The experimental workshop day taxi-to-praxi at Goldsmiths started off with a positive vibe as about 35 people met in the seminar room underneath the 'squiggle' whereby this group consisted of about one third of people from Goldmiths, one third from other universities and one third of unaligned individuals working as artists or curators. After Prof Janis Jeffries, convenor of the PhD in Arts and Computation opened the session, a lively and stimulating day unfolded. In this account I try to piece together from notes and memories what were some of the main issues which emerged.
Its been a very interesting day, maybe a little bit to 'techie' for me, but on the other hand very worth while due to the diversity of viewpoints in the individual presentations and talks. The Next Layer, so it seems to me, is a fantastic tool for a lot of things, social networking, exchange, artistic collaboration, dissemination of knowledge, politics, archiving and documenting... I subscribe to Lidsay’s conclusion in her recent post ‘Danger: Lest Taxi to Praxi be Forgotten’ The major theme is one of ownership and dissemination of knowledge.
Curating can be a form of practice led research and this is perhaps the most interesting approach. Having developed my own practice as a curator through the 1990s using ‘new media’, it has by necessity been a process of learning about technology through my practice and what it can do to enhance the presentation of content; in some cases of course the technology is the content in its own right. Learning on the job during the 1990s was the only way to develop given that artists were also experimenting with new forms and with it new ideas.
John Barker is both a novelist and an author of non-fiction essays about political, social and cultural issues. Barker's essays, published in magazines such as Variant or Mute Magazine, bristle with historic depth and accuracy of information, woven into critical narrations written in a dense prose. This evident richness of background research is maybe a result of Barker being inspired by the research methodology of a great of the 20th century, C.W.Mills. In this guest contribution, written specifically for thenextlayer.org and the taxi-to-praxi workshop, John Barker introduces us to Mills' concept of intellectual craftsmanship.
I am involved in a number of drupal projects, both new and legacy, some as paid projects, some volunteer.
I am involved or want to help with the maintainence of the code base (security patching, upgrades etc). However not all of the projects are on my own server. And as I am not a hosting company that is how things should be.
However, patching and upgrading is a pain, especially over many sites. How could this be managed efficiently and cooperatively?
I have had to use subversion recently for a job, which is great as i've been meaning to start using it for ages! Here is an intro to subversion, and following a suggestion of how it could help next layer and related projects in a very practical way.
Subversion is a "versioning system" that is used most often by coders and documentors to store text files, but can actually be used for any kind of data.
The Copenhagen Free University (CFU), together with other "self-institutions" such as the Universite Tangente http://utangente.free.fr/ in Paris and the University of Openness, London, successfully promoted the notion of the need to create ones own institutions and hijack the meaning of the established institutions. The free university exists outside the hierarchical and commercialised model into which Europe's universities have been turned. The CFU promoted a more egalitarian system where everybody could use the tag 'university' to their own ends. The CFU ceased its activities by the end of 2007 and in connection with the abolition of the institution its founders, Henriette Heise & Jakob Jakobsen have written the following statement:
As privatisation of educational structures progresses, the Academy assumes corporate and business mind-set, while we assist to a shift of the educational mission in society from inclusive to exclusive. The inﬂuential play of industries has permeated most academical disciplines, in particular regarding the adoption of technologies. The choice of educators has become biased by logics of short term proﬁt, rather than Solid Knowledge.