Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Invite working session - Networks with an attitude

Wed Jan 23 22:01:21 GMT 2019,3102.html

/"Networks do not tell all stories equally. Networks, like all entities//
//with stories, tell most readily those stories in whose reflection they//
//see themselves." [Eleanor Saitta, 2012]/

The internet is dead, long live the internets! In 2025, the internet
will consist of either gated communities or decentralised independent
instances. For those who want to be connected while choosing their own
dependencies, there is no other option than to draw up new networks and
experiment with both historical and innovative protocols.

Hacktrices, financial idealists, privacy-engineers, LGBT militants,
ethno-queers, radio-amateurs, biotech fans and surfing artists opt for
federated networks: far from standard and not always reliable but
intra-active, copyable, open, hackable and/or parallel. They acknowledge
the electromagnetic spectrum as a critical resource and install
community WiFi systems or throw their server in their backpack,
pluggable only when needed. They host a community somewhere in the
Fediverse to communicate, publish and connect with certain social
networks while staying away from other layers of what once was called
the digital highway. A changing climate challenges the landbased
infrastructure and floating routers serve communities living on the open
sea. Networks with an attitude do not only have a ’standpoint’, they
offer a clear perspective on their own specific orientation, whether or
not connected within the internet.

Networks with an Attitude is a six-day worksession organised by
Constant. During this intensive week we stretch the imagination of what
a network is, and what it can be. It is an invitation to experiment
together with net-affinities from two different but interconnected

The internet is dead. The first three days start from the assumption
that in the near future, the internet is something to be avoided. So,
what if we disconnect from the current World Wide Web and build other
networks, parallel, off-line, peer to peer, decentralised or differently
related? What network topologies and forms of organisation can we think
of, which relations can we imagine? What if we think of other
materialities, humanly tangible or not? Could the disintegration of its
continuous fabric, or the emergence of splinternets not just be a threat
but also a potential for different networked spaces and protocols,
directed by shared concerns and net-affinities rather than uniformed profit?

Long live the internets! In the second three days we will explore how to
re-appropriate existing infrastructures and historical protocols for
other means. The multitude of social networks and protocols that are
spreading, with different degrees of filters and access and opacity
bears some similarity with the early times of computer networking. Back
then different separate physical networks and protocols where
experimented with, before they where aggregated under the umbrella of
the American TCP/IP internet model. This model grew to be a globalized
and globalizing project, intertwined with the unfolding of neo-liberal
capitalism due to its capacity for value extraction and circulation. But
the extension and capillarity of the one network, has also reached a
point in which the complexity of network dynamics is the occasion for
new openings and attempts. How might the coming shape of the internet(s)
remind us about its past?

Worksessions are intensive transdisciplinary moments that Constant
organises twice a year. We create a temporary working environment where
participants can link their different types of expertise in order to
develop ideas and research projects together. We develop prototypes,
models and concepts and prefer to use Free, Libre and Open Source
software and data available under an open license. Working language:
English, with inserts in Dutch and French.

Participants from diverse disciplines, ages, genders, skill levels and
backgrounds are welcome to apply. We are looking for example for network
natives, data feminists, fediverse fans, tunnel diggers, captains and
pirates, artists that embody network technologies, activity pub adepts,
scuttlebutt seekers, LoRa’s, peer2peer network participants and other
networkers with an attitude.

Networks with an Attitude takes place at various locations, of which
some might be floating ≃ in Antwerp from Sunday evening 7 April to
Saturday evening 13 April 2019. We invite you to explore both attitudes
(the internet is dead + long live the internets) but you are also
welcome to apply for the first or the second attitude. The first session
starts on Sunday evening 7 April and ends Wednesday 10 April late
evening. The second session starts Wednesday 10 April evening and ends
Saturday 13 April late evening.

Participation is free of charge, Constant provides lunch and travel (up
to 300,— per person, if you need it) plus accommodation if applicable.
Constant already invited a number of participants to start the session.
In addition, 12 places are available via this open call.
If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to
(wendy /at/ before 10 February 2019 and briefly motivate your
participation. Also tell us for which sessions(s) you are applying. We
will reply no later than 17 February 2019.

Networks with an Attitude is developed by the association for art and
media, Constant in collaboration with ooooo, and amongst
others Samenschool, City harbour, Wireless Antwerp.

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