Sustain 17/03/09 minutes

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David Howells (DH), Mike Knowlden (MK), Tim Flitcroft (TF), Trevor Giles (TG) at Tim's studio in Whitechapel.


Meeting convened to distil previous discussion and develop a proposal for PermaCultures. Progress was slow. Previous discussions were felt to be abstract and unsatisfying. This trend continued as the meeting struggled to make headway.


Pursue Sustainability agenda or shape to meet interests of SPACE?


Edges are considered to be fertile. Economics applied to culture presents a productive edge.

MK reminds us of Homeostatic (self-contained) systems. What might be the extent of SPACE system?

TF - CP reflects on the constitution of its own practice - use the residency to be critical of technological practice

DH - Digital media turned people into consumers responding to limited choices

Create a space sustainable to thought

TF - conscious of the over-determining culture of the net/CPs/everyone's use of technology - as a thing that shapes the context for creativity. What about reading? Cites research paper saying that the net is eroding people's ability to sustain engagement with text and read.

DH - seasons (natural pace?) Slow down. With regard to economics and culture, would like to question hyper-activity of artists propelled by availability of information.

TG suggests a positive reading of speed - symptomatic of immersion and encouraging 'flow' (instinctive decision-making). DH - Criticised for lack of time to reflect. Wants to fight against agency. TG - perhaps a process for someone else. Tech enables mass-collaboration. Wisdom (or lack thereof) of crowds.

TF - Users of Google 'exhale' their needs as data used to shape choices. DH - physical experiment which makes the mechanics an 'intellectual ethic' of the net visible. Slowing down to make manifest, to restore the scale of participation.

Consume at a different speed. Invest in relationships. Question the availability of information.

MH - Offer relief - stem the tide of information in some way. Slow down the internet. Perform the internet - users come to the space with their needs. Respond in 'old time' and with the knowledge available, perhaps by mail.

DH - The technologies of the Dewey Decimal System and Thesaurus - both productive 'arboreal' structures designed for making associations.

TF - Ideology of Work (book) - link between industrial drive to intensify productivity and identity.

DH - economist would say 'measure it'. Without scarcity it (creativity) is not valued or measured Alan Turing comment on office culture - meaningful processing of information does not necessarily require knowledge of the process.

How did the net start?

TG - Discussion has once again been speculative. Are we sufficiently informed to reflect on the sociological impacts of technology? Will consider all of the above. Thanks all for giving time.