yes… i spent some time thinking through all possible containers for this work. i honestly don’t think full-time art work on this is the right path but also don’t think vc-backed startup has the right incentives either (most of the companies/products i’ve seen that people loved in this space became hated as soon as they were pressured to be sustainable / sustain vc-like growth).

i think the dream sort of arrangement in my mind looks something in between a tools research lab (ink & switch, protocol labs, etc.) and an artist studio / community (sfpc / pioneer works) or something like https://www.blender.org/about/foundation/ in terms of final organization makeup

maybe something like things (https://things.inc/ ) too? but it seems more fun / less sustainable meaningful work like the blender foundation stuff


Ongoing Research Overview

  • modular networks: what is the most usable, extensible form of data? what is as approachable as JSON but as usable as a spreadsheet, as extensible as a relational database, as distributable as RSS?
    • embodied computing: easy persistence / persistent collaborative software / emergent syntax (whole data - where the data is in the representation of it)
      • tiny databases / small data / folk databases
      • asynchronous real-time collaboration: ghost cursors, website furniture, fingerprints
      • forms / form websites
    • digital collections / timestamping / logging done via text / streams
      • data protocols: DID and hypercore, pubsub, rss, etc.
      • small persistent data is key to creating any new kind of “app” or “protocol” or game
    • plain text transfer protocol
  • folk computing: home-cooked software, how to power a million tiny apps?
  • tiny internets: what does technology that optimizes for community rather than scale look like?
    • social protocols: things like spring 83 and activity pub
    • web ring evolution, forums, tiny social networks
    • publishing protocols, self-publishing, self-syndication
    • folk identity / password-less authentication / understandable PGP encryption
    • safety via obscurity, intimacy via sharing space, expression via worlds that prompt exploration
    • how do people feel safe and empowered to have dreams and hopes for the internet?
    • agency-increasing experiences / choreographed education
    • I want software and technology for gathering, hosting and being a guest. I want it to enable us to offer each other gifts and make space for one another and show care in ways that aren’t so demanding or single-channel or limited in expression. ^2c7cb1
  • software for meaning-making and self-discovery: things that help you return to ideas, sit with words, linger on memories. things that are the opposite of your todo-list, that resist “optimization” and “efficiency” and “inbox zero”
  • computing as art and memory and ecosystem
    • ascii art / text art / rich media encoded as text
    • digital legacy / personal documentarian
    • digital natural phenomenon: solar server, fractal generative art, digital decay and entropy
  • what sorts of software causes you to pause and slow down and notice the world around you? To become intimate with your way of seeing and experiencing and honor that? ^38a4e4

Writing List