The first NODE.London Season of Media Arts in 2006 was conceived as an experiment in tools and structures of cooperation as invented or adapted by artists, technologists, and activists, many of whom were committed to ideas of social change through their practice. It was to be an experiment in radical openness. Not just to be confined to participatory artistic processes and events but also applied to the method of organisation.
This text by Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett is a reflection on the NODE.London “experiment”, its context, its cultures and the make up of its events, infrastructure and organisation. It points to some earlier grassroots media arts festivals in London and gives a bareÂbones description of the components of the NODE.London 2006 season. Taking Felix Stalder’s analysis of the difference between Open Source and Open Culture, this text looks at how different ideas and approaches to networks and openness were played out in the first season. With a focus on organisational matters, it further makes some judgements about where these were fruitful and where they were problematic. Finally it looks at the work of OpenOrganizations as one example of alternative frameworks for grassroots organisations and suggests that by directly addressing the particular problem of organisation, it might be possible and worthwhile to support the development of grassroots media arts infrastructure in London, including the possible iterations of a NODE.London season.
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