October 19-21, 2018
Berlin, Germany

Wendy Van Wynsberghe

Wendy Van Wynsberghe is a DIY and digital artist, sound & field recorder, in love with nature and its wildlife, fascinated by the protocol in all its forms, including inter-human and non-human relations, script coder, physical computing aficionado, net neutrality custodian, dabbling in embroidery, crochet & knitting (with or without eTextiles). Since 2004 she was involved in the project Ellentriek that organized a series of open hardware workshops where artists worked together on their projects, mostly thematic. From 2015 to 2016 she organised Objects in common, a series of eventsthat explored “other ways of doing” such as design for functional diversity, situated digital manufacturing in for example African cities. She works with electronics, textile, sounds, open hardware, using only free software, all work under a free art license. http://wvw.collectifs.net/


Networks of One's Own, Episode 1: Etherbox

Constant member Wendy Van Wynsberghe will present the Etherbox, the first issue in the series of Networks of One's Own.

Etherbox is a situated network from a feminist perspective that grew out of collective practices developed in and around Constant. Etherbox is an actively used working environment for collaborative publishing, but also became a platform to reflect on network technologies, on how to document artistic processes and on collaboration. As part of its programme, Constant, an organisation for arts and media in Brussels, regularly organises situations in which artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers and other researchers collaborate, exchange and reflect. Participants are invited to appropriate physical spaces for the time of the meeting: they share tables, couches, a library, the kitchen and its utensils, the basement or the closet. etherbox extends this hospitality into digital space. It is the installation of a temporary local platform that foregrounds the sociality of DIWO infrastructures over the services of often commercially owned spaces in global networks. Etherbox is not an 'offline network', rather it is a network with an attitude in which the local situation, archiving and conviviality take preference.

Networks Of One's Own is set up as a series of platforms that reflect upon and experiment with collaborative on-line publishing practices in a time when commercial interests dominate digital working conditions. It appears at a moment when under the guise of data protection (GDPR), self-hosted, un-supervised network practices are under threat of being reigned in as potential liability. "Cloud services" offered via Internet access are typically provided by multinational corporations and it is easy to forget that the seamless experience historically originates in an "inter-network" linking together different autonomous and disconnected networks of varying scales: institutional, personal, educational and military.

The title Networks of One's Own refers to Virginia Woolf's classic essay A Room of One's Own which makes the case for a woman needing a space to herself to write. It was published in the historical context of Victorian England where women were expected to occupy themselves with domestic and marital duties rather than the autonomous practice of writing. Woolf's claim for a Room Of Her Own is complicated by the fact that her autonomy depended on her ability to hire staff that she could outsource her household chores to. Networks Of Ones Own takes this text as an inspiration to rethink digital intimacy, dependencies and relations in networked practices. It wants to re-imagine how technical and content work grow together, and radically questions the way tools and practices are shaping collaborative content and vice versa.

The series Networks Of One's Own is taken care of by related but independent collectives. For each of the episodes, we propose different experimental tools for situated writing and publishing. In this way, the series allows for showing multiple perspectives, to generate multivoiced forms of documentation. It makes the editorial process of each episode a testcase for the same technologies that it reflects upon. Like the old adage of the PERL community ('There is More Than One Way To Do It'), this project is about the heterogeneity of tools and of practices, ultimately foregrounding the inherent sociality of software.

Constant: http://constantvzw.org/</br> Networks of One's Own: http://etherbox.constantvzw.org/etherdump/MANUAL.html