[NetBehaviour] Solutionism Re: An interview with Geert Lovink

ruth catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sat Oct 3 12:41:18 CEST 2015

Great point and idea Aharon!

>Indeed, I wonder how a change in the system might actually occur? A
changing day?

Right now- I find myself favouring the last thing anyone writes: )

Perhaps we could set up a time to discuss via live chat or google hangouts or somesuch with anyone interested.


On 03/10/15 11:34, Patrick Lichty wrote:
> Actually, while not a solution, I think a Diaspora node would be a great
> experiment.
> On 10/3/15, 2:05 PM, "aharon" <aha at aharonic.net> wrote:
>> Hiyas,
>> Very interesting quick mapping of possibilities, Rob + Patrick - Cheers!
>> Had some failed attempts linked with mailinglist and web oriented self
>> hosted "solutions"..
>> * Bridge between a mailinglist where each post becomes a blog-post that is
>> in turn being published on a twitter-like platform (old identica, can be
>> done nowadays with gnu-social).
>> Problem was plurality of possible triggers - via email, blog, identica -
>> made it fun but hard for people to follow content.
>> * Bridge between drupal and mailinglist. That was done via mailinglist and
>> drupal signup page. So when people registered in either, they were
>> registering in both.
>> The idea was that in this case, people could post to either list and/or a
>> drupal forum. These were interchangeable. So posts, replies etc were
>> published on both and people could use which ever tool.
>> That didn't catch up much for a few bugs and more importantly, people seem
>> a bit confused by the multiple platforms. Hard to tell whether a bugless
>> system would have caught up.
>> * A meta messaging system "MEM" where users could direct messages between
>> tools. e.g. Say Blooby fancied email and sent stuff, Zlooby could receive
>> the message as a txt or a blog post, or whatever they fancied at that
>> time.
>> People could alter message retrieval as they fancied.
>> People could send stuff as they fancied.
>> The system itself MEM was centralised, but people's tools were as they
>> might want. All that needed was api registration.
>> (For me the interesting bit was that each activity was to create a string
>> that could be expressed in audio and lighting intensity/colour
>> instructions. Hence the networking was evolving visceral materials..)
>> Anyhow, MEM's funding went boom..
>> * A different approach entirely is that which we took in the recent
>> SafeShare.
>> A network for a very specific community, developed with the community
>> members in bucfp.org ) The development through workshops that teased out
>> requirementts, offered possible solutions and through usage feedback, we
>> opted for temporary solutions to begin with. The idea is that this will
>> assist in initial usage and as the system is used more, we could alter it
>> later. (perhaps even via more similar workshops if needed..)
>> Not sure this is applicable here, because there is much broader
>> participation.
>> However it might be an idea to use the need for a change as an opening to
>> try various solutions live with the people involved? A sort of
>> evolutionary approach?
>> Indeed, I wonder how a change in the system might actually occur? A
>> changing day?
>> Apologies for too many questions possibly.. Hopefully some are apt.
>> Probably the gist of this is that it seems altering the communication
>> system and platforms can be a tricky process and it would be a shame to
>> lose people as a result.
>> Cheers and a fab weekend!
>> aharon
>> xx
>> PS
>> Any thoughts re a diaspora node..?
>> On Sat, October 3, 2015 07:09, Patrick Lichty wrote:
>>> Rob,
>>> I think that as usual, you¹re brilliant.  The metric tracking idea seems
>>> OK, maybe, but might be a bit of a red herring.
>>> All:
>>> I think that Furtherfield is at a pivotal moment similar to the
>>> institutionalization moment of Rhizome, where it asked; ³How can we have
>>> maximum imapact/reach, etc?²
>>> I know I¹m conflating a LOT of terms here, but I think my core argument
>>> is sound.  I realize that the impetus here is to bring FF goodness to
>>> larger groups and spread light in the jungle of other art communities.
>>> However,
>>> a few things to consider.
>>> So, what happened?  In my conversation with the execs there over time,
>>> There was an admission that the lists were forumized to facilitate
>>> institutional discourse, and Michael Connor even admitted to not
>>> focusing
>>> on community, and with the cutbacks, I¹ll be curious to see what Zach
>>> does.
>>> Secondly, regarding bridge-building - this relates to serving inter
>>> community needs. An extreme example is my conversation with Cao Fei
>>> during
>>>   the building of RMB City in Second Life.  She had no idea of the
>>> necessity for community engagement before our conversation; she just
>>> assumed that people would know who she was and flock to the servers.
>>> What
>>> she didn¹t realize was that Sl and the Artworld are totally different
>>> birds.
>>> Furherfield is in a much better position in that the ³new media² (sic)
>>> community, as shown in my (hopefully) upcoming late review of ISEA that
>>> the
>>> Contemporary and the Tech Media artworlds are less divergent than
>>> ever, probably (urrr�) thanks to the postinternets.  ISEA 2015 showed
>>> that
>>>   the art historical traditions are concurrent at this time, and piercing
>>> the membrane might be relatively easy.
>>> Back to Rhizome.
>>> I think that Rhizome¹s path was a Faustian bargain.  Its decentering
>>> from
>>>   the community model, IMO, is coming to roost as the institutions are
>>> giving it less resources (and isn¹t it even outside of the NuMu now?),
>>> and there isn¹t a community except for the young blue-chips to rely on.
>>> First, withFF¹s punk roots, I doubt that many of the pitfalls that beset
>>> R
>>> will hit FF.  And there is a valid question - how does FF continue to
>>> evolve without neglecting its core values? Good question.
>>> And I¹ll be selfish in that although I am not terribly active, the list
>>> is my main umbilical to the community at this time, and I want it to
>>> stay a
>>> list.  I¹mnot against outreaches, don¹t think that the list should just
>>> be
>>> a haven for hoary New Media artists, but on the other hand, I feel that
>>> the list has a good community that is pretty healthy.  I also think
>>> there
>>>   are good models like Nettime that are excellent cases to defend the
>>> form, and�
>>> For Powers¹ Sake, The Well???
>>> There¹s is a case for the power of Ur-Forums and their continued power.
>>> My buds Lebkowsky and Sterling rock the cybersphere every year from a
>>> anciently formatted mail thread there every year through The State of
>>> the
>>> World every year.
>>> I think FF has a precious resource in its list, and I¹m not in favor of
>>> much more than incremental change.  The axiom of that which evolves dies
>>> doesn¹t necessarily fit here, as it¹s a matter of community investiture
>>> rather than logistics.  Looking at the list institutionally rather than
>>> socially is a salient debate to have, and I don¹t want to lose the sense
>>> of community I have here.  This is one of the last informal venues I
>>> have
>>>   to just shoot the shit, as it were, and I think it¹s one of the few
>>> where you can in this format.
>>> My .02 AED...
>>> On 10/3/15, 9:01 AM, "Rob Myers" <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:
>>>> On 02/10/15 04:03 AM, ruth catlow wrote:
>>>>> Furtherfield HQ (first think Google and then try to imagine the
>>>>> opposite)
>>>> An open-ended and non-enclosed structure with no basketball courts or
>>>> free candy vending machines?
>>>>> Two issues
>>>>> 1) the cost and time associated with strategising, consulting,
>>>>> designing, planning and remunerating all involved, for their efforts
>>>>> while: future-proofing community infrastructure, caring for the
>>>>> archive/database. We have had some really very good and generous
>>>>> support from a number of people to help us understand what the process
>>>>> might be, but the work still needs doing...and all risks mitigated!
>>>>> 2) connected to the above - maintaining the connections we all have,
>>>>> while inviting in new and diverse (in age, background, device-loyalty,
>>>>>   ethnicity) people.
>>>> There are a few approaches, with different affordances and costs
>>>> (economic and political).
>>>> 1. Yay Walled Gardens!
>>>> Use Medium for publishing articles, hosted Discourse for mail/boards,
>>>> and Slack for co-ordination/chat.
>>>> Cost: 100USD/month plus your soul.
>>>> Demographic: Current.
>>>> 2. All Zuck All The Time
>>>> Use Facebook Notes for publishing articles, Facebook pages for
>>>> discussion, and Facebook messaging for co-ordination/chat.
>>>> Cost: Zero, plus the souls of all humanity.
>>>> Demographic: Previous.
>>>> 3. Current Free Software
>>>> Use Jekyll for publishing (mediated via GitLabs or at a pinch GitHub)
>>>> [TODO: comment system], self-hosted Discourse or Groupserver for
>>>> mail/boards, and an existing GNU social install or irc for co-ord/chat.
>>>> Cost: As much as hosting costs.
>>>> Demographic: current.
>>>> 4. Hosted Free Software
>>>> Use Wordpress for publishing, see if lurk.org will host Netbehaviour on
>>>>   their Groupserver install, and use an existing GNU social install or
>>>> irc for co-ord/chat.
>>>> Cost: As much as the services cost, look for donations.
>>>> Demographic: Almost current.
>>>> For any self-hosted or donated services, stick them behind Cloudflare.
>>>> Good for DDOS and ssl, bad for centralization.
>>>> Choice of platform is to a degree choice of audience, cultural context
>>>> and politics. Not in a technologically deterministic sense but in the
>>>> sense that different book publishers or record labels are. Change the
>>>> system, exploit the system, or buck the system?
>>>> - Rob.
>>>> _______________________________________________
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