~e; new education (2010) [warehouse]

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 10 Oct 2003 22:39:10 -0500
Cc electronetwork-l@openflows.org

  new education = media + language + logic + identity ... + NN

  [(((warehouse songs and stories)))]

  and walking down the sidewalk, the grass overgrown,
  heard noises along the old building abandoned years
  ago, old bike wheel needed patching, it was hot sun...
  the warehouse's garage doors were opened today, it
  was usually empty inside, yet today hundreds were all
  around, it was like an impromptu marketplace had been
  set up, so they went inside to find out more...

  ...right after finding passage through the initial crowd
  the space opened up its logic, this was where the ideas,
  and the people who help carry them, finally found land.

  it was granted by a city-state partnership, and the notice
  of sponsorship on the large sign indicated this was not
  only happening in this large metropolitan area, but all
  around the country, and more importantly in a majority
  of the world's fragmented cities, roughly simultaneously.
  the sign also had a charter of specific local businesses
  and government funding, cooperating with individuals,
  organizations, and agencies working in within a varied
  sector of the arts, sciences, and technological sectors.

  it helped make sense of turning around, back into what
  was assembled. this must be the result of what became
  known as the great internet isolation of 2004, when the
  people found that while globally connected, they were
  also trapped inside a language machine that would in
  turn limit their ability to engage again in the outside. it
  was this that drove people back to local networks, nodes
  of the vast communities abandoned to slum lords as the
  vacancy and boredom of the public mind withered away.

  certainly, this felt different, and there was no money that
  was needed to get in, no security cameras, it was like a
  bazaar and various patterns would form and reform in
  the groups and people of all walks of life. some of those
  wearing suits had signs up for wiring schools as part of
  volunteer networks, they had brochures on a small table,
  and some student apprentices in tow. others presented
  their works, sharing information about their services for
  this community, such as linking up people with projects,
  paid and unpaid and volunteer. one of their main goals
  was to bring the arts to the schools with a partnership
  with the computer recyclers and rebuilders in town, to
  use the basic MIDI controllers with the computers that
  could run them, and bring music, then also photography,
  and painting with the mass of discarded Wacom tablets
  still streaming out of the large cities from OS upgrades
  years earlier.  they had photos of such work, and basic
  templates for their approach which was opened up to
  a collaborative approach, where people around the
  world could implement various models and feedback
  could help various schools and particular situations.

  next to this booth was a set up of old CRT monitors on
  a rack, with stools and headphones to listen and watch
  documentaries of people taped earlier, before their
  deaths in vast, anonymous nursing homes. it was an-
  other project from another group, the equipment was
  donated from local and national companies, and CDs
  and DVDs were burned for archival storage. you could
  pick from hearing about how life was during the early
  process of electrification, as the first electrical irons
  and lightbulbs and wiring arrived in houses, and how
  it was advertised and so strange to everyone. another
  had early telephone switch operators accounts, but
  many were lost to oblivion as they were never recorded
  before they died, thus whole eras of the human story
  was lost, the telegraph, the pole workers. this audio-
  visual history project would eventually be sent to the
  national archives, and be made accessible in remote
  database storage for all classrooms and the network.

  all one could do is try to sample the content, it was an
  overflowing hive of activities, in the other corner the
  pulsing lights and a video-collage on the wall could
  be seen, yet it was far away to get to in a single day.

  the SIGs or special interest groups of earlier years
  online started to work offline in new ways, and the
  interests in hobbies started to form which made a
  further transition from the university, back into DIY
  culture, and the garage educators were back at it,
  but the meetings apparently were much enlarged.
  artists were gathering signatures for creating an
  ad-hoc schedule for off-campus technology classes
  so they could focus their thoughts on thinking when
  paying the higher rates in the university system, and
  as such the ecosystem was changing. people who
  once focused just on interfaces or HTML were now
  literate in programming and looking for work in these
  areas, but it took a programmer who was also in the
  arts to help those with different thinking to understand
  the same concepts in ways that were more accessible.

  they were displaying their resulting works, such as
  graduate projects using a worldwide network of
  people in interdisciplinary, university and non-profit
  collaborations, sometimes with business funding,
  to develop educational software and novel but also
  vitally needed tools to help people begin to use the
  computing and other infrastructures to change these
  same structures. again, the recyclers ingenuity was
  involved, having hardware-hacked prototypes using
  old displays and controllers and processors to bring
  the ideas to life, in group projects. some received
  national grants and funding, others local, others
  were in the incubation stage but it took a critical
  mass and enough checks and balances to make
  the effort and energy and time worth the investment.

  one project was made to modify old handhelds to
  use as oscilloscopes and even microscopes in
  gradeschools, with power supplies. others had
  modified the old miniature computers that were
  now considered junk, into slideshow controllers
  for artists to show their digital works on the old
  VGA monitors, they could load 1,000 images or
  even a movie with various technologies, and
  show their work anywhere, but especially in
  the galleries that supported their works, not
  having to invest in more expensive technologies
  and they also took on the shareware approach,
  others remained freeware even to this late day.
  the companies trying to sell those custom art
  displays to museums vanished shortly after the
  idea took on momentum, and this helped to
  bring movies and animations, even to small
  screens with headphones, into traditional
  museum collections. though to really get a
  sense of it, they had an old decapitated LCD
  monitor on the wall cycling through a decade
  of Brad Brace's generous 12hr JPEG project.

  further, the old hamradio crews were here
  with rigs, and antique radio people with their
  vacuum tube setups, the old photography,
  videography, audio, electrical instruments,
  many hanging on the outer wall, some of
  them being swapped, others purchased,
  the networks of ideas now interconnected.

  it was something to behold turning to see
  rows and rows of the case-modders along
  with the vintage computer club people, with
  a display to rival any collection, and these
  were all local collections with people who
  were bringing their work into one context,
  to share and appreciate the others. nothing
  dominated, there were some books that were
  on display, some of the online personalities
  who did their feeds, and fed the community
  as a local and global node, but everything
  was also oddly equal in a way, unlike before.

  it was a disorienting space, and to turn in
  a circle it was too much to take in at once.
  it was almost as if a caravan had stopped
  in the warehouse for a brief stop-over. all
  the garage doors were opened up, and it
  was an architectural space that had cool
  air, good natural and artificial lighting, and
  a good feeling about it. supporters even
  found local vendors who supplied goods
  for a big party and feast for the community,
  while the police were given the okay to
  leave the place alone, just as any other
  corporate affair, and let people have fun.

  business was brisk at the booths for the
  purchasing of certain specific contents,
  such as primers on electronics, or the
  old parts to keep machines running. of
  the representatives of organizations and
  other businesses, they were in supporting
  roles for the networking, like a job fair but
  for bringing together ideas, it was a stop-
  gap for the lack of basic research to date,
  and it apparently was working as people
  were getting jobs, whether in educational
  institutions or elsewhere, at the same time
  as finding out about classes in electronics,
  learning MIDI, volunteer opportunities, it
  all seemed to be here. having made it
  to the opposite side of the building, missing
  the last wall, it was time to slip out back onto
  the sidewalk, hands full of information full
  of calendar dates, even a flash-memory
  card updated with contact information of
  everything seen, which can be hooked up
  when back home with the database PC.

  whatever the time, the new media machine
  did something to help found a new education.
  and things began to work again, for everyone.

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