About Memory, Edited As authoritarianism continues to rise around the world, the stories we tell ourselves about what has happened and what is happening become ever more relevant. In Memory, Edited, Abby Smith Rumsey examines collective memory, how it binds us, and how it can be used by bad actors to manipulate us. Bringing forward the voices of a rich cast of Eastern European artists from the past two hundred years—from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Gerhard Richter—Rumsey shows how their work and lives illustrate the devastation wrought by regimes dependent on entrenched lies to survive. This hijacking of the narrative polarizes communities even as it commandeers our future.
Through an interdisciplinary lens that includes the best thinking from history, the arts, cognitive science, psychology, and political philosophy, Rumsey lays bare our narratives, showing how they are constructed and how they have changed over time. Ever-aware of resisting the false promise of utopia, Rumsey argues that only by confronting the past and reckoning with the crimes that were committed can we ever hope to heal and gain self-knowledge. Memory, Edited is an indispensable text for anyone who cares about democracy, equality, and freedom in our current age of crisis.
Abby Smith Rumsey is an intellectual and cultural historian. She chairs the board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and is the author of When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future.
Rick Prelinger is an archivist, filmmaker, writer and educator.
Book Talk: Memory, Edited September 20 @ 6pm PT IN-PERSON @ 300 Funston Avenue, SF Register now!
When Graeme Currie was working at a university, he went to the campus library for research and often lingered in the stacks just to enjoy the collection.
Now, as a freelance translator and editor operating remotely from a small town near Hamburg, Germany, Currie doesn’t have that same access. Without an institutional affiliation, he relies on materials in the Internet Archive for his work.
“It’s been vital for me because, at times, it’s the only way I can find what I need,” says Currie, 51, who is originally from Scotland. “For freelancers who are working from home without a library nearby and using obscure sources and out-of-print books, there’s nothing to replace the Internet Archive.”
Currie first heard about the Wayback Machine in the early 2000s as a means to check changes in websites. Then, he discovered other services that the Internet Archive provides including its audio and book library.
As he edits and translates academic books from German to English, Currie says he often has to check book citations—looking up page numbers and verifying passages. The virtual collection has been helpful as he researches a range of topics in the arts, social sciences and the humanities. Currie says he’s borrowed titles related to philosophy, criminality and global urban history, including the early history of tourism in Sicily.
Not only are many of the books hard to find, but Currie says logistically, they are difficult to obtain. Without the Internet Archive, Currie says he would have to wait weeks for interlibrary loans or try to contact the book authors, who are often unavailable.
“I simply could not do my job without access to a virtual library,” says Currie, who has been freelancing for about five years. “The Internet Archive is like having a university library on your desktop.”
Written contributions by Val Elefante, Jenny Fan, Dazza Greenwood, Cent Hosten, Ronen Tamari, Joshua Tan, Riley Wong, and Jacky Zhao
The Metagovernance Project (aka- Metagov) returned to DWeb Camp for our second year in a row, this year as a DWeb Sponsor, supporting the event by curating some of the camp’s governance and AI sessions. In this blog, we hear from Josh Tan, co-curator of the AI track, and governance researchers from Metagov who helped co-create the governance track.
To get a sense of our work, watch this video documenting our Redwood Parliament program at DWeb Camp 2022.
AI Meets the Decentralized Web
What does the DWeb community talk about when they talk about AI? Perhaps more mysteriously, what brings an AI company like OpenAI out to the woods outside of San Francisco to talk about the decentralized web?
At this year’s DWeb Camp, Metagov worked with OpenAI, the Internet Archive, and the Foresight Institute to curate a selection of AI speakers and workshops at DWeb Camp. The programming featured presentations by Aza Raskin (Centre for Humane Technologies), Jason Kwon (OpenAI), Che Chang (OpenAI), Rosie Campbell (OpenAI), Doc Searls, Stephen Hood (Mozilla), Philip Rosedale (Second Life), and many, many others. The planning was led by Allison Duettman of Foresight and Joshua Tan of Metagov, with critical support from Wendy Hanamura of the Internet Archive.
One of the key questions raised was the challenge and risks of open-source AI. For example, in Aza Raskin’s picture of possible AI futures, open-source might also lead us to a future where everyone, everywhere has access to the intelligence needed to design viruses, imitate public figures, or manipulate elections. Yet, in a conversation on open-source AI models featuring Stephen Hood from Mozilla, James Baicoianu from Stability AI, Philip Rosedale, and Qianqian Ye, everyone agreed that “the cat is out of the bag” when it comes to open-source AI. Open-source AI is already here, and it’s not going away.
We didn’t necessarily come away with a conclusion so much as a better sense of the question. From Josh’s closing remarks: “I honestly wrestle with this. I honestly do not know, and it feels weird, it feels very weird to be a student of the legends who built the open internet and ask, should [AI] be open? It reminds me of a question we ask ourselves as a liberal society—is it possible to be too open as a society? Do open societies ultimately bring about their own downfalls?”
Governance at DWeb
Can We Trust Our Fellow “Digital Citizens”?
This session, led by Metagov contributor Jenny Fan, was a round table discussion around the provocation: can civic responsibilities for online “citizens” exist in an analogous way to how civic duties exist in offline communities? As one participant quoted, “The scarcest resource is legitimacy,” and appropriately, the conversation was framed in the context of the dearth of legitimate forms of community governance and content moderation for online communities. Though participants were not primarily governance researchers, we ended up with a comprehensive and thought-provoking survey of existing projects in this space.
We broke down the challenges of online “citizenship” around identity, reputation, intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, the issues of delegating trust to other users, and how the correlation between the level of effort affected online community engagement. Participants mentioned references as wide-ranging as existing political science research (liquid democracy, quadratic voting, radical markets), Web 2-adjacent projects (Periscope, Twitter community notes), Web 3-adjacent projects (Klairos, Nouns DAO’s zero knowledge voting, and one participant’s experience IRL at Zuzalu’s pop-up community), and more. In particular, users highlighted the challenges of shifting typically extrinsic motivators for civic behavior to intrinsic motivation, given the cost-incentive structure of the internet. As one participant put aptly, “The offline world is full of sticks, but the internet only has carrots.”
D20 Governance Playthrough
D20 Governance is a project focused on exploring modular governance through unstable communication environments and simulations. It aims to estrange the quotidian act of communication as a way of revealing ways in which interactions in online communities are infrastructurally prefigured by forms and norms of linguistic interoperability and implicit feudalism. D20 Governance aims to surface this revelation as a way of foregrounding the metagoverning architectures that order online communications, and catalyze experiences that empower communities to imagine and form more creative, flexible, experimental, and intentional patterns of self-governance. The current iteration of D20 Governance takes form as a Discord bot, and extends the composable governance mapping tool, CommunityRule. The D20 Governance working group is led by Janita Chalam, Val Elefante, Hazel, and Cent Hosten, and is supervised by Metagov research director Ellie Rennie.
For DWeb Camp we ran our first playtest with a group of eight campers placed into a “Build A Community” simulation where they had to name their community, decide on an animating purpose, and decide on their first action. The playtest had participants eloquently reciting Shakespearean recitations of their LLM-transformed posts and revolting against consensus as a decision-making mechanism. Stay tuned for future play test announcements in the newsletter.
Let Us Imagine A Communally-Owned Internet
This year at DWeb Camp, Jacky Zhao and Spencer Chang hosted a session asking campers to gather their collective imaginations and dreams for what a communally-owned internet could look like. Collectively, the group had a lot of dystopian fiction and a lot of reminiscing, but not a lot of forward-looking dreams for the web. Dreaming, to us, felt like an important piece of fiction that rallies people to articulate a vision they want to make a reality. In hosting this session, we recalled Ruha Benjamin: “to see things as they really are, you must imagine them for what they might be”. The session focused on circulating 5 sheets of paper, each with a question on it:
What do you wish the Internet evoked for you?
What would co-owning digital spaces look like?
What is your digital neighborhood?
Where have you felt agency online?
What is/was your favorite place on the internet?
Each question was meant to evoke certain modes of questioning. In the discussion, the group spent a significant amount of time discussing the feeling that life on the internet feels like living on rented ground and an overwhelming feeling that we have no agency over our digital environments anymore. Some reminisced over Minecraft and building their own forums and webrings. Others wondered why modern platforms like Facebook or Twitter no longer have these affordances. The group closed by wondering how to give people the ability to be architects of their own digital homes again.
Reclaiming agency and ability to communally construct our digital spaces starts with people willing to dream and fight for it. In many ways, this session (and the greater DWeb Camp as a whole) felt like a gathering of people who haven’t given up on the inherent good of the internet and are fighting for this future.
(excerpted from a longer reflection)
Design Charrette on LLM LLC Governance Rules
The session, led by law.MIT.edu’s Dazza Greenwood, focused on an ongoing open-source project developing an algorithmically managed LLC using LLM technology. This is similar to the Wyoming DAO LLC approach insomuch as there is a role for “algorithmically managed” LLCs, but there is no smart contract, blockchain, or decentralization involved. Rather, the algorithmic manager is an LLM operating according to “constitutional rules” encoded into the software running the manager operations and communications. The current codebase is designed as a Discord bot with email integration and is being tested and iterated against a handful of relatively legal and business use cases. The Metagov-related aspect of this project is the architectural component where a set of rules governing the behavior and actions of the LLM LLC are specified. A DWeb Camp breakout group discussed the project overall and read aloud the current version of the Constitutional Rules, as the starting point for an engaging and constructive conversation and light design charrette. For more information, see the current code base, and this demo presentation of the project given to the Wyoming legislature.
Challenges and Triumphs in Community Self-Governance
This session, led by Metagov researcher Val Elefante, began with an overview of Metagov’s frameworks and tools including implicit feudalism, modular politics, CommunityRule, and a demo of CollectiveVoice. It was then followed by a rapid-fire collective brainstorm of challenges that communities face when it comes to online governance. Responses included: scale (from small to larger communities, from “not serious” to “serious” decisions), too many proposals, loss of institutional memory due to platform switching, not easy to experiment, and not many available models.
The group then brainstormed ways of solving some of these governance problems using modular governance frameworks including: a randomly-selected jury system for voting on proposals, organization and summary of relevant information for easy decision-making, improved deliberation formats, and using tech to facilitate in-person governance.
How can community governance frameworks incorporate holistic, cooperative, and emergent processes? How can community governance embrace differing needs and wants, encourage agency, and promote whole group purpose and wellness?
Facilitated by cooperative governance researcher Riley Wong, this Qualitative Governance session sought to co-create possibilities to these questions and more by naming and observing qualities of effective governance; describing the emotional experience of how effective governance feels; identifying and speculating practices that create these experiences; and ideating ways to integrate and experiment with these practices within our own communities.
For some, effective governance was described as transparent, creative, honest, flowing, participatory, inclusive, resilient, signal boosting, and fun. It can feel energizing, activating, safe, emergent, warm, playful, joyful, caring, compassionate, holonic, empowering, euphoric, and open-hearted. Practices that can create this experience may include shared rituals, reflection, personal check-ins, “yes, and…”s, trust and relationship building, acknowledging consent, shared maintenance, space for tension processing, voluntary flows, ownership, mini-juries for direct democracy, and dancing. Integration of these practices may involve playing, prioritizing, ceding power, building trust, and celebrating stories.
Feeling safe as a necessary foundation for navigating differences, feeling seen and heard by others, building trust in the community, and keeping “epistemological humility” were also overarching themes and discussion points throughout the session. Follow-up discussions highlighted personal experiences of governance where community members felt valued, heard, safe, and trusting, and therefore empowered to take on more risk and responsibility.
Tech for Listening to Each Other Online
In this session, led by Metagov member Ronen Tamari, participants reflected on the dynamics of (figuratively) “speaking” vs “listening” in online spaces such as social media. We have lots of tools for speaking, enabling us to effortlessly broadcast our opinions to wide audiences. On the other hand, listening feels under-served: we lack tools to help sift through noise and distractions on social media and end up doom-scrolling or wandering aimlessly across platforms.
What would better tech for listening look like?
We did some embodied listening exercises to get a better sense for what listening in the real world involves. We then tried to apply the insights we gained to listening in the social media context; what does empathetic and active listening feel like online, and how can we create a shared sense of reality beyond reality-distorting algorithmic echo chambers?
Brainstorming together was a delight (”One of my fav events from the whole weekend”, as one participant wrote us); we covered a lot of topics (and whiteboards), from AI and human-powered curation to the design of new tools, norms, and rituals. We shared contact details to keep the listening conversation going as we left the luxury of intimate shared physical spaces behind and headed back to our noisy digital metropolises.
Join experts from the library, copyright and information policy fields for a series of conversations exploring some of the most pressing issues facing libraries today: digital ownership and the future of library collections, the emergence of artificial intelligence, and the enduring value of research libraries in the digital age.
October 4 @ 10am PT – 11am PT Online via zoom – Register now
In our virtual session, you’ll hear from Internet Archive staff about our emerging library services and updates on existing efforts, including from our partners. How do libraries empower research in the 21st century? Join in our discussion!
October 12: In-Person
October 12 @ 8:30am – 4pm PT Internet Archive Headquarters @ 300 Funston, San Francisco
At our in-person session, we’ll gather together with the builders & dreamers to envision an equitable future for digital lending. We’ll reserve the afternoon for workshops and unconference breakouts so that you can choose your own conversation, or lead one yourself. Capacity will be capped at 60 attendees.Interested in attending?
Sarah Barry wanted to become a fighter for something—but she didn’t know exactly what.
“I was frustrated with all that was going on in the world. I knew I couldn’t wave a magic wand and fix everything, but I wanted to help in some small way,” said the 28-year-old who lives in Columbus, Ohio, and works in IT.
She decided to leverage her research skills to help correct misinformation about vaccines and public health.
For Barry, the Wayback Machine has been critical in tracking the science and sharing what she’s discovered. Without the Internet Archive, she said, valuable internet history that she needs to do effective research would have been completely lost.
“I use the Internet Archive to look up old links and resources that have since gone defunct,” said Barry. “I also use the Archive to actively input web pages that need to be saved or saved again to ensure that any resources I’m currently using are saved for mine or other’s future reference.”
She has turned into a citizen journalist and independent activist, volunteering for nonprofit organizations to better inform the public. Barry has given public presentations on her findings and provided materials to reporters that have appeared in a variety of news outlets.
As a millennial, Barry said she grew up being active online and has long used the Internet Archive as a tool. “It’s a common language among people like me who do research,” she said. “We all know the Internet Archive is legit.”
Our library is still strong, growing, and serving millions of patrons. But the publishers’ attack on basic library practices continues.
Last Friday, the Southern District of New York court issued its final order in Hachette v. Internet Archive, thus bringing the lower court proceedings to a close. We disagree with the court’s decision and intend to appeal. In the meantime, however, we will abide by the court’s injunction.
The lawsuit only concerns our book lending program. The injunction clarifies that the Publisher Plaintiffs will notify us of their commercially available books, and the Internet Archive will expeditiously remove them from lending. Additionally, Judge Koeltl also signed an order in favor of the Internet Archive, agreeing with our request that the injunction should only cover books available in electronic format, and not the publishers’ full catalog of books in print. Separately, we have come to agreement with the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the trade organization that coordinated the original lawsuit with the four publishers, that the AAP will not support further legal action against the Internet Archive for controlled digital lending if we follow the same takedown procedures for any AAP-member publisher.
So what is the impact of these final orders on our library? Broadly, this injunction will result in a significant loss of access to valuable knowledge for the public. It means that people who are not part of an elite institution or who do not live near a well-funded public library will lose access to books they cannot read otherwise. It is a sad day for the Internet Archive, our patrons, and for all libraries.
Because this case was limited to our book lending program, the injunction does not significantly impact our other library services. The Internet Archive may still digitize books for preservation purposes, and may still provide access to our digital collections in a number of ways, including through interlibrary loan and by making accessible formats available to people with qualified print disabilities. We may continue to display “short portions” of books as is consistent with fair use—for example, Wikipedia references (as shown in the image above). The injunction does not affect lending of out-of-print books. And of course, the Internet Archive will still make millions of public domain texts available to the public without restriction.
Regarding the monetary payment, we can say that “AAP’s significant attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the Action since 2020 have been substantially compensated by the Monetary Judgement Payment.”
Thanks to your continued support, our library is still strong, growing, and serving millions of patrons.
Libraries are going to have to fight to be able to buy, preserve, and lend digital books outside of the confines of temporary licensed access. We deeply appreciate your support as we continue this fight!
Late Friday, some of the world’s largest record labels, including Sony and Universal Music Group, filed a lawsuit against the Internet Archive and others for the Great 78 Project, a community effort for the preservation, research and discovery of 78 rpm records that are 70 to 120 years old. As a non-profit library, we take this matter seriously and are currently reviewing the lawsuit with our legal counsel.
Of note, the Great 78 Project has been in operation since 2006 to bring free public access to a largely forgotten but culturally important medium. Through the efforts of dedicated librarians, archivists and sound engineers, we have preserved hundreds of thousands of recordings that are stored on shellac resin, an obsolete and brittle medium. The resulting preserved recordings retain the scratch and pop sounds that are present in the analog artifacts; noise that modern remastering techniques remove.
Statement from Brewster Kahle, digital librarian of the Internet Archive: “When people want to listen to music they go to Spotify. When people want to study 78rpm sound recordings as they were originally created, they go to libraries like the Internet Archive. Both are needed. There shouldn’t be conflict here.”
These preservation recordings are used in teaching and research, including by university professors like Jason Luther of Rowan University, whose students use the Great 78 collection as the basis for researching and writing podcasts for use in class assignments (University Professor Leverages 78rpm Record Collection From the Internet Archive for Student Podcasts, June 9, 2021). While this mode of access is important, usage is tiny—on average, each recording in the collection is only accessed by one researcher per month.
While we review the lawsuit, we remain dedicated to our mission of providing “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” We are grateful for the continued support of our library patrons and partners as we continue to fight these attacks.
Four months after the disappointing decision on summary judgment in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a number of papers were filed today in the district court, and then the judge is expected to make his final judgment. We expect that, at least while the appeal is pending, there will be changes to our lending program, but the full scope of those changes is a question pending with the district court. We will provide an update on those changes once the district court decision is final.
Our fight is far from over—We remain steadfast in our belief that libraries should be able to own, preserve, and lend digital books outside of the confines of temporary licensed access. We believe that the judge made errors of law and fact in the decision, and we will appeal.
Statement from Internet Archive founder, Brewster Kahle: “Libraries are under attack at unprecedented scale today, from book bans to defunding to overzealous lawsuits like the one brought against our library. These efforts are cutting off the public’s access to truth at a key time in our democracy. We must have strong libraries, which is why we are appealing this decision.”
The design and development of most network technologies remains in the hands of the few. In light of this, the right to privacy and freedom of expression can end up being a privilege controlled by large corporations that are incentivized to profit from our digital connections. Meanwhile, a homogenized internet makes it difficult for individuals and communities to express multiple identities and have the agency to determine their own networks.
Thankfully, around us you can always find people who in their day-by-day work contribute to developing a fairer reality for everyone – one that defends environmental justice and social inclusion, innovation at the service of life, and a world where all worlds fit, both online and offline.
The DWeb Fellowship invites people from around the world to come to California for DWeb Camp. This year, we had 36 Fellows – they traveled from India, Cambodia, Argentina, Cuba, Kenya, Malawi, Germany, Italy, and from many other places overseas, as well as from across North America and the Bay Area. We selected these exceptional individuals because they invite and challenge us to transform our reality and co-create a vision of a better Web.
And in practice, they are the embodiment of the DWeb Principles (https://getdweb.net/principles/). The DWeb Principles reflect what we aim for as we work to build a decentralized web – the distributed protocols, applications, organizations, culture, and everything in between that make it possible to manifest the webs of digital connection that make us better humans for each other and all other life on this planet. Our Fellows work to realize the promise of a decentralized Web – where power is decentralized and control over digital infrastructure is meaningfully distributed. They use and build interoperable, free and open source tools to uplift communities in some of the most challenging contexts. They come from open and transparent organizations that govern their projects in a way that actively pursues equity, mutual trust, and respect. And they demonstrate how network technologies can bring about justice and advance individual and collective agency by prioritizing relationships and building communities of care.
In honor of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, we asked the Fellows to participate in our opening ceremony. One of our Fellows, Kanyon “Coyote Woman” Sayers-Roods, led us in a song in the language of the Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash people, those native to the area that is now known as Northern California. As the Fellows each lit a candle around us, we recognized them as leaders lighting the way towards a better, truly decentralized web – one that distributes power and ensures that individuals and communities share the privileges and responsibilities to steward the network technologies they rely on.
We were lucky to have them at Camp this year to share their perspectives, wisdom, and stories with us. As organizers of DWeb Camp, we continue to strive to find ways to amplify their voices in this movement and support their work.
2023 DWeb Fellows
Akhilesh Thite (https://akhilesh.art/) is an Indian tech enthusiast with a passion for decentralization. He is the founder of P2P Labs (https://p2plabs.xyz/), an open-source organization with a focus on building curated web3 infrastructure tools for the decentralized internet, leveraging the IPFS protocol. He is currently developing a minimal p2p web browser named Peersky. Akhilesh is often found participating in Hackathons or working on devgrants, he has won eight Web3 hackathons. His goal is to develop decentralized tools that significantly contribute to the betterment of humanity.
Amber Gallant is a Masters’ student at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia. She is a librarian, writer, and open-source enthusiast with professional interests in data ethics and digital commoning spaces. She currently acts as the project manager of the Guardians of the Record Lab (https://blockchain.ubc.ca/research/guardians-record-lab), a group that conducts research into maintaining and protecting the integrity of records in human rights contexts and investigates the use of decentralized archival technologies for this purpose. She is also completing an original research project through Blockchain@UBC, where she is examining humanitarian blockchain projects and the data rights of users in conflict contexts through the lens of data justice.
Andrew Chou (https://andrew.nonetoohappy.buzz) is a technologist based in NYC that tends to explore the various corners of the internet. He currently works as a developer with Digital Democracy (http://digital-democracyr.org) and Manyverse (https://manyver.se), building offline-first applications that are designed on the basis of decentralization and autonomy.
Anh Lê is a transdisciplinary researcher and artist based in Lenapehoking/NYC. Recently, they’ve built community-owned internet infrastructure with Community Tech NY/Community Technology Collective and designed advocacy campaigns to support Southeast Asian movement building in NYC. They are currently pursuing their Masters in International Affairs at The New School, where their research focuses on border technologies, migration, and digital rights.
Arky Ambati Rakesh is a technologist and a visual storyteller based in Southeast Asia. Arky has contributed to open source projects aimed at providing equitable access to digital tools and an open web. Over the past decade, Arky has been involved with Free/Libre and Open Source communities and has worked with organizations such as Braille Without Borders (BWB), NGO Resource Center and Mozilla in Asia and Africa.
Barbara Gonzalez Segovia (she/they) is a BIPOC, queer, feminist who sees herself as a social activist. She is passionate about amplifying people’s voices from anti-racist and anti-oppressive lenses, both in her professional and personal life. She values kindness and vulnerability, and is fully committed to infuse the world with joy. These days Barbara works with Digital Democracy (https://www.digital-democracy.org/), supporting grassroot communities and earth defenders utilizing tech tools to defend their ancestral lands. She has over a decade of experience in community development, indigenous rights, and gender equality. Her work has been focusing on program planning, community outreach, and organizational development, particularly within Indigenous organizations and indigenous nations from different countries in South America.
Benson Tilya is a conservation manager and seedbank analyst at Saving Africa’s Nature (http://www.karibusana.com/) in Tanzania. He has been instrumental in the encouragement, support and monitoring of SANA projects in Saadani National Park villages in Tanzania; engaged in conservation activities such as seed banking, greenhouse management and restoration of the forest corridor via tree planting projects. He stands on the thesis that technology and nature don’t have to act as antagonists; that the science behind digital technology can and should work in tandem with the respect for the natural world to subvert deforestation and promote long-term environmentally conscientious solutions.
Blake Stoner is a grassroots reporter, social entrepreneur, and tech enthusiast with a history of community advocacy. After working on over 10 grassroots campaigns, he noticed many communities across the United States of America needed more representation to highlight their culture and concerns. He believes that an important challenge to address right now is the growing crisis of news deserts that disproportionately leave communities of color ill-represented and uninformed. In response, he founded Vngle, a grassroots news network which provides an equitable decentralized approach to local reporting and brings nonpartisan coverage to underreported geographic and demographic areas. Through a gig-economy model, it verifies and trains local citizens with smartphones to serve as reporters and editors. Through scaling, Vngle seeks to make verifiable news mainstream, where anyone can check the origin of where, when, & how stories are captured through a public ledger.
brandon king is a dj/sound-selector, multidisciplinary artist, and cultural organizer from the Atlantic Ocean by way of Hampton Roads VA, who creates installations exploring African Diasporic identities, honoring his ancestors’ stories through archival and found materials, sound collages, painting, film, and other forms. he is a founding member of Cooperation Jackson (https://cooperationjackson.org/), a cooperative network in Jackson Mississippi and currently serves as the Executive of Resonate Coop (https://resonate.coop/), an international, open source, music streaming platform cooperative. he is also a member of the NYC based artist collective PTP (Purple Tape Pedigree)(http://ptp.vision/) and is currently an MFA candidate at Queens College focusing on Social Practice and Installation.
Calum Bowden is an artist working with organizations as a medium. He collaborates on stories, games, and platforms that relink the cultural with technology, economics, politics and ecology. He co-founded Trust (https://trust.support/) and Black Swan. Trust is a network of utopian conspirators, a sandbox for creative, technical, and critical projects, and site of experimentation for new ways of learning together. Trust is a hybrid online and physical space in Berlin for inquiry into emerging social and political phenomena through the lenses of aesthetic, narrative, game, technical, climate and design research. Since 2018, Trust has developed a public programme that includes lectures, installations, residency programmes, reading groups, working groups, live-streamed participatory events, and online resources. Trust incubates software projects that build a creative culture of the commons.
Camille Nibungco (http://camillenibung.co) is a designer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. They most recently helped build the Angelena Atlas project, an crowd-sourced intersectional community network/resource for marginalized folks in Los Angeles. They currently work in the healthcare tech space and are interested in decentralized technologies/web3 as a tool for working class sovereignty, labor, and grassroots change.
Chia Amisola (https://chia.design) is an internet + ambient artist born and raised in the Philippines, and now based in San Francisco. Their (web)site-specific art is an act of worldmaking constructing spaces, systems, and tools that posit worlds where creation is synonymous with liberation. Ambience is political: their environments tackle infrastructure, poetics, labor, and maintenance. Simply put, they wish to gather all the people they love in one place and explore how the internet might be that place. Chia is the Founder of Developh (https://developh.org) and the Philippine Internet Archive (https://philippineinternetarchive.com/). They graduated from Yale University in 2022 with a BA in Computing & the Arts, receiving the Sudler Prize.
Cody Harris is a technical volunteer with Seattle Community Network (https://seattlecommunitynetwork.org/) and assisted with the deployment and operations of the DWeb network in 2022. He has volunteered at the Connections Museum in Seattle, a hands-on museum of vintage (mostly Bell System) telecom equipment, giving tours and working on the exhibits since 2019. At ToorCamp 2022, he participated in a performance art project with the ShadyTel hacker collective establishing a telecom bureaucracy and deploying an analog switched telephone network to connect campers’ landline phones, modems, and fax machines.
Esther Jang is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on community networks in both rural remote and urban contexts, and especially how communities of practice can build and sustain technical infrastructures. She has helped install community networks in the Philippines, Mexico, Tanzania, and various states around the US. She is currently a lead organizer and installer for the Seattle Community Network (https://seattlecommunitynetwork.org/), which seeks to build community-owned and maintained Internet access infrastructure to support digital equity in Seattle and Tacoma. She serves as a Director at the Local Connectivity Lab, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focusing on technology research, deployment, and teaching in support of community networks around the world. In her free time, she is an avid jazz singer and plays with a band called Django Junction in Seattle.
fauno’s work and activism is focused on investigating, adapting and implementing ecological and resilient technologies, specially autonomous, collectively managed infrastructure. In the last five years he has been working almost exclusively on resilient web sites using Jekyll and developing a platform for updating and hosting them called Sutty (https://sutty.nl/).
Jack Fox Keen is the Data Empowerment Lead for the Guardian Project’s ProofMode application (https://guardianproject.info/apps/org.witness.proofmode/), a cryptographically verifiable way of providing visual evidence of the world around us. Jack has been doing data analytics for non-profits for the last two years, after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in biomathematics and scientific computing. They will be starting a PhD program at UC Santa Cruz this September, where they will focus on explainable artificial intelligence. They are focused on ethical data acquisition and analysis, pulling inspiration and guidance from many realms of life, including intersectional feminism, queer theory, and decolonial studies.
Jacky Zhao (https://jzhao.xyz/) is an independent researcher and open source maintainer. Currently, he is exploring what agentic, interoperable, and communal technology looks like in his research practice: how might we create infrastructures and technologies that empower the residents of the web to have access to the same tools as the architect? On a broader level, he cares deeply about creating spaces that enable others to have more agency: agency to ask questions without judgement; agency to do what they are intrinsically drawn toward; agency to play (because what’s the point if we can’t have a bit of fun?). In his spare time, he works with Hypha Worker Co-op on Distributed Press (https://distributed.press/) and is a core contributor at verses (https://verses.xyz/).
James Gondwe is the founder and Director of Centre for Youth and Development. His passion for decentralized approaches to digital literacy and connectivity has positioned him at the forefront of exploring the transformative role of ICT, including the internet, in enabling opportunities for marginalized communities. James is a recipient of the Royal Commonwealth Queens Young Leaders Associate Fellowship, 2016 One Young World Ambassador, honored with the Trust Conference Changemakers Award, and is a recipient of the African Community Networks Summit Fellowship. Through his unwavering dedication to community empowerment, he drives change by bridging the digital divide and creating opportunities for marginalized individuals and communities.
Kanyon Coyote Woman Sayers-Roods (https://about.me/kanyon.coyotewoman) is an Ohlone Mutsun and Chumash Native American whose art serves as a heartfelt expression of her Native heritage. Kanyon is a dedicated and active member of the Native Community, assuming various roles as an artist, poet, activist, student, and teacher, inspiring emerging scholars to explore their creative paths and embrace decolonization. Graduated with an A.S+B.S with honors from the Art Institute of CA majoring in Web Design and Interactive Media, Kanyon weaves her knowledge of the digital world and her ancestral knowledge of the land. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Kanyon also serves as the CEO of Kanyon Konsulting (https://kanyonkonsulting.com) and acts as a caretaker for Indian Canyon, a “Federally recognized Indian Country” (https://patreon.com/IndianCanyon) situated between San Francisco and Monterey (https://costanoan.org).
Luisa Bagope is a documentary director interested in cyber as well as natural and human technology. With support from APC she has been documenting community network activities in the global south and was an active participant of PSP Community Network (Portal sem Porteiras – https://portalsemporteiras.github.io/) for 3 years. Luisa coordinated the Nodes That Bond project: a collective learning process centered around technology that happened through circular encounters amongst women. Focusing on feminist methods of community-based organization, she now continues to work with communication as a potency for social transformation in the Afluentes Association, in Monteiro Lobato, Brasil.
Marcela Guerra is a writer, artisan, and mother. She learned with Oankali that humans have an inevitable tendency to hierarchy. Even though she recognizes this tendency in all the relationships she can witness, she challenges herself to imagine non-hierarchical technologies, especially the communication ones. Marcela is part of the Portal sem Porteiras association (PSP – https://portalsemporteiras.github.io/) that runs a community internet network. She is a co-creator of the project Nodes that Bonds (https://portalsemporteiras.github.io/en/nos-por-nos/2019/) which takes place in the PSP network and member of the collective Sítio do Astronauta (https://sitiodoastronauta.com.br/) that teaches electronic handicraft. She is also part of Marlu Studio, which develops methodologies for the creation of community fictions.
Mark Anthony Hernandez Motaghy is an artist and cultural worker of Mexican and Iranian descent. Operating with mediums such as experimental video, as well as installation, books, and oral histories, Mark’s practice explores the digital commons, care-based economies, and sociotechnical imaginaries. They recently published the zine-book Rehearsing Solidarity: Learning from Mutual Aid with Thick Press. The book archives how mutual aid groups assembled solidarity digital infrastructures for the COVID-19 crisis and how they sustainably reassembled for sustaining communal care. Currently, they are a fellow at Ujima Boston Project, providing artistic and editorial direction for a new magazine on art, culture, and the solidarity economy.
Maurice Haedo Sanabria (m00.copincha.org) is an industrial designer passionate about technology and its impact on society. His work focuses on the circulation of information and the creation of goods through open collaboration, especially in Cuba, where material scarcity and limited Internet connectivity have forced society to seek creative alternatives. Five years ago, he transformed his own home in Downtown Havana into a hackerspace/laboratory called Copincha. (In Cuban slang, “pincha” means work, so “Copincha” can be understood as “collective work”.) Inspired by “DIY” and “do it together” philosophies, Copincha’s members use collaborative, open-source methods to share knowledge and develop solutions to local challenges through transdisciplinary, resilient and ecological practices.
A Rohingya himself, Muhammad Noor has established several Rohingya institutions and trained several highly-regarded members of the Rohingya community worldwide. His most notable contributions include the digitization and Unicode of First Rohingya Alphabet, serving as the chairman of Rohingya Football Club, authoring “ Born to Struggle: The Child of Rohingya Refugees and His Inspiring Journey” and working on several assignments with the UN High Commission for Refugees, the Red Cross, International Organization for Migration, International Network of Human Rights. Noor is the Co-Founder of Rohingya Vision (RVISION), the world’s first Rohingya Satellite television channel.
Nicolás Pace (https://www.apc.org/en/users/nicopace) is the technology and innovation co-coordinator within the LOCNET initiative, which supports organizations and communities in exploring the innovative approaches to the use of technology in the context of community networks in the global south. Nicolás has traveled to more than 15 countries to build bridges between community networks and to understand the diversity and complexity of the field.
Qianqian (Q) Ye is a Chinese artist, creative technologist, and educator based in Los Angeles. Trained as an architect, she creates digital, physical, and social spaces exploring issues around gender, immigration, power, and technology. Her most recent collaborative project, The Future of Memory, was a recipient of the Mozilla Creative Media Award. At the Processing Foundation, Qianqian is the Lead of p5.js, an open-source art and education platform that prioritizes access and diversity in learning to code, with over 1.5 million users. She currently teaches creative coding as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC Media Arts + Practice and 3D Arts at Parsons School of Design. For 2022-2023, Qianqian is a NYU ITP/IMA Project fellow and Civic Media Fellow at USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.
Risper A Rose works with the low cost community wireless network, TunapandaNET (https://tunapanda.org/) in Nairobi, Kenya, as a gender and community engagement expert. She is involved in digital outreach, understanding women and their usage of connectivity, amplifying meaningful usage and utilization of connectivity, and conducting impact assessment studies of connectivity in the community. She has handled tech-centered advisories and training on digital rights, digital inclusion, digital advocacy, and digital protection and privacy. Her main focus is on gender justice, community capacity development, community research using human-centered design, stakeholder engagement, and public participation in policymaking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Development (with Honors) Degree from Kenyatta University.
Saqib Sheikh‘s work centers on advocacy, social inclusion, and educational access for refugees and stateless people. He serves as Project Director for the Rohingya Project, a grassroots initiative for the empowerment of the Rohingya diaspora using blockchain technology. He is also a co-founder and advisor for the Refugee Coalition of Malaysia (RCOM) where he focuses on creating formal pathways for refugee placement in higher education institutes in Malaysia. A journalist by training, Saqib received his Masters in Communication from Purdue University, and is currently a PhD researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, researching the use of technology for legitimization of stateless communities.
Sheley Gomes is a POC, queer feminist, researcher and activist for digital and human rights, as well as the right to communication, being part of non-profit organisations both in Brazil and Europe. Her research goes from contexts such as Latin America, western-European, and Sub-saharan African countries, investigating the role of media, the ownership, and freedom of expression in those different scenarios. Her focus goes especially to new media technologies and its impacts for marginalised communities.
Stacco Troncoso (https://stacco.works/) teaches and writes on the Commons, P2P politics and economics, open culture, post-growth futures, Platform and Open Cooperativism, decentralised governance, blockchain, and more. He is the co-founder of DisCO.coop (https://disco.coop/), project lead for Commons Transition, and co-founder of the P2P translation collective Guerrilla Translation. His work in communicating commons culture extends to public speaking and relationship-building with prefigurative communities, policymakers, and potential commoners.
Subhashish Panigrahi (https://psubhashish.com) is interested in research and building resources in the intersection of community, tech, and media. A public interest archivist, non-fiction filmmaker, and civil society leader, he has served and catalyzed many open knowledge/internet communities through his work at Wikimedia, Mozilla, Internet Society and the Internet Society. He currently serves as the director of the Law for All Initiative at Ashoka. A National Geographic Explorer, he has made ten critically acclaimed documentaries, focusing on endangered languages, digital rights, and the open internet movement in South Asia. He founded OpenSpeaks and co-founded O Foundation in 2017, both building openly-licensed media and resources for low- and medium-resourced languages through participatory means.
TB Dinesh is a community media activist with a background in Computer Science. The recent focus of their work is on infrastructure for encouraging people from marginalised communities to document their ways of life to help tell their stories. This involves helping create a Community Owned Wifimesh (COWMesh) with Libre Routers, Bamboo towers, ASPi client kiosks and Internet independent services with Janastu (janastu.org). Services include audio-video fragment-annotating tools, voice communication and negotiation of traffic vouchers. Set in a remote rural hilly forest region, near Bangalore, India, their Lab is open for visitors and residents who wish to creatively engage in creating a replicable model of self-determined future Community Networks. Anthillhacks (anthillhacks.in) is their end of year annual event where everyone is invited to live with their community.
Tommi Marmo is self-described “enthusiastic and curious 22 years old weirdo from Italy.” He is the co-founder of Scambi Festival (https://scambi.org), a cultural event focused on interactive workshops which is organized exclusively by a staff of volunteers under 25 years old coming from all over Europe. He just graduated in Philosophy, International Studies, and Economics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Tommi is a dreamer and an activist concerning the need of a deeper sociological and philosophical analysis of the Internet, at its essential core. In 2020, he deleted all of his mainstream social media accounts and created https://tommi.space, which he considers the virtual representation of his mind. He is the admin of Pan (https://pan.rent), a Fediverse node.
Victor von Sydow is a member of Coolab (https://www.coolab.org), a co-operative lab that builds community telecommunication projects promoting autonomous infrastructures through technical training and community activation. He is interested in research and strategy development focused on systemic and infrastructural conditions that shape socio-economic, political, and institutional realities. To this extent, he develops and operationalises experimental approaches to organisational design, policy, finance and rights.
Xin Xin is an artist currently making socially-engaged software that explores the possibilities of reshaping language and power relations. Through mediating, subverting, and innovating modes of social interaction in the digital space, Xin invites participants to relate to one another and experience togetherness in new and unfamiliar ways. As an artist, their work has been exhibited internationally at Ars Electronica, Eyebeam, DIS, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, and the Gene Siskel Film Center. They were an Eyebeam Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future Fellow and a Sundance Art of Practice Fellow. As an organizer, Xin co-founded voidLab, a LA-based intersectional feminist collective dedicated to women, trans, and queer folks. They were the Director for Processing Community Day 2019 and they serve on the Processing Foundation Board.
Lace signified wealth in America’s early years. In colonial times, people who wore it improperly could face punishment (both men and women wore lace). During the Revolutionary War, women made lace to supplement their income while the men were away fighting.
Mary Mangan is fascinated by the history of lace in the United States. The Somerville, Massachusetts, resident makes lace herself and is on a mission to raise the profile of lace more broadly. Looking for a project that could be done with other lace enthusiasts remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, they started to research the lace community in Ipswich, Massachusetts, during the 18th century.
Although European nations had many important centers of lace production as economic drivers, only one community in the American colonies developed a bobbin lace industry. Hundreds of people in Ipswich became skilled lace makers and their unusual activity was captured in the papers of Alexander Hamilton who was seeking to understand America’s capacity for production. This unique style of lace adorned fashionable people in the early Republic, including Martha Washington. The origins of this activity and the identities of the lace makers are still being actively sought, and that’s where library collections like the Internet Archive fit in.
Mangan said the Internet Archive proved to be a valuable resource for the project of the New England Lace Group. “The quirkiness of the collection is really interesting,” she said. “With a quick search of a few key words, I came across some really unusual things that I would not have unearthed otherwise.”
For instance, Mangan found court records detailing the prosecution of people wearing lace in Puritan times. The Internet Archive had links to agricultural pamphlets from Massachusetts about a woman winning a prize for her lace at a fair in 1832, and information that led the research group to a box from Newbury, Massachusetts, in a local museum with lace making artifacts. There were also anecdotes in a 1884 book about individual women, such as Betty B., who made black silk lace.
“We discovered important social and economic data about the lace and the people who made it,” said Mangan, who is a volunteer for her local historical society. “We have identified new names for further research leads.”
Mangan said while the lace society is dedicated to keeping the knowledge of lace alive, its resources are limited. Much of the history of lace is not written down because it was largely women’s work and it can be hard to find information in physical places.
Materials through the Internet Archive allowed her group to access books online that are often out of print, rare and expensive. “The ease of researching from home is a huge benefit,” she said. “It makes the work easy to share with others on the team and saved us from purchasing used books we don’t need.”
As Mangan’s group pieced together the puzzle of the Ipswich lace community, the information was compiled into a poster presentation complete with references and images downloaded from tine Internet Archive. The mobile educational exhibit is being displayed at libraries, fiber fairs and historical sites throughout New England. For more information, click here.