[NetBehaviour] Netbehaviour renewal - Occupy? a commons? by a fire, in the ruins in an ancient woodland

Ruth Catlow ruthcatlow at gmail.com
Sat Jun 12 16:03:42 CEST 2021

Dear everyone,

Thanks so much for helping me to work through some of my niggles with the
list. I now have a much better sense of what its value is to some of us at
the fireside and a few of the people from the woods. I've also been greatly
enjoying the recent exchanges!

I also found Adam's email beautiful. Especially personally resonant because
I lived for a year in Penryn unaware of the history of the Ordinalia there.
I find the format of passion plays - "acts" of faith "performed" by people
in the places where they belong - enthralling.Thanks for that Adam!

Annie's response was also really helpful for me. The revolutionary impulse
of the early media art initiatives that interested me was tied up with
infrastructural critique and a desire to create a new art context together.
This revolved around efforts to create open access, and co-ownership of the
media and platforms we needed for collaboration. Bringing together FLOSS
and Art. There is still a lot of inspiring work in this area Constant
https://constantvzw.org/ for example.

While I "get" the Occupy vibe here, it doesn't feel so useful as an analogy
for this list/community as it stands at the moment. Occupy's central
commitment was to participatory democracy. The location of occupations were
chosen for their symbolic significance to state-corporate capitalism,
right? I guess we could think of this list as a prefigurative community
resisting corporate platforms (I share everyone's love of this as an
advertising-free space). But I detect less interest among this group in the
question of how bottom-up decisions should be made to ensure fair
distribution of power, and how that might in turn lead to the overthrow of
capitalism. Occupy activists developed social technologies (some digital
platforms, some gestures and techniques for use in large groups of people
gathered physically) to make ALL the decisions together about all the
things - from collective vision to organising waste-disposal. It's more
emergent here.

If we can agree that Commons are "shared cultural or material resources
managed by communities for individual and collective benefit" then maybe
this is what we have been working out here over the last couple of weeks
and Netbehaviour is a kind of commons. If we can agree that we (all
subscribers) collectively own this place, and are willing to reflect on
this occasionally - that's more than enough for me. We can stay with
furtherfield legacy infrastructure and near-zero moderation by Marc and me
for now (if that suits everyone).

Finally, I would be curious to hear your feelings about this proposal for
list renewal.

Over a 1 month period starting xxx
We invite all subscribers to do one of 3 things

1. Make a post on any topic or responding to anyone else's post
2. Send an email with "Happy Lurker" in the subject header
3. Do nothing.

At the end of this time, moderators could
1. gather a list of everyone who posted
2. unsubscribe everyone else.

In this way we will know who we are, we will be able to see ourselves
collectively and know who is in the woods.

This is something we can do intermittently.
If you all love, hate or have alternative suggestions to this idea I'd love
to know.


Ruth Catlow
Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised Arts
+44 (0) 77370 02879

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

**sending thanks

*Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through
labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>

*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 <http://www.decal.is>

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

Registered business address: Carbon Accountancy, 80-83 Long Lane, London,
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