• Public Programme at Transmediale: Book of the Scribe
  • Follow this hackpad for live documentation of all sessions throughout the  public programme of the unMonastery Summit, held in the HKW Foyer as part of transmediale 2015.

    For a full overview of our programme, please visit:


    Twitter Backchannel & Amplifier unMonSummit

    INFRA_LIFE and Neo-Nomadism

  • 28/01/15, 11h-14h
  • Facilitators: Noel Hatch, Ben Vickers
  • To see the insights properly go to the map we created using @popplet showing the connections between the different insights people shared during the INFRA_LIFE workshop

    Noel Hatch currently works with European Alternatives, a transnational network that brings together people from different disciplines and walks of life to help imagine, enact and demand new forms of civic culture. That includes exploring & enacting what the future may look like, at not just a personal level but geopolitical as well.

    INFRA_LIFE began as a working group of friends, with informal meetings distributed throughout Europe and taking place over the past few years. We’ve come to develop certain methodologies of thinking and working together, and would like to bring these aspects to a wider audience and larger group. 

    The first event held was on Neo-Nomadism, centering on how to connect nomads, for emotional and physical well-being, as well as how to use existing infrastructure to facilitate this semi-precarious lifestyle.

    And it begins with a question.

    What do you think will shape X over the next 5 years?

    Action? Create Popplet to show impacts, needs & resources across personal, network & geopolitical level and subsequent popplets on the hacks (incuding their outcome, impacts they want to tackle, needs they want to meet and resources they can use)

    We are going to map the X through 3 different spheres of influence.

    X is:

    The group splits into two small working groups to discuss these questions.

    Sitting in circles each person says their name to introduce themselves.

  • Running Questions or Points of Conflict
  • Are we trying to work out what we want to happen or what is likely to happen?

    We begin with speculating what might happen over the next 1-5 years in a geopolitical context.

    Each circle makes statements about what they envisage will happen to the geopolitical landscape over the coming five years. After this they are categorised by the group as whether they represent an impact, resource or need.  

  • Definitions
  • Impact: The factors which influence us or the systems of which we’re part.
  • Resource: The assets we possess or have control over. These can be tangible or intangible.
  • Need: The actions or resources we believe necessary to improve the world around us. These may be met or unmet.
  • Personal: The trends which shape us us personally or through which we can control individually.

    Networks: The people to whom we feel connected and who influence our lives, as well as the actions and decisions that those people can influence within the network they feel part of. This can include but isn’t restricted to our relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues, as well as the groups we are part of as well as the places we work for.

    Geopolitical: The trends which influence & impact the structures we live in. Those structures can exist within a particular field, such as energy or health, or cut across different systems, such as macro-economic or civilisational trends, or they can exist across a society, either in a national, transnational or global level

    See the spreadsheet which categorises the insights by geopolitical/networks/personal and then by impact, need, resource, question & solution. Let’s separate these desires and projections. There is no objective truth, people self-defined what they considered to be an impact, a need or a resource.

    Area Form Theme Description
    Geopolitical Impact Climate oriented wars
    Geopolitical Impact Political implosion in Russia following assasination of Putin, perhaps by one of his colleagues
    Geopolitical Impact Europe will become the chaotic zone, East Asia as growth, quality of life
    Geopolitical Impact City-states rise to prominence over nation-state modal as corporations form conglomerates and set up free zones
    Geopolitical Impact Cyber war - less chance of starting from scratch, a restriction of mobility in terms of creating your identity online. Indelible online identity.
    Geopolitical Impact Elite and white collar works have unparalleled mobility - others face harsher restriction - different people switching homes - nations trade citizens, switch everything.
    Geopolitical Impact Energy crisis.
    Geopolitical Impact Africa coming online
    Geopolitical Impact Spike in food prices
    Geopolitical Impact Speculation / de-stablising food pricing on stock exchange
    Geopolitical Impact Space travel (private becomes common).
    Geopolitical Impact Patenting of DNA - leverage the sale of your DNA?
    Geopolitical Impact New forms of housing - new architectural housing - a shift from vertically oriented mass housing to other forms of mass housing. Underground networks?
    Geopolitical Impact Distributed manufacturing.
    Geopolitical Impact Stabilization of the caliphate.
    Geopolitical Impact Several localized internets - the rise of different internets
    Geopolitical Impact Organic food becoming increasingly expensive
    Geopolitical Impact Internet as a human right
    Geopolitical Impact Alliance between Iran and West
    Geopolitical Impact Ability to hack anything
    Geopolitical Impact Russia as a major energy source for Europe
    Geopolitical Impact Greece will drop out of Europe and be 'best friends' with Russia
    Geopolitical Impact Greece as the Russian gas stop for Europe
    Geopolitical Impact Maturation and development of alternative energy technologies
    Geopolitical Impact Hungary may exit the European Union - restructuring mobility of workforce.
    Geopolitical Impact More surveillance, more geopolitical crisis.
    Geopolitical Impact Nuclear arms back in the game.
    Geopolitical Impact Breakdown in trust between each other and between institutions
    Geopolitical Impact Growth in transparency creates distrust
    Geopolitical Impact Growth in open source
    Geopolitical Impact Pollution of ideologies and philosophies
    Geopolitical Impact Capitalism that starts to adapt ideas from the edges
    Geopolitical Impact Rise of populism and post-political movements
    Geopolitical Impact Established society relying on growth, with no more solutions to create economic growth, could lead to war
    Geopolitical Impact The link between currency wars and localization of finances - can we see what we are collectively in that?
    Geopolitical Need Space travel (private becomes common).
    Geopolitical Need Several localized internets - the rise of different internets
    Geopolitical Need Internet as a human right
    Geopolitical Need Ability to hack anything
    Geopolitical Need Maturation and development of alternative energy technologies
    Geopolitical Need Rise of degrowth
    Geopolitical Resource Space travel (private becomes common).
    Geopolitical Resource Empty houses will be occupied
    Geopolitical Resource Ability to hack anything
    Geopolitical Resource Maturation and development of alternative energy technologies
    Geopolitical Resource Resource sharing and skill trading
    Geopolitical Resource Movement towards community-based production and self-organising cultures (i.e. soap) that could produce goods to meet people’s needs
    Networks Impact Supernational groups - growing from their common interests, work, etc. rather than their background or country of birth. Not identifying according to nations (not American, Nigerian, Swiss, but...? Identify through personal interest). - Professionality? - Strength of this network through internet/travel... Global Civil Society not really there, but people believe it's emerging.
    Networks Impact Reputational economies.
    Networks Impact Virtual represntation of the self much more important in the future more important today - a virtual CV as focus for networking. It's going to be much more in the focus in the digital networks of the future. Travel might become a limited good.
    Networks Impact 20% of your interest group. A hypernationalism as a rebuttal to hyperdistributed other worlds - become clinging.
    Networks Impact Top area of people earning more money.
    Networks Impact Trust and identity centralized in a direction which is not our (?) direction
    Networks Impact Limitations of what you can share
    Networks Impact Impact of sharing economy creates unemployment (i.e. taxi drivers, estate agents, etc.)
    Networks Impact Perverse consequences of sharing economy is you turn transactions into relationships
    Networks Impact Disconnected from needs around us
    Networks Impact Decline in trust of institutions that used to build trust (i.e. companies, churches, government)
    Networks Impact Greater interconnection between personal, community and global level
    Networks Impact Sense of uncertainty - maybe even paranoia - about where we stand in relation to each other and our organizational structures.
    Networks Need 20% of your interest group. A hypernationalism as a rebuttal to hyperdistributed other worlds - become clinging.
    Networks Need Decentralized social services within my network, bolstering with private communites, some other form of support
    Networks Need Network becoming support mechanism rather than the state?
    Networks Need Research/ partners to sustain public institutions (NHS)
    Networks Need Small business - to step out and come back whenever you want
    Networks Need Resilience and fluidity in entrance and exit from network
    Networks Need Fluidity of work identity, agency and ownership in companies
    Networks Need Share more resources out of need and possibility
    Networks Need Restablishment of trust at community level and social network level
    Networks Need Rebuild sense of community
    Networks Need Growth of informal models (i.e. community gardens & farmers markets) recreating sense of community
    Networks Need Localisation of finance even at a group level (community hedge funds, local credit pools)
    Networks Need Need for people to create more certainty and security
    Networks Need Need to be able to connect to a community in a meaningful way if you’re nomadic
    Networks Need Creating structures where people can do things together - spend lots of time together
    Networks Need Creating safe spaces to protect themselves (especially for people who don’t have those)
    Networks Resource Supernational groups - growing from their common interests, work, etc. rather than their background or country of birth. Not identifying according to nations (not American, Nigerian, Swiss, but...? Identify through personal interest). - Professionality? - Strength of this network through internet/travel... Global Civil Society not really there, but people believe it's emerging.
    Networks Resource BlaBlaCar community
    Networks Resource More work coming through my network - networks having economic support, moving away from jobs through the network?
    Networks Resource Distributed organizations, operate on large scale projects collaborate
    Networks Resource Reputational economies
    Networks Resource Virtual representation of the self much more important in the future more important today - a virtual CV as focus for networking. It's going to be much more in the focus in the digital networks of the future. Travel might become a limited good.
    Networks Resource Research/ partners to sustain public institutions (NHS).
    Networks Resource Belief that change is possible at a network level creates more belief in change in the system
    Networks Resource Openness of local community to newcomers
    Networks Resource Safe spaces for people to protect themselves
    Personal Impact Grandparents will die
    Personal Impact Join a real monastic order
    Personal Impact Passive income stream - donations
    Personal Impact Constant planning of uncertain future
    Personal Impact Decreasing of social and economic possibilities
    Personal Impact Privacy walls
    Personal Need I'd like to take the work I'm doing for an organisation and own my work myself
    Personal Need Join a DAO
    Personal Need Join a real monastic order
    Personal Need Quit my job
    Personal Need More communal living situation - a place in my life where I can bring people together
    Personal Need To hang out with kids my possible future child)
    Personal Need I would like to have a child, but maintain high mobility
    Personal Need To do things with the child, to try to build society and the networks (for the child), not either/ but both/ and - a kindergarden at TM? Less separation
    Personal Need Be less reliant on the UK and more on my network. (i.e. healthcare, tax)
    Personal Need Define cultural identity in relation to network
    Personal Need Detach my reliance on the country that I happen to be born in. Would you like to change it to a corporation instead?
    Personal Need Nomadic in the online world - maintain anonymous identities without needing to bring along an identity - feel free online - infrastructure?
    Personal Need Deploying appropriate technologies for energy and food
    Personal Need Clear and coherent social contracts with the people that I'm working with
    Personal Need Financial stability and establish a passive income stream
    Personal Need Ability to control your digital identity
    Personal Need Greater awareness about how to use open technology
    Personal Need Have children
    Personal Need Moving away from needing money and moving somewhere where i can use own time
    Personal Need Local currency
    Personal Need Increase effective size of a trust network
    Personal Resource Join a real monastic order
    Personal Resource More communal living situation - a place in my life where I can bring people together
    Personal Resource I would like to have a child, but maintain high mobility
    Personal Resource Deploying appropriate technologies for energy and food
    Personal Resource Own some property of some kind, or land
    Personal Resource My daughter will grow up and I will be more free
    Networks Need Reconnect value of money to people
    Networks Impact Wage slavery and technological elitism
    Networks Impact Can't have property security, tied to renting
    Networks Need Autonomy and how you use your time / are productive - choice of how you do that?
    Networks Need Autonomy and how you express your identity within society?
    Networks Resource Sharing currency between resource-rich and resource-poor communities has an equalising effet
    Networks Need How can alternative currencies / value technologies create solidarity and operate at the 3 spheres of influence personal, network and geo-political.
    Networks Need To have solidarity, you need to have a degree of social immobility
    Networks Resource Unconditional universal basic income
    Networks Solution Ban air travel, so have to invent solution for virtual working environment
    Networks Question If GPS enable state track us, e.g. time in a country, movements to specific countries, how can we prevent that, or use the system to our advantage
    Geopolitical Impact State might track the physical person based on use of technical device
    Networks Solution Swap SIM cards, obfuscate communication
    Geopolitical Impact Unable to move across border freely
    Geopolitical Solution Flashmob border crossing
    Geopolitical Solution Stop using passport
    Geopolitical Solution Mask migration border cross
    Geopolitical Solution WoW buddies extract you from an Egyptian prison
    Geopolitical Solution Index of what you lose/gain from state memberships
    Geopolitical Solution Become your own state
    Geopolitical Impact Lack of strong state
    Geopolitical Question Is mobility a human right?
    Geopolitical Impact Surveillance (data footprint
    Geopolitical Impact Warring nations (prevent use of visa, i.e. ISIS video on Facebook)

    Having discussed & categorised these insights, the participants then identified the issues which were most important to them and were there were the greatest impacts and needs across the personal, network and geopolitical spectrum. From the themes they selected, they then tried to diagnose the causes and come up with problem statements to those themes and identify solutions that could respond to those problems.

    Local Economy Group

  • Framework for Session
  • What are the problems
  • The value of money is disconnected from people.

    Why is this a problem?

    Isolation and Poverty

    Wage Slavery and Technological Elitism

    Autonomy and how you use your time / are productive - choice of how you do that?

    Autonomy and how you express your identity within society?

    What needs do we want to meet with a hack?

    Money is integral

    Issue and control 

    Better sense of community / local

    Liquidity of economy operates on a national scale

    Currency is very primitive


    Imagine two communities one is resource rich, one is not.

    If they share one currency, then the impact of one on the other has an equalising affect.

    Should there be solidarity with the community.

    How do you create support mechanisms?

    Creating trust networks

    Alternative currencies?

    How can alternative currencies / value technologies create solidarity and operate at the 3 spheres of influence personal, network and geo-political.

    To have solidarity, you need to have a degree of social immobility

    Broadening out scope to recognise non-monetisable forms of labour

    Mindful of monetisation

    Unconditional universal basic income

    Mobility Group

    What kind of mobility? Physical mobility, but also our ability to interact with others in virtual space. 

    Is mobility a human right?

    Potential recipe: ban air travel, so have to invent solution for virtual working environment.

    What are impacts on mobility. e.g. restrictions:

    Specific problem: Surveillance State:

    Question is to be able to move, do you have to hide yourself?

    Problem: State tracking through GPS data 

    Problem:  If GPS enable state track us, e.g. time in a country, movements to specific countries, how can we prevent that, or use the system to our advantage.

    State might track the physical person based on use of technical device

    Solution: swap SIM cards, obfuscate communication

    Problem: Physical Mobility

    Problem: Unable to move across border freely


    What are the benefits of statefulness. Could your WoW buddies extract you from an Egyptian prison?

    INFRA_LIFE Presentation Notes for 19:30.

    Links to content for presentation: 

    Overview of previous work:

    #temporarycustodians: A proposition for ecological collections management

  • 28/01/15, 15h-18h
  • Facilitators: Helen Kaplinsky, Maurice Carlin, Erica Scourti, Susanna Davies-Crook
  • Session materials:

    http://tinyurl.com/unmon1  - Where do we go from here

    http://tinyurl.com/unmon2 - RAND Tribes report

    http://tinyurl.com/unmon3 - Latour, Making things public

    http://tinyurl.com/unmon4 - Kaprow, Education Unartist


    #temporarycustodians consists very much of ideas in development; it’s currently in a research phase, exploring shared ownership models for physical spaces.

    A description of the session held as part of LOTE4: http://edgeryders.eu/it/sessions-at-lote4-the-stewardship/temporarycustodians-sharing-assets

    Temporary Custodianship: a proposition for ecological collections management

    Custodian, a definition: a state of care, an approach or an action, responsibility, guardianship, care-taking - the art world has been very slow in taking up decentralised worldview & concepts

    There is the potential for many custodians, rather than a centralised model.

    "How might individuals stand alongside institutions, sharing & managing as nodes."

    Who is a custodian? - reassessing a slippery definition - as museums broadcast to a ’public’, whose to say where the boundaries and borders between public and institution start and end?

    Museums reflect centralised mode of custodianship.

    Museums reflect what might be seen as a now outdated mode of civic public-ness and we are looking at a wider shift towards a blurring of public and private space.

    Online and experiential programming enable Museums to claim increased participation but in-fact there activity is still centrally managed, often imagined ‘community’ public

    Latour’s text Making things Public: there is no discernible coherence to community opinions but a continuity in what we gather around - a “matter of concern.”

    Reference to Paul Baran diagram reflects approach not simply to virtual but physical assets and place.

    Temporary, a definition

    ’TAZ’ - Temporary Autonomous Zones as case studies of interests

    "holding without owning", as assets are stripped back and we move towards services

    Viewed through the utopian lense of TAZ, temporality is a form of liberation. If mapping territory is required for ownership, there seems to always be an excess. The map can never be 100% to scale, therefore the excess is where TAZ occupies, constantly shifting into new territories, especially psycho-topographies.

    Quotes Bruce Sterling - decay of political systems will lead to decentralised “data piracy”. 

    Shift in time scale all familiar with. Flexibility and the temporary go hand in hand. One could say what we have now is a nightmare version of Hakim Bey’s provocation of nomadic pirate utopia in TAZ. 

    We are increasingly tied to subscription based services, undertake precarious labour and in many cases assets and rights have been stripped. Not out-right ‘owning’ or having rights based access to real estate and services has meant we have little or no say. Instead we occupy a position of an imagined public, shaped though a self-fulfilling set of data analytics. 

    Financially - High frequency trading, algorithms decide buying and selling of shares. 

    Shares used to be held for month, years etc. In 2012, the average time a stock is held is 22 seconds - traders position very fast computers as close as possible to the market’s computer servers. The proximity minimizes the time it takes for an order to pass through telecom lines. Foregrounds the materiality of algorithm.

    Museum collections are opposed to increasingly temporality, instead based on a principal of permanence, to collect and accumulate for posterity. 

    Ecological, a definition

    Where is it appropriate for artwork to be dormant? How is ownership decided and what impact does it have depending on who it affects?

    Existing linear structures of movement &  acquisition of artwork potentially limiting to its reach

    Current system of public collections

    Western conception of museum - early examples of collection given are Cabinets of Curiosity belonging to princes and aristocracy - essentially private collections that during the age of enlightenment discovery were a showcase for wealth and influence.

    Later in the 19th century, with the birth of the modern publicly accessible collection museum, one could view the Museum institution as part of an ideology of disciplinary institutions alongside the prison and asylum. Museums are according to this narrative, about incarceration and confinement of objects and surveillance and control over a constantly constructed public (Douglas Crimp  via Tony Bennett Exhibitionary Complex).

    Form of surveillance - "The public learning to form their publicness". The threat of the radical mob of French Revolution was followed by emergence of world exhibitions and public museums where public learn to perform and conform to disciplinary consumption of knowledge.

    The same could be said of our on and offline platforms - both the Museum and the recent emerge of (the term) Sharing Economy are concerned with distribution as a form of control.

    Whilst museums are very clearly top down in their relationship between knowledge and power, there are “vehicles for inscribing and broadcasting the messages of power” .

    By the 1990s Museums were seen as reactionary mausoleums, or, as the British philosopher Alan Watts put it, “places where art goes to die.”

    Meanwhile the experience economy was accommodated by the museum to an extent with the Pompidou Centre as a blue print for Museums at play, as a hub for activity. Despite this enabling new forms of economy (including the coffee shop) the Museum collection has remained an unchallenged paradigm. They have simply had market forces layered upon them - “pressure on them to make their board members happy like a corporation. How many times do we have to see a dead artist retrospective just so the market value of the work can remain healthy?” 


    The Western Museum collection is based around a uniquely western conception of ownership as linked to conspicuous consumption

    What about other cultural ideas of object circulation and ways of showing influence?

    Potlatch V.’s western conception of conspicuous consumption

    Both related to status but object keeps moving

    Object not primarily about status about relations between tribes and communities, often self-sufficient and don’t need to trade.

    The idea of an object becoming ’no longer useful in the world’.  The collection become its final resting place. How might we shift from the linear model above to a circular model?

    Museum clashing with temporal shifts 

    Examples: Outcry at decassioning

    Detroit Institute of Arts - under threat - debate about the value of art as a public, civic asset, as its collection sale was posed as solution to ’plug a hole in finances’. 

    Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July 2013

    Last year nearly 15,000 people had their water shut off and drastically cut their pensions

    As all of this is happening, the Detroit Institute of Art is sitting on works of art valued at several billion dollars. Federal mediators helped negotiate a deal to use more than $800 million from private foundations and the state of Michigan to avoid that sale and make the cuts to city’s worker pensions less severe. January 2015 : The Detroit Institute of Arts has raised enough money to fulfill its $100 million commitment to the “grand bargain” portion of the city’s bankruptcy settlement, around $5 million annually for 20 years. 

    Northern UK town Bury has rich Victorian history and public Museum. Now post-industrial, poor, council forced sale of key work by local artists. Idea art should stay with localised community. 

    Condemed by Museum Association (which kicked out the Bury Museum as a member), The sale (Bury’s LS Lowry) will apparently break the association’s ethical code, under which museums are oddly not allowed to sell pictures "principally for financial reasons".”

    Quote museums are where objects go to die.

    Examples: Outcry flipping

    Stefan Simchowitz ’The Art’s Patron Satan’

    The Art World - perception of being respectable, with a reasonable degree of integrity - perhaps not altogether true, it’s also touched by concepts like ’flipping’ and ’speculative buying.’

    Is this akin to what was happening in the music industry 10-15 years ago - fighting a losing battle on ownership, whilst fighting to protect an ethical expectation and code from another age?

    Breaking out into groups.

    Susanna (@susannahidc) - Liveness: Emptying and refilling the self

    Erica; So Like You:


    Collecting images of people via Google similar image search algorithm.

    Contacting them personally - often resulting in a lasting relationship with the subject/photographer

    Asked the subject to find a similar image - replacing the algorithm with human judgement - nuanced, clouded, neural

    On the project page, you see the names of anyone who desired to be named - this becomes part of the work.

    Crediting the subject is not a common activity.

    "What happens when you ask for permission?"

    In some cases, they didn’t want their image to be used - even though the question of ownership over the photograph tends to fall in favour of the artist. For some it instigated new imaging activity - taking a photo of oneself, to give to a stranger, to be used in a way where there was no guarantee over the context.

    The interaction and dynamic was built entirely on trust.

    150 emails sent, only 22 responses - the dropoff rate and the degree of trust lost in expression online is huge.

    Erica is easily traceable. The people whose photographs she was using, could easily get in contact or retort in objection. Exposes vulnerability by offering a lot of personal details and images in the first instance of the relationship.

    "Using yourself as a starting point to enter into these negotiations"

    "They are the keeper of *my* image - but they also helped to create the artwork"

    Visual imaging technology, pattern recognition and the concept of tagging - images become packets of data in their own right - by attaching keywords to a whole complex, human experience.

    "Algorithms are not neutral, they reflect the processes and categories of the people who created it."

    Metadata seen as a handle which makes data cleaner or more managable/organisable - sometimes it’s just mess.

    What is the exchange? For the subject to be participating for free, must there be some exchange?

    "Can you quantify every kind of human exchange?"

    Discovery: pre-existing embedded metadata in subject photographs, from source. e.g. type of camera used, date taken, location.

    "Collaborative Narration; you don’t know who’s saying what" - via tagging, a mixture of contributions, from Erica, from subject, from automated generation.

    Project: The risk of being alive.

    Self selecting filters - re-route assets & people within particular networks.

    Morguefile - gathers old photos that have been collected on stock photo websites into a stock photo website - useless.

    But why is it there? What’s the value?

    Tagging our session (visually documented)

    -- Break --


    A collection in the context of an online network - distributed artwork - can be recombined and recollected.

    Indivisible model of ownership - entire properties accessible and under the responsibility of all tenants.

    The rights of the artists to instruct or prescribe how work circulates - "moral rights".

    If artwork is incorporated as share ownership company could shareholders take decisions and remove moral rights/ responsibility of artist?

    Blockchain: Technology for people's globalization?

  • 30/01/15, 15h-18h
  • Facilitators: Vinay Gupta
  • Funding from British Council and Arts Council England

    Audio recording from event: http://files.howtolivewiki.com/Transmediale_2015_blockchains_technology_for_a_peoples_globalization_Vinay_Gupta.mp3

    Official listing: http://www.transmediale.de/content/blockchains-technology-for-a-people-s-globalization

    Vinay Gupta is the inventor of the hexayurt shelter system, the world’s leading open architecture project, and a long time student of critical infrastructure and disaster management theory.

    He will discuss Ethereum project, the political anomaly of Bitcoin, the libertarian cryptocurrency, and discuss what these technologies of radical decentralization can offer the world and how we can expect them to evolve in future.

    The session will look specifically at the interface, interaction and convergence of new and maturing technologies as they come together in a developing world setting; solar cheaper than grid power, effective and affordable virtual reality and mesh networking. How do systems of government, identity, finance and security operate and adapt in this new world? And can we steer that?

    Ethereum links:

    https://www.ethereum.org/ - official site

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethereum - Wikipedia

    A finite number of 21 million Bitcoins.

    Bitcoin as technology.

    What is the database?

    Bitcoin is the feral database, capable of surviving on its own.

    Storing process nak record.

    Enables a simplified model of the real world.

    The database is a high dimensional reality constructed via data. Until the relational database computers could not model reality [but because of database they can, dawg].

    DBO’s are the masters of the sacred higher dimensional cube.

    They are sages - the schema is eternal.

    The block chain - doesn’t require huge servers running in a shed. It fundamentally changes the nature / understanding of databases.

    ’Bitcoin is the common book of prayer that allows you to talk to God on your own terms.’

    Political liability that goes with centralisation, that may explain why Bitcoin is designed like it is.

    Bitcoin block chain runs on a single table database - it is like a huge endless excel sheet with an infinite amount of rows. - it returns us to a situation we were in the 1960s.

    You lose ability to do SQL like complex queries in Bitcoin because you only have rows.

    Specifically [also] you lose the ability to edit.

    ’The price of everyone being able to write, is that the database no longer changes.’

    The power of Bitcoin is a permanent transaction maintained in a distributed mechanism.

    ’Bitcoin has a bug’, which is the proof of work algorithm.

    Ideally you would like people to be able to run the algorithm on their laptop.

    Most of the people alive today will never own a laptop. This will have to run on tablets, mobile phones and smaller devices to scale.

    Bitcoin has gone through a centralization apocalypse. Mining is now centralised which devalues its proposition and is in danger of corporate and state capture: Suggestion that different algorithm would enable different form of mining. This is what Satoshi had in mind.

    It is difficult to fix bugs.

    It is hard to steer the Bitcoin network because it is feral.

    There’s a new feral database in town: Ethereum. ’We hope the computational security is more efficient to conduct on a laptop than in a DC’. If Ethereum is wrong and it centralises, they can change the algorithm.

    We don’t want centralised mining in E, like in Bitcoin.

    In Ethereum you can’t implement SQL. Don’t know how to do it or it’s impossible to do over a distributed dataset.

    What gets stored in Ethereum is software. Instead of writing a row to a database, you write a programme. Each programme has been digitally signed. ’Software as speech’ argument. Software can do anything. Ability to run arbitrary code on/in Ethereum.

    What if software has a bug? Users responsible for uploading software which represents their intentions. It’s immutable.

    What does the micro-software do? Transfer of value. Make a web page. 

    Everyone runs the software, so it has to be short and efficient. You have to pay for the software so you ensure it’s efficient. There’s more cost the longer it runs.

    Each piece of software has a very local variable scope. It doesn’t/can’t get out of control because running it is expensive. - Do not expect Microsoft word to be run on the block chain any time soon (limited to webpages and simple computation for now).

    Why Ethereum: Ethereum guys are nice to each other.

    Etherum is based on contracts ’simple computational constructs ’ - contacts as your application back ends. 

    The front end of Ethereurm is ’Mist browser’ it speaks to a feral database and feral code base. It is a computer we all share. It cannot be captured.

    What you see in the Mist browser should look like a dashboard for the CEO of a bank. 

    It should be simple and secure enough that people can _actually_ use.

    If you want direct democracy then write direct democracy - Ethereym is providing a LAMP software stack. It is up to programmers to write these things and change the world.

    UX is important. Ethereurm is looking right now to find people to build technical things so other people can use them,


    Mobile phone stuff will work on a thin client.

    Should work relatively well in poor countries. - democratic access in poor countries. as phones and smart phones are merging to become the same thing.

    DAOs are just contracts, like any other Ethereum programme.

    Q: What are the qualities of tech that can have processes that can not be stopped? 

    Q: Does everything you do go into Ethereum?

    Mining Ether is a means for people with a surplus of electricity (say, the solar panel on their hexayurt) to store the value of that electricity when there are no longer any batteries available to charge and no electrical work needing to be done. It could also facilitate local currencies, contracts and code which limits reliance on expensive Internetwork access.

    Mobilising Infrastructure Space

  • 31/01/15, 11h-14h
  • Facilitators: Jay Springett, Erica Scourti, Tobias Revell
  • Jay Springett

  • Intro
  • If infrastructure stopped forever, we’d be in serious trouble.

    ’Infra’ = under, under the surface, invisible.

  • Models / Tools for understanding infrastructure
  • SCIM Maps, toolkit designed to help first responders in emergencies understand and map infrastructure. There are 6 ways to die, if you don’t die of one of these, it’ll probably be old age. It can be thought of as how infrastructure interacts with you as a person.

    SCIM method for understanding global infrastructure.

    Jay currently giving a brief summary of: http://resiliencemaps.org/

    Download SCIM Maps & Icon sets http://files.howtolivewiki.com/SCIM/Source_Files/

    Infrastructure can be viewed using a stack model. Shows infrastructure interdependencies.

    Benjamin Bratton uses 7 layer model:  Earth, Cloud, CIty, Network, Address, Interface, User.

    Tools are to find a route through (not ’the’ route).

    Recursive systems modelling is big field in infrastructure modelling. 

  • Examples of infrastructural Space
  • Summary
  • Infrastructure space not only physical but ephemeral.

    Erica Scourti 

    Review of interests/influences:

  • Keller Easterling. EXTRASTATECRAFT 
  • Compliant activism & exaggerated compliance

    Choosing one’s submission to these infrastructures as a means of leveraging power (activism) - as an entrepreneur, etc.

    Sean Dockray: Expanded Appropriation 

    Using existing systems for presentation and dissemination of work

    Implicating yourself into systems to alter course, or gain advantage. 

    Artists engaging with infrastructures rather than content. e.g. ’Networked space is itself a medium [to be worked with].’

    A shift from object forms to active forms - as described in Easterling’s text.

  • Project/Examples:
  • Scourti sent people videos, and asked for descriptive tags in return. Public presentation was then the original video blacked out, but with the metadata from the recipient. Value is in the metadata - making connection to other networks/contexts. (?)

    Tobias Revell

    Smart cities, connected objects as route of exploration. 

    The residents of this British town perform the labour burden of this Chinese smart city.

    Designed Conflict Territories - ’How do I interact with ??? (infrastructure networks)’

    Why do we talk about infrastructures in spatial terms

    Spatial relationships don’t operate in the same way in so called ’network space’

    There is a interesting friction around the geographically bound politics and network geographies politics and how these rub up against each other.


    Q (Leo): What literacy is most relevant to a ’stack’ view of the world? What skills will become stack literacy. How do we become stack literate

    Q (Vinay): Natural capital. How does natural infrastructure fit into picture?

    Q (BV): At stacktivism panel, tension in the room between engineering ’class’ and artist ’class’. Algorithm has vague definition to artists. TM creates safe space for discussion between these groups. In respect to e.g. Metahaven, graphic design agency, can you comment on engineering and social/ art connection and how to work together?

    Helen Kaplinsky: dichotomy between ? and ?

    Q: Is artist allowed license to subvert and play with systems?

    The unMonastery and its BIOS: An unEarthing

  • 31/01/15, 15h-18h
  • Facilitators: Ben Vickers, Bembo Davies, Katalin Hausel, et. al unMonasterians
  • unMonastery has many definitions, components, assemblages, and reasons for existing,

    it is:

    Why unMonastery?

    Came into being from the Social Cohesion Research group, a project of the Council of Europe. It included hackers, artists, social innovators, researchers, engineers. The intention was to synthesize a report around youth unemployment in a time of crisis.

    From this, the distributed think-tank EdgeRyders emerged, a community that expanded into a social network and platform and interface for organizing around projects.

    We realized the first unMonastery prototype in the city of Matera, in southern Italy. We worked with Matera2019, running the bid for European Capital of Culture.

    Ilaria: Basically it made sense to involve unMonastery in the bid of Matera - we asked, why would a small city in the south of Italy enter to be the capital of culture for Europe? How can people at the margins of society work out certain small scale solutions to local challenges that can be replicated at large? How can you embed tech-savvy communities within local communities? (Note: MT2019 won the CoC bid.)

    The Contract

    As a civic-minded space, one could say unMonastery functions as a coworking, coliving space with a social contract - it becomes a cultural tool, an incorporative enterprise. 

    Mapping the Commons project: we came with different projects individually - but it emerged that each of our (Katalin, Maria, Lucia) projects held similar questions in mind: from creating an alternative tourist route to walking ethnographies. We worked together to develop a methodology called Mapping the Commons - mapping assets not necessarily visible within a city. 

    unTransit: A web application to map Matera’s transit system and provide an online version of the system using open data/ public records. Won two first place prizes in the Open Matera contest surrounding open data projects with community-minded intentions.

    The unMonastery wants to be replicable.

    We are working to realize a kit that others can use as a non-prescriptive pattern language and development map for starting new unMonasteries - gathering a group of people, procuring and renovating a space, and connecting with the local community.

    It’s important that we start to think about the social protocols that will allow us to live together in a sustainable way. An axiom, and embrace of, open source methodology: a project on Git, traveling by word of mouth.

    The Book of Mistakes

    We try to generously document our mistakes, rather than sweep them under the rug, so that others may benefit from challenges we faced.

    Expression of Interest - Launching a Call

    We have had several offers since the prototype - land, buildings, localities. We are looking to expand our participation base. If you are interested in unmonastery, please fill out our Expression of Interest form at unmonastery.org/participate .

    Call to write down any questions one may have on the available post-its - that we may address them soon - breaking into groups to discuss at large.


    How did the lack of celibacy change the experience?

    How do you embed tech-savvy communities or individuals from abroad in local communities with low digital literacy?

    How does the movement and participants get funded?

    Are there any rituals to handle conflict in your community?

    What if i want to get away from damn computers?

    Do you really share bedrooms?

    Why is ’’branding" important rather than sharing?

    What people of Matera think?

    How much Italian & English are spoken?

    Do you run Italian classes in unMonastery?

    What about the things you like most?

    I see an uprising of spirituality in contemporary art.  Do you see this?  Is unMonastery a sign of it?

    What is the role of artistic practice in unMonastery?

    How does the unMonastery pay for itself?

    What are the people who are part of unMonastery called? (unMonk? unMonasterians? etc.?)

    (How) do we bring together family life and the unMonastery?

    Are you a family?

    Is there a god within unMonasticism?

    How much does it cost to the local gov?

    How did the unMonk change through the experience?

    How much involvement does it take to keep the doors open?

    How do you evaluate the work?

    How do we pay for it?

    I make meaning from things that I am committed to creating? This includes my family.  How might you integrate family life?  How do you create room for expression of family?

    Is this a tool looking for a problem to sharpen it?

    How many unemployed people do you help and in what way?  Back into work?

    What kind of unemployed people?

    Could there be a registry of people interest in unMonastery or living in unMonasteries to reach out to for projects and advice?

    How do you collect and share the design patterns for common / shared challenges?

    Design Questions

    Could this be used for other things?

    Should the cards have references/icons linking to other aspects of the BIOS?

    Is efficiency important?

    How do you state the purpose clearly? Both the purpose of unMonastery and also the purpose of the toolkit?

    How might having some signifier on the cards showing affordances and links to other elements of the BIOS help people navigate? Should there be this?

    Proposals for BIOS methods

  • Scoping: Language Barriers