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FLOSSTV @ ISEA – 17th September 2011 July 6, 2011

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Adnan Hadzi will be talking about FLOSSTV and Data Spheres at the ISEA conference.

Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international nonprofit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology.

The main activity of ISEA International is the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international nonprofit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology.

The main activity of ISEA International is the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Freedom of Art – 1st July 2011 July 6, 2011

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During the Open Knowledge Conference (1) Richard Stallman talked about how computers can not be trusted to run voting machines. Deptford.TV organised an afternoon workshop and we discussed the notion of ‘Freedom of Art’, also part of the constitutional law of Switzerland.

  1. Sebastian Hellmann, Philipp Frischmuth, and Soeren Auer, eds., CEUR-WS.org/Vol-739 – Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2011 (Berlin: OKCon, 2011), http://sunsite.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/Publications/CEUR-WS/Vol-739/.

Hacking Suomenlinna July 6, 2011

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For the Pixelache Festival Deptford.TV offers now also the video editing software KdenLive. The Pixelache Wiki.

Deptford TV

Deptford TV: C/Overt operations with CCTV sniffing and collaborative open source video editing

Main workshop day: Thursday 10 March 2011, 11:30-17:30
Venue: Pajasali, Suomenlinna Island (+ Helsinki centre)

This workshop will attempt to identify and document secret (covert) places, strategies and messages in our everyday surroundings. We will use overt, co-operative tactics and practice openness and transparency to push the covert into clearer view.

Our main tool for this workshop will be easily to obtained, simple to use and perfectly legal video receivers that can intercept the data collected by small CCTV video cameras often placed covertly in shops, offices and other public/private spaces. But we will also use ordinary media-gathering devices, our own eyes and ears and our social skills to identify and record evidence of covert operations in our midst, whether this is capturing gossip and rumour about the Suomenlinna’s Island fortress or observing city planners’ attempts to ‘design out’ specific social behaviours.

The materials gathered on our main workshop day (Thursday) will be meta-data tagged and added to the Deptford TV collaborative video editing platform. During the course of Pixelache this platform will be used together with the open source video editing package kdenlive to create a series of ‘versioned’ edits of this material. We will also be inviting remote participants to contribute additional raw media and participate in editing.

On Thursday, 10 March, we are inviting participants to join a walk through Helsinki/Suomenlinna with our CCTV ‘sniffing’ equipment and senses sharpened.  No specific route is currently planned. We will determine this following a short introductory meeting on the day and shape the day according to people’s specific interests.

On Friday 11 March we plan to transcode and ‘tag’ the material ready for editing, and on Saturday/Sunday, editing will take place. We hope that at least some participants will be able to see the whole process through. The post-production will take a wholly open source/free software pathway, so this should be of interest to all those media practitioners interested in open source tools. for media production. As well as a couple of pre-set up computers, we will supply ‘live’ cd’s or usb sticks with with linux distribution Puredyne, and our main toolset will be:

Easytag for metadata tagging
KDEnlive for video editing
The Drupal-based custom web platform for sharing edits developed by
Deptford TV: http://edit.deptford.tv

There will be chances to learn about and use all of these quite intensively across the entire time of the festival.

Please sign up for the Thursday workshop, but also let us know your specific skills, interests and all the times you are available to work with us during Pixelache.

The Deptford TV workshop is hosted by Adnan Hadzi, Lisa Haskel and Larisa Blazic.

PsychoGeophysics July 6, 2011

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The Deptford.TV participants edited during the Node.L 2010 workshop a 9 min. long video on the Psychogeophysics Summit:

The London Psychogeophysics Summit proposes an intense week-long, city-wide series of walks, fieldtrips, river drifts, open workshops and discussions exploring the novel interdisciplinary frame of psychogeophysics, colliding psychogeographics with earth science measurements and study (fictions of forensics and geophysical archaeology).

Open events include practical workshops in building simple geophysical measurement devices from scrap materials, fieldtrips for study and long-term use of such devices in the city, measurement and mapping of physical and geophysical data during city-wide walks, deployment of strategic underground networks, fusion of fiction, derive and signal excursion, studies of river signal ecologies alongside short lectures and discussions of broad, interdisciplinary psychogeophysical themes.

Partners include SPACE Media Arts, openmute.org and HTTP gallery/Furtherfield.

Participants include BITNIK, Alejo Duque, Kathrin Guenter, Graham Harwood, Martin Howse, Ryan Jordan, Petr Kazil, Jonathan Kemp, Martin Kuentz, Tom McCarthy (tbc), Christian Nold, Eleonora Oreggia, Nick Papadimitriou (tbc), John Rogers (tbc), Karen Russo, Gordan Savicic, Suzanne Treister, Danja Vasiliev, Wilfried HJB Bourdin.

Deptford.TV running Active Archives September 20, 2010

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During the active archives code sprint in June 2010 Deptford.TV got the active archives system installed, see pictures. Soon we will be running an active archives workshop in London.

Manifesto for an Active Archive

From ActiveArchives

This Manifesto is a work in progress. The text introduces the ideas and motivations behind the Active Archive project lead by Constant in collaboration with Arteleku, and was initiated in 2006. This project aims at creating a free software platform to connect practices of library, media library, publications on paper (as magazines, books, catalogues), productions of audio-visual objects, events, workshops, discursive productions, etc. Practices which can take place on line or in various geographical places, and which can be at various stages of visibility for reasons of rights of access or for reasons of research and privacy conditions. The development will take place during 2008-2009 and regular workshops will be organised to stimulate dialog between future users, developers and cultural workers and researchers.


Creating web pages and displaying information on-line has become easier and easier for non-expert users. The Active Archives project starts from the observation that most of the interesting cultural archives that have been developed over the last few years have taken advantage of those new facilities for instant publishing, but mostly in the form of websites that mirror regular information brochures, announcements and text-publishing. Often, they are conceived as “We” give information to “You”. Within Active Archives, we aim to set up multi-directional communication channels, and are interested in making information circulate back and forth. We would like to give material away and receive it transformed: enriched by different connections, contexts and contradictions.

Decentralizing the archive

When we want to share with other cultural associations and groups/institutions, the challenge is as follows: how do “We” share information “Together”, how do we channel information through each others’ network, under which conditions? How do we produce digital content together? To develop common infrastructures, we will need to discuss what kind of licensing we prefer, and work on norms and a common agreement on formats. We also need to find a shared understanding of classifications or maybe first question existing ones.

Digital cultural archives today fall into two categories: fragmented archives and over-centralized archives. Fragmented archives look like isolated islands. Every institution sits on top of its treasure and tries to regulate and control the way it is used with at most offering a timid RSS feed. Centralized archives gather collections and resources from different origins but disconnect the material from its original context. Accessibility and searchability come at the cost of legitimisation.

An active archive is a decentralized archive which is not only open for reading but also for re-appropriation, comment, divergences, transformations. This manifesto is a plea for such a decentralized archive: an archive constituted from many sites and voices that keep their own contexts without fear of sharing, mirroring, connecting and using common protocols.

Owning our infrastructure

If public television channels decide to publish their archives on YouTube, libraries work in partnership with Google etc., why does the Active Archive not make use of the existing web 2.0 infrastructure? Flickr + MySpace + FaceBook with a bit of Delicious to glue it all together… who needs more? But to upload digital culture on the servers of dotcom billionaires might not be such a good idea after all.

However much influence the functionalities of Web 2.0 had in popularising the digital archive, we need to be aware of their terms of use. We would like to prevent that cultural archives serve as footage for ad-placement or as honey pot for market profilers and for this reason we need to make the effort to build our own infrastructure.

An active archive should provide to its contributors a clean and clear contract where the terms of the participation are fair and legible for everyone. The goal of an active archive is to produce more interesting content in the first place. Not to make profit in monitoring the users and selling their behavioural patterns. Only when the different parties involved own their own infrastructure and accept to share it, they can ensure the conditions for access without strings attached. This means open content licenses for all material stored, so that the conditions for use are clear for everyone. An infrastructure built with free software so that everybody can co-own the source code.

Distributing more than text

An active archive needs to go beyond mere text-publishing. Artists, cultural groups and institutions regularly produce video and audio images for various communication or creative purposes. It is necessary to take into account that media content requires different material configurations: they need more disk space and more bandwidth, therefore they require clever strategies of distribution. Peer-to-peer networks have pioneered large scale experiments with the distribution of audiovisual media, and it is time to learn from them.

Integrating audiovisual media is not just adding another type of file. It requires a new approach to navigation, searching, linking, subtitling and translation so that audio and video content can connect to text-based content because otherwise those files remain black holes in the archives.


Promoting re-use

The material that is made available through the Active Archive is thought of as source material for other works. This means, systems need to be put in to place to make referencing and re-use of the material easy, but also make sure that versions of the material can filter back to the place it original came from. These systems are partially technical, and partially cultural: a series of commissions, workshops, exhibitions and publications will inspire creative use.

Between tags and ontologies

To improve the search facilities, to group elements, to link them and to create new meaning and new experiences, an archive needs a system of classification. Librarians and archivists are used to work with fixed standards but the work produced and discussed within contemporary culture tends to escape these classification schemes.

An Active Archive requires the creation and discussion of vocabularies and taxonomies that can evolve, diverge or merge. These vocabularies and taxonomies should neither be brutally top-down or completely flat. The system should stimulate the sharing of common classifications, allow for divergence and promote the convergence of knowledge trees. Active Archive needs a classification system with a difference.

Moving through new gestures

Sharing is the principal motivation to create an Active Archive. This means that we need to update our assumptions about the users of such an archive, the sources that are used and the circulation of its content. An Active Archive is not a black box with a Download button, it is information reconfigured. And it has to start now.

Image:researcher.jpg Image:radiomaker.jpg Image:librarian.jpg

Cinelerra Server for FLOSS Manuals September 20, 2010

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The plan is to integrate the Cinelerra Server project into the Cinelerra FLOSSMANUAL, see http://en.flossmanuals.net/bin/view/Cinelerra/WebHome

What is FLOSS Manuals?

FLOSS Manuals is a collection of manuals about free and open source software together with the tools used to create them and the community that uses those tools. They include authors, editors, artists, software developers, activists, and many others. There are manuals that explain how to install and use a range of free and open source softwares, about how to do things (like design) with open source software, and manuals about free culture services that use or support free software and formats. Anyone can contribute to a manual – to fix a spelling mistake, to add a more detailed explanation, to write a new chapter, or to start a whole new manual on a topic. You can read and use the manuals in a number of different ways. They are available online in separately indexed chapters, and you can use the website as a reference base in this way. You can also view, download, or print each manual as a PDF file. It is also possible to ‘remix’ manuals to create a version that only includes specific aspects of a particular manual, or that combines chapters from two or more manuals in a single document. These can be downloaded and printed, added to websites, and used for any purpose. You can also print a manual, or an individually ‘remixed’ manual, as a book via the print-to-order service of Lulu.com.

What does FLOSS stand for?

F. L. O. S. S. stands for Free Libre Open Source Software. Basically, this means software that makes its code available for anyone to use, change, and redistribute under the same terms. If you’re still confused, you can read more below.

What is Open Source? What is the difference between Free and Open?

Open Source emphasizes availability of source code to software users. This means not only that the source code is available at no cost and with little difficulty, but that users can modify the source code and distribute the results under the same conditions. Bruce Perens wrote the original Open Source definition for Debian. Free Software emphasizes the freedom to modify and reuse software, which of course also requires that source code be readily available. Richard M. Stallman initiated the definition of Free Software as part of the creation of the Free Software Foundation and its GNU project (GNU’s Not Unix) to create a completely Free Unix-compatible operating system and set of software tools. GNU software together with the Linux kernel, plus contributions from many other sources, constitute the GNU/Linux Operating System, commonly known as Linux. So in practice the differences in meaning between the two phrases are not great, but they lead to some differences in attitude, terminology, and use of specific license terms. One reason for the difference in terminology is that “Free” is ambiguous in English. FSF has to explain that it means, “Free as in Free Speech, not as in Free Beer.” To counter this, the unambiguous French term “Libre” can be added in, resulting in FLOSS, or Free (Libre) Open Source Software. FSF maintains a page explaining the various Free and Non-FREE licenses. The BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license, for example, allows users to modify source code and put the changes under a restrictive commercial copyright, as Apple has done in Mac OS/X. Since most BSD users put their changes under BSD, it can be considered somewhat, but not entirely, Free. In addition to these software licenses, there are several licenses for documentation and other content, most notably the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License) and the various Creative Commons licenses. FLOSS Manuals uses the Free Software GPL for all of its work. For details of definitions and available licenses, see

A Little About the History..

Adam Hyde started FLOSS Manuals while a digital artist. Adam had made a living running workshops on free software all over the world and had accumulated a lot of support material in the form of workshop manuals. In 2005 this material was put into a wiki with the help of Aleksandar Erkalovic and Lotte Meijer did the design. In 2006 Lotte Meijer and Adam Hyde applied for and recieved funding from Digital Pioneers to extend FLOSS Manuals. Thus the development and design of FLOSS Manuals as it is now started in 2006. This is the same year the Foundation was registered. Several digital artists were commissioned to write manuals on Audacity, Gimp, Blender, and PureData. The actual site wasn’t ready until May 2007. The first unsolicited edit on the site was in July 2007. FLOSS Manuals was officially launched at a party at Montevideo Time Based Arts (Amsterdam) in October 2007. In 2008 we created the Farsi version of FLOSS Manuals (http://fa.flossmanuals.net) and started our first Book Sprints. Now there are over 40 manuals on free software, and 1200 registered contributors and a healthy and active mailing list. Burmese, French, Finnish and Spanish language communities are currently being established.

What’s the benefit to me of using FLOSS and FLOSS Manuals?

By using free/libre/open-source software, you have the right to use, change  and share the software freely. FLOSS is also usually no-cost. You are not dependent on a big company to add features or fix problems; for FLOSS, these issues are handled by a community of software developers, which often responds more quickly. If the FLOSS community doesn’t address a problem that have with the software, you can hire a programmer to do it for you; this is almost never possible with proprietary software. Similarly, when you use free/libre/open-source manuals, you have the right to use, modify and share the documentation freely. Manuals on the FLOSS Manuals site are no-cost to use online. For paper copies, we charge just for the paper and printing, and a little extra to support making more books. You can also take the online version as a PDF file and print it yourself. You can also edit the documents on the site, for example, if you find things are incorrect, out of date, or incomplete. (You can also change your own copy, but we appreciate if you help us make the manuals on the site better.)

FEAR Sarai Reader 08 September 20, 2010

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Deptford.TV ‘data spheres’ essay published in FEAR, Sarai Reader 08
Author/Editor : Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Jeebesh Bagchi, Eds.

Sarai Reader 08 is interested in the phenomenon of fear in the form of nuclear attacks, lethal outbreak of a virus, of flash floods and freak storms, etc not as empirical facts but as cultural processes. The book aims to question how fear and anxiety shape individual and collective dispositions, how lives and social processes are designed around and against them, and what effects they have on our politics and our economy. It is especially interested in fear as language, as mode of communication, as a way of ordering and rendering the world…

… The Reader gathers to itself texts and contributions in the form of image-text assemblages that look at the transmission, generation and processing of fear on an intimate as well as on an industrial scale. They encompass mechanisms designed either to allay or intensify fear or ratchet up and down levels of anxiety and feelings of security. We see this as a beginning, and a broad range of questions and areas of interest, some of which have been touched upon this book, still remain to be unaccounted for. While Sarai Reader 08 does not claim to be exhaustive, it does aim to straddle a wide territory. The form that contributions to the Reader have taken is as varied as the content. While there are stand-alone essays, there are also reports, interviews, photographs, image-text combinations, comics, art-works, personal journal entries, research and commentaries. We believe that this diversity helps the Reader evoke responses to the idea of fear in all its myriad dimensions.

We have always viewed the Sarai Reader as a comfort zone for new and unprecedented ideas, as a space of refuge where wayward reflections can meet half-forgotten agendas. This is why we see it possible to imagine Sarai Reader 08 as setting the stage for a productive encounter with the demand for an account of the limits, margins and edges of our times.

A Hack a Day #12: Frequency Modulations September 20, 2010

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Workshop with !Mediengruppe Bitnik (.ch /.uk)

Radio is a surprisingly straightforward media – you only need to assemble a few electronic components for a low-range broadcast with your own micro FM transmitter.

In this workshop participants soldered their own low-range FM transmitter using a predesigned printed circuit board by piradio.de (a Berlin based free radio initiative). Once assembled, this board gave every participant a 0,15 Watt transmitter with mini-jack input and USB as power source. After a brief introduction from !Mediengruppe Bitnik to some of their more recent works related to media hacking, the group experimented with different ways to use our FM transmitters: As a tactical tool, an artistic device, a communications media.

No previous soldering experience required!

!Mediengruppe Bitnik is an artists group based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Their artistic practice is focused on medial systems, mediatized realities and live media feeds which they like to manipulate and reproduce so as to give the viewer a novel and refined understanding of their mechanisms. In doing so, Bitnik aims at revealing functionalities and operational methods which allow other uses and extend the utilities of these systems.

Bitnik are currently in a three-month residency at SPACE media lab.


Permacultures #5: !Mediengruppe Bitnik September 20, 2010

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In search of the parasite in media-based Systems.

During their three month residency at SPACE, !Mediengruppe Bitnik will investigate the parasitical potential of media-based systems. The main focus of their project The Parasite’s Delights is on experimental explorative practices with technology and determining the possibilities of technological systems for subverting, interfering, transforming or expanding them to new uses.

How can broadcasting systems be reconfigured into participative media?
What other messages than the ones designated will communications media allow?
How can media systems be used to provide access to closed circuits?

Their critical examination will culminate in an intervention in the Courtyard at SPACE in September 2010.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik is an artists group based in Zurich, Switzerland. Their artistic practice focusses on medial systems, mediatized realities and live media feeds which they manipulate and reproduce to give the viewer a novel and refined understanding of their mechanisms. In doing so, Bitnik aims to reveal functionalities and operational methods that allow other uses and extend the utilities of these systems. Bitnik was founded in 2003.


Symphony of Deptford – Sample I – Glitch Frames September 20, 2010

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work in progress – this clip shows some algorithmically montaged frames trawled from the deptford.tv database – scripted using python and the aml video library. This material is protomaterial for the eventual construction which will take the form of a video installation and short montage film.

Symphony of Deptford [vimeo http://vimeo.com/11022343]

the code can be found here: https://code.goto10.org/viewcvs/index.cgi/rob/symphonyofdeptford/