A Context of Convenience

Give Away Your Take

12 graphic works minted as NFTs on hicetnunc

A series of twelve statements developed in response to the first Low Carbon Design Institute residency. The works are designed to travel, to be collected and quickly passed on, resold for tiny amounts, if any amount at all. They are made with the intention that the value and energy they hold should be temporary, momentary, fleeting. Collect a work then let it go. The cycle of energy exchange – attention to data, data about attention, attention toward data – is what counts. The take and the give. As the works are bought and sold on the blockchain, their journey is recorded, timestamped and priced. Another trail, another energy transfer. More debris left behind. Is it convenience or context?

Value the Anticipation

A website exists with an artwork secreted behind a holding page. You cannot access the work until at least, say, 8 people are also looking at that webpage. You contact friends, colleagues, neighbours just to get a critical viewing mass together, and when the data says it’s time, the server spins up and you get to see the work. This is an energy saving exercise, the performer saves their energy until the level of attention energy gained is worth the performance energy expended.

This purposeful friction is not convenient, you have to wait. But what do you get in exchange for being given an extended period of anticipation? A moment to connect with others, some space to breathe, a few seconds to reflect. Is the inconvenience a gift? Or an obstacle? What if you have no friends or colleagues? What if you have no means of communicating to those you want to connect with? What if your internet connection is only available for an hour a day? What if your data package is almost at zero?

If you get the opportunity to experience it, the work takes from you (your data, your presence) and uses it as fuel for action. Over time, the more audience numbers the work has, the more complex it becomes as it builds its energy, while also shedding some along the way. It gives you your reward built from the things you gave it.

Don’t tell anyone what you’ve seen.

Julie Freeman

Julie Freeman’s background and training is an equal mix of computer science and art, which she regards as a single discipline. She holds a PhD from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from Queen Mary University, and an MA in Digital Art from Middlesex University. She is a TED Senior Fellow, an On Deck Climate Tech Fellow.




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