[NetBehaviour] A campfire in a ruin in a forest

F3ydrus f3ydrus at posteo.net
Wed Jun 9 09:32:09 CEST 2021

 Ironically, I broke my long lurking silence on this list earlier today
in response to Simon's 'cochineal' message, without yet having read the
recent and ongoing discussion about the list, which included the
question of who all these 600+ lurkers might be... Last night I had 2hrs
to catch up on the whole genealogy of the recent explosion of posts, and
then it was too late to write. I see further indication this morning of
'moving on' from the explosion, and a return of activity about other
things, which is great. I hope another long response on this isn't too
disruptive / painful.

Like Johannes I found Ruth's "campfire in some unmanaged ancient
woodland" analogy extremely resonant, partly because I too have been
reconnecting with my local physical space + place over these past 15
months. In fact as we come out of lockdown in the UK I continue to get
further connected locally. I live in Cornwall in the far south west and
there aren't many great woodlands but some beautiful pockets, often
inland away from the beaches (which I tend to avoid due to their
popularity). I live in Penryn, an 800 year-old town where the most
important work of literature in Cornish was written, the Ordinalia -
mystery plays, now understood to have been played in the round in the
so-called 'playing places' of Cornwall, circular arenas with raised
embankments, in the pre-modern theatre era. The Ordinalia were written
in a pre-Reformation lay college called Glasney College, which was a
grand structure built on low damp ground near the old harbour (in what
was once woodland). Since the destruction of the monasteries and the
raiding of all the stones of Glasney by the townspeople, there is almost
nothing left. Just the eponymous Glasney Field, a big open space that's
been kept clear of construction for hundreds of years, and a fragment of
an archway just outside the field in somebody's back garden. In the
remaining woods nearby there are other larger but less significant
ruins, from more recent times, overgrown and unattended.

NetBehaviour strikes me as more than a campfire in the forest. It is a
campfire *in a ruin* in the forest. The ruin of itself, of new media
art, of the ideas of the web, of the internet as a positive force, and
so on. Maybe don't knock it down, or clear all the weeds, or rebuild it.
There is something intensely fertile about congregating in ruins. The
most beautiful wedding I ever went to was in a ruined church open to the
sky and floored with grass. We need ruins, to confront us with
mortality. To remember. To connect with deep time. To think about what
we want to build, perhaps elsewhere.

As for the mysterious lurkers in the dark woods around the campfire,
don't fear them. We are woodland creatures, attracted to the fire but
nervous of it. We won't hurt you. I imagine we're pretty much all like
me, nurtured and encouraged by the all-so-rare atmosphere of
conviviality and consideration here. These ruins are beautiful and a
good place to take inspiration, like Ruskin. By all means hold events in
the ruin, concerts, processions (NetBehaviour Jitsi meets). But don't
fear the forest, its labyrinthine paths and trackless undergrowth. Fear
the clearing of woodland for commerce and the fenced path. The saddest
forest experience I ever had was going to see the Old Oak in Sherwood
Forest, Nottinghamshire. There was a low-fenced path from the visitor
centre to the fenced-off tree. It was clear where to go.

Warmest regards to you all,

Adam Russell
leelatrope.com [3]

On 08.06.2021 22:42, marc garrett via NetBehaviour wrote: 

> Hi Helen, 
> Always lovely to hear from you, 
> In view of such a positive response by Netbehaviour users, I think the list will carry on but, I was especially excited by Ana's words saying, " We must change something to keep the things as they are". I think that's spot on. 
> I also really like the idea of having a live meeting to make a few key decisions via Jistsi etc. 
> We can have a vote on things or a consensus-based approach. 
> I was reading and watching some videos about Upstage, it looks like it's going well. And yes, I completely appreciate what you said about time doing all this stuff. There's a lot of maintenance going on in the background for this list, and an awful lot of emotional, psychic and conceptual energy. I would never take away the love and time you've put into your projects because they mean a lot to you, the same goes for us. 
> Will chat more about this to others on the list tomorrow. 
> Wishing you well. 
> Marc
> On Tue, 8 Jun 2021 at 21:15, Helen Varley Jamieson <helen at creative-catalyst.com> wrote: 
> hi everyone, 
> i am in an ongoing state of relentless overload so i've been unable to do much more than periodically delete all the netbehaviour emails (and multiple other lists). i just don't have the brain space for anything much at the moment, outisde of the online magdalena festival and UpStage (both going extremely well and very joyous, just all-consuming!!) 
> so, having barely read any of the emails about the list, perhaps people have already said this - but for me netbehaviour has been for a very very long time an important refuge for me, even if i'm not so often active on it. i like that it has no imposed structure, it has no discussion topics or facilitators, it's allowed to be whatever people need it to be at the time. it has evolved and changed over the years, and at some point it will cease to exist, but it doesn't feel like it's reached that point yet. for me it's a valuable alternative to social media, which i find just too much effort. 
> i really appreciate ruth & marc's gentle organic management of the list - i know it's work, i look after other lists & i'm not volunteering to take anything on. you've done it beautifully for a long time & you don't have to do it forever. maybe there are others out there with the motivation to take it on, maybe not. yes i would be sad if/when it ended, but if there's no-one to take it on then it's time has come. 
> i've been reading about loss & grief recently as part of the work on the UpStage project, https://mobilise-demobilise.eu/ [1] - in particular "hope & grief in the anthropocene" by lesley head, and "the living sea of waking dreams" by richard flanagan (both australians, incidentally) - about how crap we western humans are at dealing with grief and loss, and how important it is that we get better at it, because the future is going to involve a lot of loss (at least for those of us who lead privileged western lifestyles). i found both books - the first is an academic text & the second a novel - very powerful, honest, moving and ultimately hopeful. loss doesn't have to be a bad thing. 
> h : ) 
> On 08.06.21 10:57, Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour wrote: 
> Dear All! 
> Firstly, Alan I also love your posts -the pattern which I think of as an art ping, and the content (when I watch, listen, read it) is a portal into your art practise which I really enjoy and value. 
> I also think that Alan has a point in saying that Marc and I should provide a steer as list owners. I have a few ideas that I will share at the weekend (it's a hardcore project week this week for me). 
> But in the meantime keeping the conversation open is allowing us to see and feel the shape of the community. It has been so useful to hear from Gretta, Patrick, Paul, Ana, Annie, Johannes, Erik and all. More please! We also appreciate various offers from people to contribute financially to the lists upkeep. 
> We regard the value in this list as the strange undefined collective property of everyone who has ever contributed. But as it is currently set up, it is not a Commons. I personally, would like it if it were. 
> We can also consider Annie's suggestion of letting it go. But if that's the way it goes (and this is not what I want) it should certainly not be done casually, rather with the ceremony befitting the splendour of all that has ever occurred here ; ) 
> I do want to reassure you Alan, we will make no sudden moves! The whole point of discussing this now is that it is not an emergency. We just need to work out who "we" are and what "we" want. 
> Warmly 
> Ruth 
> On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 11:48 PM Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote: 
> Hi Everyone, 
> I think we need some guidance; both Ruth and Marc seem unhappy with Netbehaviour as it is. 
> I'm not sure myself whether to post or not. 
> Certainly calls could be put out to all the subscribers to indicate whether they want to continue as such or not. 
> It's all about "as such or not" I think. Technically, Marc and Ruth are list-owners, I believe. Ultimately they're responsible for the direction of the list in the sense that any of us could be unsubscribed at the very least. 
> There are times I've had to unsub people and that's always painful, as would be, at least for us, shutting the list down. 
> I have no idea what to do. I find the situation hugely depressing. Netbehaviour may be derailing, certainly as a commons. And the longer this discussion is drawn out, the worse 
> things will get, at least that's been my experience. 
> Meanwhile I keep writing/performing/worlding, whatever I do. 
> Best, whatever that is, 
> Alan 
> On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 5:57 PM Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote: Hello all. shapeshifters!
> just watched Alan's video and also realized it may be the last one, as he may not be posting his poetic writing and music here, anymore....
> so I watch it as the last one Alan! thank you....
> The conversations about how we might shift this "net- behavior" and become more attuned again to what Ruth and Marc may have imagined -
> "a place for free and open artistic experimentation with networked media, and community building" is very intriguing. I just reread the many postings here, and am stimulated and confused, loving all the responses, disagreeing with some......as it should be. I try to be short; Ruth's parables of the forest (and our poor presence as merely "ethnographic peculiarities") inspired me: >a campfire in some unmanaged ancient woodland...>>......>>The woods around the campfire are full of watchers and listeners (who knows who??)<<
> ...the analogies resonated with me, especially over the last 14 months in a pandemic that made me leave academia and spend more time in the forest, recording, performing, linking up, in the valley, with my village community, inventing new rituals, listening to others and what they thought the "latende Allmende" (latent commons, as Anna Tsing calls it in her book on mushrooms and living in the ruins of capitalism) might be like. No one knew exactly, but we talked, and took our masks off.... and walked along the river [see pic]
> Well.. what is our "latende Allmende" going to be, with other (younger) participants? do we know the age and gender of the members who post here? i don't, and it never mattered, nor the the number of subscribers ("we don't really know much about us") ? 643, 1625? 59?
> is that true?
> well, if the commons are evoked, and Furherfield's new director, and new policies or strategic aims (inclusivity, intersectionality, link to local neighborhood) are mentioned in the organization's remit, now what exactly do you want us to do, in our shapeshifting? Have we not actually been engaged....learning/contributing "about what it means to aim for a commons of diverse cultures in connected physical to digital realms. It requires careful planning, partnership building and a lot of production work"......
> yes, it does. and we do.
> with warm regards
> Johannes Birringer
> ________________________________________ _______________________________________________
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Ruth Catlow 
 Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised
Arts Lab 
+44 (0) 77370 02879 

*I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender

**sending thanks [4] in advance

FURTHERFIELD disrupts and democratises art and technology through
exhibitions, labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free
furtherfield.org [5] 

DECAL Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
technologies research hub 

for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.

decal.is [6] 

Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee 

Registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205. 

Registered business address: Carbon Accountancy, 80-83 Long Lane,
London, EC1A 9ET. 

NetBehaviour mailing list
NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour [2]


helen varley jamieson 

helen at creative-catalyst.com
http://www.creative-catalyst.com [7]
http://www.upstage.org.nz [8]
https://mobilise-demobilise.eu [1]
 NetBehaviour mailing list
NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour [2] 


Wishing you well 



Dr Marc Garrett 

Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised
Arts Lab 

Furtherfield disrupts & democratises art and technology through
exhibitions, labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free
thinking. http://www.furtherfield.org [9] 

DECAL Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
technologies research hub for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural
ecologies & economies now. http://decal.is/ [10] 

Recent publications: 

State Machines: Reflections & Actions at the Edge of Digital
Citizenship, Finance, & Art. Edited by Yiannis Colakides, Marc Garrett,
Inte Gloerich. Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2019
http://bit.do/eQgg3 [11] 

Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain. Eds, Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett,
Nathan Jones, & Sam Skinner. Liverpool Press - http://bit.ly/2x8XlMK

NetBehaviour mailing list
NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour [2]


[1] https://mobilise-demobilise.eu/
[2] https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
[3] https://leelatrope.com
[5] http://www.furtherfield.org/
[6] http://www.decal.is
[7] http://www.creative-catalyst.com
[8] http://www.upstage.org.nz
[9] http://www.furtherfield.org
[10] http://decal.is/
[11] http://bit.do/eQgg3
[12] http://bit.ly/2x8XlMK
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