Over the past few years there has been a renewed interest in 'alternative' on-line services such as social media and chat1. These are services that promise to provide different experiences and models to the ones we are used to seemingly for free from corporations like Google, Facebook and Apple.
Some of these alternatives are that in name only. These alternatives promise to be something else from the start, but often end up being more of the same since they use similar or identical business models as the platform they pretend to be an alternative to. In essence a different brand serving the same product.
Others projects take a different approach. They challenge the current state of affairs by putting effort in building fundamentally different ecosystems based around free software and open protocols.
One of the ways this current state of affairs is challenged is by insisting amongst on federated, as opposed to centralized structures. Federation is the idea that various actors decide to cooperate in a collective fashion to make a network. Distributing responsibility and power as they do so.
These software practices can be understood as forms enacted criticism, developing a theoretical critique of systems into concrete and practical responses.
The interest of Welcome to the � Federation is to consider software projects that are working towards these alternative ecosystems. In particular those projects whose activities have reinvigorated interest for their underlying protocols, in part by their focusing on design, language and user experience (UX).
The Wtt�F question is to explore how arts and design communities can play a supportive role in these processes by contributing skills, knowledge, time and exposure.
Wtt�F will host a series of two-day gatherings that invite developers of these software projects and people active in arts and design. After an evening of presentation and discussion on the first day, the second day will be dedicated to a hands-on worksession.
For these worksessions the invited developers will introduce and outline a few issues in the context of language, design and ux that participantes are invited to address. Concrete contributions are explored as a way to introduce these critical software practices in a tangible way.
June 1st 2018: 'The Ecosystem Is Moving'
an evening on XMPP, federated chat and Conversations with Daniel Gultsch.
June 2nd 2018: 'The Ecosystem Is Moving' - worksession.
A hands-on dive into the affordances and challenges of Conversations as part of a larger free software ecosystem.
Any time there is large scandal relating to privacy or the concentration of power of cloud companies, there are attempts and campaigns to delete social media. This was notable after the Snowden revelations, most recently #deleteFacebook was a popular item. ↩