DWeb for Creators
Decentralized Web (DWeb) for Creators will empower the next generation of emerging artists with the knowledge and tools necessary to adopt decentralized technology into their creative practices. Artists are vital to the DWeb movement, providing both cultural context for public adoptions and important use cases for the technology, but many don’t have the background or skills to build upon the technology without support.
This curriculum will provide open source toolkits as starting points for DWeb creative work that will also engender best practices for the work being created. In addition to providing the tools for new works to be created, the open source educational materials will result in the creation of many new genre defining artworks that will serve as examples for other creators, as well as engaging the public and other institutions for exhibition and preservation.
This course is made possible by the support of Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web.
- Pilot workshops: Gray Area Festival, October 2023
- Dweb V1.0 – Intensive TBA: Winter 2023-2024
- Dweb V1.0 – Open-source curriculum release: TBR Winter 2023-2024
- Dweb V2.0 – Intensive TBA: Winter 2024-2025
- Dweb V2.0 – Open-source curriculum release: TBR Winter 2024-2025
Key Topics / Learning Outcomes / Focus Areas currently being explored:
- Dweb Cultural Foundations + Context
- Foundational Literacy of Dweb History
- Dweb Art History
- Lexicon: Understanding the language + vocabulary
- Understanding the landscape and options: tools, initiatives and individuals in Dweb
- Dweb Philosophy from a community, non-technical, social perspective and how to make work that supports that
- Dweb Values
- Sovereignty and decolonization as it relates to dweb
- The Dweb principles and what philosophies underpin the movement
- What it actually means to be decentralized
- Whether the decentralization of technology necessarily results in the decentralization of power; acknowledging that this is not always the case.
- Compensation Models through the lens of decentralization
- Critical Practice / Sensemaking
- What the dweb space, tools and ideas can actually do versus what they cannot, i.e. how to distinguish a false promise or overly utopian idea.
- The medium is the message: the principles that dweb tools embody and how that is or isn’t relevant to your artistic practice
- World building, speculative design and futurism focused on expanding the perceived possible futures because of Dweb.
- Critical practice orientation to decentralized tech and AI
- Data ownership and decentralized storage: the nuances and why it matters
- Hands on Tech
- Preventive documentation and organizing practices for production, versioning, supplements and artworks.
- New storage and care protocols for studio
- Tech literacy: how to interact with an interface as related to decentralization
- Command line literacy
- Governance, cooperative ownership of platforms and protocols
- Cross-institutional tooling for collaboration and resiliency
Who this is for:
- Arts Professionals
- Artist Rights Advocates
- Creative Professionals
- Case studies
- Hands on project opportunities
- Command line literacy
- Shared channel for communication (Matrix) to build community around dweb art discussion and critique
- Self-organized co-learning spaces
- “Choose your own adventure” open-source curriculum with curated learning journeys
Decentralized / Non-linear
A published non-linear learning journey, with curated pathway options published. Facilitated experiments with co-learning opportunities will be hosted by Gray Area in these first two years.
Self-modifying / Adaptive
We are aiming to design for the curriculum to have adaptive and self-modifying properties, enabling it to evolve over time in response to internal and external feedback.
A Github repository as one method of reaching this form has been suggested, but we are exploring options
In this interdisciplinary online course, we will publish an open-source version, allowing anyone, anywhere with online access to utilize, modify, adapt and distribute the curriculum globally.
- Artists shape culture and their artistic practice can educate people about technology
- To help society shift the way they relate to cultural data
- To implement methods of care around data, which the art world is poised to do
- The dweb project provides an opportunity to rethink the economic system for creators, and prototype alternatives which generate revenue for practitioners
- Digital cultural data is vulnerable to being lost, and Dweb provides a potential opportunity to support more devices redundantly storing our data or we are at risk of future generations losing insight into the late 20th and early 21st century altogether
- If artists don’t learn about this emerging technology (intimately, through praxis) they lose the opportunity to shape its development
Roxi Shohadaee is the Creative Producer at Gray Area, producing the Decentralized Web Curriculum for Creators, the Criptech Metaverse Lab VR prototypes and other special projects. Roxi has been collaborating and partnering with Gray Area since 2012, including Urban Prototyping Festival, End of You and the Gray Area Festival. She also the Executive Director, Co-Founder and ARTchitect of the Design Science Studio, an educational incubator for artists founded to the build capacity of the creative community to propel the design science (r)Evolution and the Regenaissance. She is also the Founder + CEO of habRitual: an experiential production, interdisciplinary design and immersive art studio creating for 100% of life. Learn more about her past initiatives here. Roxi is a regenerative artivist, protopian futurist, ontological designer, experiential producer, transdisciplinary social sculptor and creative doula. She is a student of living systems, regenerative design and decolonial sustainability. She has over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of art, science, experience and technology. Her mission is to harness this intersectional approach to catalyze social and systemic change through inclusive, transdisciplinary collaborations for the regeneration of our planet and culture. Her path is grounded in a commitment to creating inspiring and embodied ways of learning together. As behavior is a function of culture - she supports and develops creative cultural interventions and co-learning evolutionary containers. Her thesis is rooted in a belief that as we perpetuate equitable and just cultures, societal behaviors participating in life affirming ways of being will emerge in that process. As we are facing a crisis of imagination, Roxi’s efforts encourage collective imagination beyond the limits of the plausible and probable into the possible in service to the potential of a world where all life thrives at the expense of none. She is a deep believer and practitioner in designing for states of being, having those states of being prime us for connection, reparations and regeneration with ourselves, each other and our beautiful living planet.
Sarah Grant is an American artist and professor of media art based in Berlin at the Weise7 studio. Her teaching and art practice engages with the electromagnetic spectrum and computer networks as artistic material, social habitat, and political landscape. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Fine Art from UC Davis and a Masters in Media Arts from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Since 2015, she has organized the Radical Networks conference in New York and Berlin, a community event and arts festival for critical investigations and creative experiments in telecommunications.
Sarah Friend is an artist and software developer from Canada and currently based in Berlin, Germany. She is an alumni in the Berlin Program for Artists, a founder and co-curator of Ender Gallery, an artist residency taking place inside the game Minecraft, and an organiser of Our Networks, a conference on all aspects of the distributed web. Recent solo exhibitions include Off: Endgame, curated by Rhizome, Refraction and Fingerprints at Public Works Administration, New York, USA and Terraforming at Galerie Nagel Draxler in Berlin, Germany. She is on the advisory board and was formerly the smart contract lead for Circles UBI, a blockchain-based community currency that aims to lead to a more equal distribution of wealth. She was also the technical lead for Culturestake, a project that uses quadratic voting to lead to better decisions about arts funding. She was a co-founder of bitspossessed, a software development consultancy that operates as a coop, and in 2022 was a visiting Professor of blockchain art at The Cooper Union.
Kelani Nichole is a technologist and founder of an experimental media art gallery called TRANSFER. She has been exploring decentralized networks and virtual worlds in contemporary art since 2013. Nichole's focus is supporting artists with critical technology practice, and exploring alternative models of cultural infrastructure. Currently she is building the TRANSFER Archive, a decentralized data trust and cooperative model for cultural value exchange, and producing a generative documentary film 'Almost in Real Time'.
Mai is an organizer and writer focused on the digital commons and other intersections between network technologies and the solidarity economy. They are a co-founder and editor of COMPOST, an online magazine about and for the digital commons, project manager of Distributed Press, and a contributor to Hypha Worker Co-operative. They are also the Director of Fellowships of DWeb Camp, and a Digital Commons Fellow with Commons Network.
Regina Harsanyi is a Time-Based Media specialist who has been assisting Museum of the Moving Image with born-digital art and artifacts since 2017. A graduate of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, Harsanyi has worked on major time-based media conservation projects for artist studios, galleries, museums, auction houses, and private collectors such as bitforms, Jenny Holzer, Sotheby’s, and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. From 2017-2020 Harsanyi also facilitated over 200 exhibitions across 26 locations under Wallplay as Director of Programming.