Photo courtesy of Julius Colwyn

stories.narratingprocess.show was an instance of Bookchain, a browser-based peer-to-peer collaborative writing app. It asked what kinds of collectivity might emerge from blockchain technology and the forms of value that might be produced through this emergent process. Following Brian Massumi and others’ work at the 3 Ecologies Process Seed Bank, it was concerned with the possibility of using blockchain as the backbone of an affective economy that lead to the accumulation of a “surplus value of life”. Just as capital feeds monitory profit into financial investment, Massumi suggests that we could use blockchain to foster creativity by feeding the intensity of one experience forward into a greater variety of future experiences. Value in this blockchain would be more aligned to potential experience than potential profit. This is one reason stories.narratingprocess.show encourages the sharing of locally lived experience.

There is a counter-narrative. Technically, bookchain was inspired by decentralised technologies including the DAT protocol, IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) and distributed social networks such a Scuttlebutt and Mastodon. Inasmuch as these technologies lack central control, the determining role of what digital media theorist Alexander Galloway has called protocol comes to the fore. Protocols are sets of rules that govern the transmission of information; they structure communication. For Galloway, in the internet itself, protocol both radically distributes the control that permeates bureaucratic information societies and forces it into hierarchies. In Bookchain for instance, traffic between the nodes is distributed by a purpose-built piece of software running on Google's cloud infrastructure. There was a single authority that validated contributed texts: a natural-language processing algorithm that ensured each new contribution contained the last noun-phrase from the previous one. A process of emergent collectivity had therefore to negotiate these constraints, along with the immutable structure of blockchain itself.

Each block in the chain was linked to the previous one using a cryptographic function called a hash, the output of which could be thought of as a signature of a piece of data. Each individual contribution was permanent and determined those that followed. The history was transparently public. It was ultimately the interplay between these protocols and the freedom to share and build on lived experience that gave shape to the collectivity-producing process of stories.narratingprocess.show.

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Photo courtesy of Oscar Cass-Darweish
Photo courtesy of Oscar Cass-Darweish

A psychedelic TPE (Third Person Eater), this game allows you to liberate your inner hedonist as you consume mountains of food and handfuls of magical reality-altering pills (oh, and teacups).

Play as one of four unique characters, each with their own distinctive wardrobe and background music.

PLAY THE GAME

Instructions:

Use your cursor to control your character’s horizontal movement, as they catch falling food and other objects. While a mouse would be preferable, a touch-pad would work well enough.

Achievements:

  • Unlocking the Doors of Perception: Use both types of pills to reach both the highest and lowest time speeds within a single game. Reward: +50 to your score multiplier.
  • Vom Nom Nom: Swallow every object ejected from your funnel when your belly gets too full. Reward: +15 to your score multiplier.
  • Impulse Control Get a score multiplier of 25, by avoiding gorging yourself sick.
  • Discipline Get a score multiplier of 50, by consistently controlling your intake.
  • Asceticism Get a score multiplier of 75, by shunning excess in worldly pleasures.

This installation was the outcome of the Talking About Social Identity Project.

Video 1: Installation Footage | 15/06/2013

Video 2: Installation Footage | 16/06/2013

This project rested on the idea that we can be categorised according to fields of social identity such as race, class, sexuality and gender, based on a complex interplay of genetic, economic, social and cultural factors. Further, that on one hand, people's assignment of these categories to themselves or others are not uniform, and as they are constantly being produced, are therefore fluid and changeable – and on the other, that our behaviour tends to mould to the categories we are assigned. These ideas owed a lot to the writing of pragmatist George Herbert Meade who was one of the first to posit the self as social, when he wrote: 'The self arises in conduct, when the individual becomes a social object in experience to himself.'

The crux of this installation is the difference between the way in which a computer and a person, if restricted to speaking from a limited set of words related to social identity, could utter sentences. A computer could utter an exhaustive list of grammatically permissible sentences, whereas a person, having learned their place in society, may only utter those they have learned that society will allow them to say. For this reason, it was hypothesised that the installation would produce new – previously unheard-of – patterns of categorisation and configurations of prejudice; these would mostly be nonsensical, some amusing, and perhaps a few significant. In addition, as the audience tended to think themselves addressed by the installation, their emergent behaviour in relation to their own perceptions of social identity formed an integral part of the piece.

A 3D animation based on a mocap recording of a spoken word performance dealing with Simon's memories of being a child of South African emigrants to Connemara, Ireland, and how he related to them aged 22.

blow-in n. (Irish slang) A person not native to Ireland. A migrant to Ireland, who may have lived there before and may have Irish heritage. An unwelcome newcomer or stranger.

3D Animation

Text

South Africa ... my birth ... no memories ... only the fact ... No ... one memory ... but later ... That time by the pool ... in the pool ... No ... not now ... Ireland ... the first house ... Burnt ... A gas leak ... electric heater with exposed element ... A charred husk ... No memory ... Just scar-tissue ... taut ... over pale knuckles ... South Africa ... little fleck ... Being ... by the pool ... Grasped into the cool .. wet ... Held afloat by squat ... undulating light-clad creatures... Second House ... An ocarina ... for the North Atlantic's bitter breath ... An ocarina of pebbedash ... with white gables ... Always the same tone ... all holes blocked ... until once ... was it twice? ... Rapidly ... dissonantly ... one-by-one... opened ... Not allowed beyond the teaming metal webs that bulge overhead ... parents' studio ... Out ... over soggy earth ... past towering cows ... to where ... bruise-blue brine laps stone and shingle ... with each wave ... the gon-gon hole ... arch of glum rock ... gulps ... forever choking and spewing ... Easier ... to keep the void out ... so profuse with emerald green and rich umber ... to spread over the blank face of things ... no need ... as now ... to yammer ... Vinous land ... cavorted and fell ... tumbled ... boulders churned ... blades of long golden grass ... danced ... all still now ... a wan modernity ... clings to overhead telephone lines ... bodies cling to it ... as scraps of sheep's wool to barbed wire fences ... On yellow linoleum ... the forbidden heaps ... dust and sundry fragments ... The man who passed ... waving ... along the lane ... I in the garden ... did I wave back? ... not a trace ... on his smile ... the venom ... the bile ... vented ... at us ... oblivious ... I responded candidly ... Lurched into a dingy corridor ... The traitor's stool ... the sharp taste of dread ... I'd do no better ... least no worse ... to pass it over in silence than blabber on ... to let the little shard of victimhood fester in my brain ... than attempt extraction ... Iteration of ... the treatment ... old algorithm ... routine flesh ... coalesced ... amid the boulders ... darkening the ground around the offending ... home ... What business have they here? ... none ... what business ... none ... putting things as they should be ... out ... Shovel cleaves the peat ... a recent accumulation ... tears the fibres ... cast aside ... driven in ... like the last sod ... heaved away ... transparent ... driven in ... like the next sod ... heaved away ... nothing ... The ocarina had ceased its clattering ... splintered keening ... entered in the dark ... mummy ... why is there glass in the bath tub? Brother and I in the back of the transit van ... bowling clamour ... pelted with stones ... brother and I ... two pebbles cast about in our parents' tumbler ... Night ... we four slept ... on the sunken shop floor ... The blue hostel ... and the next hostel ... or was that one blue ... and away ... to