necessitate vast public trust. They advance ideals of transparency, while simultaneously becoming more arcane to an increasingly dependent and precarious user-base. Artists, community organizers and their extended networks find themselves in a unique position: while able to benefit from the adoption of such technologies, and bring accountability to them, they are also populations highly susceptible to the unseen ramifications of tech at scale (blockchain, web 3.0, social media, deep-fakes, AI, gamification). In this way, we see our role as resident non-experts as key to an investigation of emergent technology’s social impacts. Toward that end, we have sourced questions and input from communities we see as particularly interested in, and vulnerable to, this rapidly-shifting technological landscape. Using this insight, our own curiosity and research as artists working with new technologies, we’re convening thematic discussions amongst ourselves that will be documented, augmented, and annotated here as a media-rich archive, unfolding over the coming weeks.
As our conversations and reflections evolve, so will this document. Whenever possible, media, texts, links, and other content are attributed to their owner, platform or found origin. Each conversation is accompanied by a selection of texts that serve as a loose primer for the topics, technologies and themes discussed. We encourage perusing the media and texts any way that you wish, entering into the archive wherever you desire, and returning for more additions, edits and complications as the project continues to evolve.
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Frictionless: Holding on for Dear Life is a collaborative artistic research project by DB Amorin, Tabitha Nikolai, and Ralph Pugay. Produced in residency with Center for Art Research at University of Oregon, the project is included in “Habits of Denial”, a series of programs featuring research, exhibitions, and public programs around the broad theme of “access” curated by Tiffany Harker and Iris Williamson, CFAR’s 2021-22 Curators-in-Residence. Programs are made possible by the Ford Family Foundation.
Digital Land Acknowledgement
The creators of this project are located across what is now known as the United States of America on the stolen lands of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Watlala bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya (aka Portland, Or), and Wappinger, Canarsie, Munsee Lenape, and Matinecock (aka New York City) among many many others. The platforms and infrastructure that host this long-distance collaboration (and the countless long-distance collaborations that make up life under information age capitalism) exist across multitudinous physically distributed sites across the world, using extracted materials from places spread further still–the cloud is not intangible. The creators of this project support indigenous sovereignty and view the resource extraction of rare and common earth elements used in digital technologies as part of an ongoing history of colonialism.
You can learn more about indigenous territories in many places across the globe here:
You can learn more about the struggle for indigenous sovereignty in America here: https://landback.org/
You can begin to learn more about the intersection of technological resource extraction and indigenous sovereignty here: https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/indigenous-peoples-livelihoods-risk-scramble-lithium-new-white-gold