participation in Transmediale 2020

Photo during talk Seven Theses On the Fediverse
Photo during talk Seven Theses On the Fediverse

Photo by Adam Berry (CC BY-SA 4.0)

As part of Transmediale 2020: End-To-End I’ve participated in a talk, a panel and three workshops.

a talk

The talk was a high-speed 20 minute executive summary of Seven Theses on the Fediverse and the Becoming of F/LOSS. This was part of the panel session Deplatformization and the Ethics of Exclusion.

a panel

Exchange #4: Deplatformization and the Ethics of Exclusion Roel Roscam Abbing, Marie-Luise Angerer, Johanna Bruckner, Rachel O’Dwyer, Eva Haifa Giraud, Kei Kreutler, Aymeric Mansoux

Moderated by Rachel O’Dwyer

Against the totality of networks, how does one politicize relations and account for exclusion? In this session, media researcher Eva H. Giraud identifies exclusion, rather than entanglement, as an important means for activist intervention. Artist-researchers Roel Roscam Abbing and Aymeric Mansoux likewise critique universal openness in their analysis of an emerging internet infrastructure created by and for users: the Fediverse.

three workshops

weebs, programmers, horny people, gamers, lgbt: the fediverse
weebs, programmers, horny people, gamers, lgbt: the fediverse

Together with Aymeric Mansoux, Lídia Pereira and Liaizon Wakest we organized several workshops that introduced participants to the Fediverse.

Welcome to the Federation. the What, Why and How of Alternative Social Media

We know and repeatedly analyze a host of issues with commercial social media, but little attention is paid to efforts toward building alternative models for social media. This workshop is about exploring and understanding one such effort, known as the Fediverse.

Fediverse is a combination of the terms federation and universe. It is a common name for interoperating social platforms running on Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) on a myriad of servers across places and cultures. The main difference between the Fediverse and commercial social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on), is that the vast majority are community-run and highly participatory.

This means that anyone can take part in the development, maintenance, and growth of the Fediverse. While commercial social media concentrate millions of users on their servers, these federated systems are designed to be run by anybody and for any purpose. This radically challenges the way we relate to the social media platforms that we use and depend on. It also opens up possibilities to work toward less harmful social platforms. Does it mean the Fediverse has solved everything? No. Definitely not. It’s complicated and messy, but at least nobody from the Fediverse will pretend otherwise. Currently the Fediverse is the most active network laboratory to discuss and experiment with these issues, and if this is a topic of interest for you, you should join the conversation!

Welcome to the Federation is a workshop and Q&A session for people new to or already part of the Fediverse. We will cover concepts such as the server-client model; o-line federation; discussions of different servers and communities; and last but not least allow those new to the idea to sign up on the Fediverse. The workshops also deal with how to run or join a Fediverse community, the challenges of federated social networking, and the wider impact the Fediverse has on free software production and its culture. The workshops are meant to be informal and semi-structured to allow for different levels of engagement and experience from the participants, but will nonetheless offer a high level of understanding.