I will talk about how concepts and practices of openness have shaped the values, programmes and infrastructures of Furtherfield as an independent community for arts, technology and social change. In Spring 2012 Furtherfield opened a new public gallery and social space in the heart of Finsbury Park in North London. We want to connect the local audience (many of whom are new to art) with the work of a long-standing community of artists, technologists and activists who have a longstanding engagement with a range of open practices. “Such participatory production and “media democratisation” counters elitist propaganda that art is a special activity for special people… and returns the outcomes of inventiveness to the common for mutual enjoyment and open-ended reiteration. (Da Rimini, 2010) I will draw on artworks and curatorial projects from the Furtherfield Programme that are informing our work and some of the strategies that we are developing.
Artist, curator and co-founder with Marc Garrett of Furtherfield, an online community for art, technology and social change since 1997; now also a public gallery in the heart of Finsbury Park, London. Her collaborative, intermedia artworks and projects are exhibited and hosted in international venues and include Rethinking Wargames (Lowfi netart commission 2003) VisitorsStudio (awarded the Grand Netart Prize in 2009), WeWontFlyForArt (2009) and Zero Dollar Laptop (2010-ongoing). Co-editor of Artists Re:Thinking Games (2010) and Collaboration and Freedom– The World of Free and Open Source Art (2011) a collection for Arts Council England and P2P Foundation. Currently collaborating on a public game art project with Mary Flanagan called Local Play. Ruth is also Head of Writtle School of Design, for arts and design in the environment. http://furtherfield.org http://writtle.ac.uk/design