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

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 12 18:19:36 CEST 2021

So sorry for posting this to all!  Oh well, no harm no foul I hope!!!!!  Arg.

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2021 11:17 AM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] offlist -- Re: Netbehaviour renewal - Occupy? a commons? by a fire, in the ruins in an ancient woodland

Hi Ruth,

I really appreciate your dedication and clarity in helping the list be its best.  Many years ago I briefly attempted to coordinate a list or two and it was terribly difficult, so what you have already achieved with Netbehaviour is quite significant.  The prospects for continuing, evolving, and developing the list in accordance with your vision -- because as chief organizer I consider you very much justified in leading with regards to vision -- are also excellent I think.

What you propose sounds like a good idea to me.  I'm less experienced with the list logistics of unsubscribing inactive participants, but it makes sense.  Others may have reasons to leave inactive emails subscribed but I can't think of any, so I would certainly support the suggestion.

Your ask for each of us to consider ourselves co-proprietors of the list in at least some degree is very organic and wise -- we are, as participants, involved, and being aware of that or reminded when needed is highly appropriate.  I'll support your recommendations in this respect and if there is ever anything you wish to request of me individually -- to post less, consider topic choices, etc. -- please feel free to let me know either on or offlist.

All very best,


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2021 9:03 AM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Ruth Catlow <ruthcatlow at gmail.com>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] Netbehaviour renewal - Occupy? a commons? by a fire, in the ruins in an ancient woodland

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 Lab
+44 (0) 77370 02879

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

**sending thanks<https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html> in advance

Furtherfield disrupts and democratises art and technology through exhibitions, labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.

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

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


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.

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