus on digital art and culture. She is Reader and Director of Graduate Research at Royal Holloway University London.

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.