Civil Sandbox

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This was the first document I wrote that people started to see what I was trying to do. It was finished in October 2002, before the ist2002 brainstorm document

Social (Network, People, Community)
Computing (System, Process, Result)

The Social Computer is a potentially revolutionary thematic arts research project. The theme of Social Computing aims to suggest a platform for many different forms of interaction technologies, network arts and collaborative research.

The Four Cases
A Europe-wide network production based around new digital music/arts
A Thematic Network Research Institute (A Social Computer Building)
A Social Intranet (As a municipal public facility)
A high profile Network-Arts research festival within a huge arts centre

The aim of the programme is to give a wide variety of people an exciting platform to interact and encourage dialogue with people who they would not normally encounter. We hope that these projects can be an exciting way forward to combine many different threads of research/ideas creation so that they will have the social impact that they deserve. The scope of the subject in philosophical, technical, municipal, informational, commercial, artistic varieties is quite phenomenal and mainly limited by ones own awareness of the possibilities (much like a real computer).


The Social Computer is:

A catalyst for Science, Education, Arts, Philosophy, Technology, Commerce Ideasµ

A computer designed to stimulate and facilitate proactive, multidisciplinary interaction between many social layers

A ‘healthy’ commercial system to process, and support the generation of new thoughts and ideas

A large scale networking platform, designed to create a broad feasibility study into potential applications

A social ‘hardware acceleration’ experiment


Each case study previewed here, is a different take on the computer metaphor. Each is designed to be a redefinition of current systems. Each innovative and potent in its own right, these projects all benefit greatly from the common theme and strategic knowledge development ability.

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  1. I have long been an advocate for end user led innovation, especially in IT. Currently private vendors and a select group of insiders are the only ones privy to the inner workings of voter tabulation software, both its processes and disconcerting loopholes.

    I feel the Open Source movement and community, as well as artist with an eye on a larger vision- could well be key.

    The open source standards stand to help restore credibility to our political process by working with it to develop a better solution that people can openly participate in and comment on.

    For these reasons, I remain a supporter of this project Pras is developing.

    My blog post on Questions I have related to this issue can be found here:http://culturalfusion.gaia.com/blog/2008/10/art_and_politics-_an_alternative_to_protest_art

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