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  • Digital Solidarity Networks - What are lessons learned from alternative, decentralised or federated infrastructures?
    2021-05-27 15:00:00
    Published at 14 May 2021

    Notions of scale, usability, collectivity and agency play an important role in generating possibilities for technological self-determination in an attempt to imagine computational infrastructures differently. How can we imagine technological attitudes that don't rely on data extractivist models? How do we make space to reconsider the figure of the user? And what if digital tools can be adapted to the specificities of each situation?

    With the Digital Solidarity Networks events, we would like to create a conversational space to collectively relearn how digital tools co-shape our everyday life and cultural events.

    Digital Solidarity Networks started as a shared listing of tools, practices and readings for digital solidarity, conviviality and togetherness. In March 2020, many of our activities, work and life were suddenly forced into online formats. In response to complex infrastructural dynamics that emerged, we started a collective space on an Etherpad, where we shared materials that we abruptly and urgently wanted to stay close to, even closer than we already were. The set of gathered materials started with free software tools, hosting providers, online cultural initiatives, forms of collective self-help and theoretical readings. Over time, more and more individuals, groups and organisations started to use and edit the pad as a resource for digital mutual aid strategies and online social closeness.

    More than one year later, we would like to invite you to join us in carrying forward the conversation around non-extractive software and digital infrastructures.

    We are organising 3 public moments for collective relearning in May and June 2021. Each event will depart from the contribution of a guest and we would like to invite you to join us.

    • How can we reconfigure digital networks across timelines and communities? Thursday 20 May, 15:00-18:00 CEST, with DuĊĦan Barok
    • What are lessons learned from alternative, decentralised or federated infrastructures? Thursday 27 May, 15:00-18:00 CEST, with LURK
    • How can we rethink digital infrastructures in terms of capacity and care? Thursday 10 June, 15:00-18:00 CEST, with The Institute for Technology in the Public Interest (TITiPI)

    For the second event, we will be joined by LURK (represented by Aymeric Mansoux and Roel Roscam Abbing) who will speak about lessons learned from alternative, decentralised or federated networks.

    LURK, on the precipice since 2014.

    In this talk LURK talks about LURK and its surroundings. What it is, how we came to be, what it does, why we do it and with who.

    LURK started as a small collective of artists/hackers interested in facilitating and archive discussions around net- and computational culture and politics, proto- and post-free culture practices, (experimental) (sound) (new media) (software) art, and things like that. We have been active since 2014 and today we offer to like-minded people and peers the possibility to host their email discussion lists, access to instant messaging services and to alternative social media platforms, as well as streaming servers.

    Now that COVID19 has reignited conversations about autonomy and sovereignity in relation to digital infrastructures, it is useful to inform these discussions with lived accounts of both the challenges and opportunities of self-managed digital resources and autonomous digital infrastructures. In particular, in this presentation we will discuss the services we run, the infrastructure we use, and the time and energy it takes to support it all. We will also zoom in and out to demonstrate how collectives and organizations are dependent on LURK but also how LURK is in turn itself dependent on other collectives and organizations.

    After that, we will go through multiple concrete scenarios to imagine how digital resources can be shared across cultural institutions, small organisations and artistic practices. Each of them will ask us to engage with hosting digital services while assuming different scales, needs and knowledge.

    Program of the day

    15:00 - 15:15 Welcome
    15:15 - 15:45 LURK presentation
    15:45 - 16:00 Q&A
    16:00 - 16:15 BREAK
    16:15 - 17:15 Collective Relearning
    17:15 - 17:30 BREAK
    17:30 - 18:00 Discussion

    To register, please send an email to info@varia.zone mentioning the name of the event in the subject line.

    Date: 27th of May 2021
    Time: 15:00-18:00 CEST
    Location: https://bbb.constantvzw.org/b/man-4bu-j5a-hff
    Note: This session will be held in English.

    This event is made possible with the kind support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.