(DIWO) from the web to the blockchain
Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett, Co-founders and directors of Furtherfield gave a lecture and workshop as part of the State Machines programme.
The lecture provided an introduction to the work of Furtherfield, an artist run organisation for critical questions in art and technology that curates exhibitions, labs and debates in London. Garrett shared his autoethnographic research into unlocking proprietorial art systems through the lens of Furtherfield’s programmes and communities of practice. Catlow wrapped up the lecture with an introduction to artist-led blockchain critique since 2014 which was followed by a workshop called Artists Organise (on the blockchain).
Since it published its first webpages in 1996 Furtherfield has worked with artists, technologists and activists around the world to build communities, platforms and art contexts, and has sought to promote emancipatory decentralised network practices in arts and technology. Catlow contrasted the profit driven platforms of current dominant social media provision with early net art and tactical media art practices, and those artistic platforms built in the late 90s and early 00s that were inspired by and built together with participants in the Free and Open Source Software development communities. Technologies take on the values and interests of those who build and use them and this understanding moved Furtherfield’s community of practice from the spirit of punk and DIY to a more collaborative approach that, in 2006, Furtherfield termed DIWO (Do It With Others) with an open call for the DIWO E-Mail Art project. People collaborating across difference and discipline created and co-curated works that critically engaged network technologies, as tools, media, metaphors and systems. They created new playful and conceptual artforms to be encountered, experienced and reflected upon in ways newly enabled by global digital communication infrastructures. Participants directly addressed social and political issues across geographic distance.
28 April 2018
NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol
Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett