Can we code to care and code carefully? The Distributed Web of Care (DWC) is a research initiative on communication infrastructure, exploring the Distributed Web as a peer-to-peer, alternative web which prioritizes collective agency and individual ownership of data and code. Through collaborations with artists, engineers, social scientists and community organizers, DWC imagines distributed networks as a form of interdependence and stewardship, in critical opposition to the networks that dominate the world today.
The Distributed Web of Care (DWC) project is an initiative of Taeyoon Workshop based in New York City in collaboration with DWC stewards, fellows, and participants, weaving together different ideas and expertise. Taeyoon Choi is an artist and cofounder of the School for Poetic Computation and was a fellow from 2017-2018 at Data & Society.
Much of his work engages with concepts of personhood and technology, particularly as it intersects with the experiences of minority and disability communities. His article, Artificial Advancements, published in The New Inquiry, challenges the notion that technological innovation is an inherent good for disabled people, offering instead the concept of Soft Care. He writes, “Care, in contrast to cure, is a form of stewardship between people who support each other in communication, action, and social engagement. It is actualized by extending one’s mindfulness of another person’s dignity and feelings, while respecting their independence.”
In May of 2018, two DWC fellows, Cleo Miao (Design and Storytelling Fellow) and Callil Capuozzo (Technology and Documentation Fellow) were selected through an open call. They were instrumental in coordinating Skillshares: Peers in Practice and the DWC Party. You can read about their work and reflections from the summer here, here, and here.
In July of 2018 the DWC curated a group of artists for the Ace Hotel Artists in Residence program, including Ari Melenciano, Jessica Lynne, Mindy Seu, Stephanie Gray, and Shannon Finnegan. Relevant documentation and reflections from their experience are published on the site.
Lead by choreographer Cori Kresge, several more DWC stewards joined the project, helping to imagine choreography and movement exercises to explore how it feels to be a node programmed in different network structures. The exercises were activated at the Decentralized Web Summit in San Francisco, and at Knockdown Center in Queens, NY as part of Refiguring the Future conference.
In March of 2019 the DWC performed a Lecture Performance at the Whitney Museum, with new collaborations from dancer Jerron Harman, sound artists stud1nt and Tiriree Kananuruk, programmer Jonathan Dahan, and educator and disability activist Chancey Fleet. The performance, guided by the help of thirteen stewards, focused specifically on the element of access and ability. Full credits for the event can be found here.
Shira Feldman edits the essays published in DWC. We will continue to invite artists and technologists to contribute essays and articles which explore themes of distribution, accessibility, community, and the politics and poetics of computation.
The project will continue to develop through various partnerships in 2019 – 2020. In summer 2019 we are focusing on skillshare events and With You For You: School Board of the Wise, a collaboration with BUFU. Currently there are no open calls for fellowships available at this time.
Q: What are some examples of Distributed Web?
Q: Why are you making a Distributed Web?
Distributed Web of Care is an independent, self funded initiative. We sell merchandise to fundraise. We are actively searching for supporters. If you’d like to make donation, or hire Taeyoon Choi and the collaborators to lead a workshop, please contact email@example.com.
Distributed Web of Care is an initiative to code to care and code carefully.
The project imagines the future of the internet and consider what care means for a technologically-oriented future. The project focuses on personhood in relation to accessibility, identity, and the environment, with the intention of creating a distributed future that’s built with trust and care, where diverse communities are prioritized and supported.
The project is composed of collaborations, educational resources, skillshares, an editorial platform, and performance. Announcements and documentation are hosted on this site, as well as essays by select artists, technologists, and activists.
Open [Source/Culture/Tech] Citizenship
A supplemental goal of this Code of Conduct is to increase open [source/culture/tech] citizenship by encouraging participants to recognize and strengthen the relationships between our actions and their effects on our community.
Communities mirror the societies in which they exist and positive action is essential to counteract the many forms of inequality and abuses of power that exist in society. We seek to create an open and sharing environment deeply based in open source practice.
All open source (licensed or otherwise) and copyrighted work that is integrated into work inside and outside of the Distributed Web of Care event must be appropriately adhered to under the referenced work’s license guidelines.
- Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community. This is a grassroots event that we build together from the ground up. Everyone is expected to contribute.
- Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
- Attempt collaboration before conflict.
- Be respectful of the space, tools, equipment, and materials.
- Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
- Give attribution where attribution is due. Adhere to CC, open source, GNU and other licenses of work used and remixed
- Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert community leaders if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.
No form of harassment will be tolerated. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, skill level, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion.
Intentionally lewd or sexually exploitative images in public spaces.
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, or use of physical force; harassing photography or recording.
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact.
- Unwelcome sexual attention; and advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
All drawings by Taeyoon Choi.
Distributed Web of Care is an independent, self funded initiative. We are actively searching for supporters. If you’d like to make donation, or hire Taeyoon Choi and the collaborators to lead a workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org