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THE PARTICIPATORY CHALLENGE

By Rhizome

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hands-on guidelines

"This essay is about participation in online collaborations and the potentials of extreme sharing networks in the unregulated commons. Current debates focus too much on what social tools can do and not enough on the people who use them. Motivations of the multitudes who add content to online environments matter a great deal. What follows here are hands-on guidelines and an outline of preconditions for online participation. Terms like: involvement, turn taking, network, feedback, or distributed creativity (1) are frequently applied to characterise this kind of social and cultural interaction. Today, people do not merely browse the web. Instead they give away information, expertise, and advice without monetary compensation. They submit texts, code, music, images, and video files in settings that allow for such contributions. They also re-mix each other's content. Thousands voluntarily participate in open encyclopedias, social bookmarking sites, friend-of-a-friend networks, media art projects and blogs or wikis. This exemplifies the growing interest in technologies of cooperation. Swarms of users/producers form extreme sharing networks, supporting their goal to lead fullfilled and engaged lives.

This broad cultural context of increased content provision facilitated by the World Wide Web is the precondition for the emerging paradigm of the artist as cultural context provider, who is not chiefly concerned with contributing content to her own projects. Instead, she establishes configurations into which she invites others. She blurs the lines between the artist, theorist, and curator. However, it is surprising how little emphasis has been placed on the subtle motivations for taking part in participatory projects." From THE PARTICIPATORY CHALLENGE by Trebor Scholz [from: Krysa, J., ed. (2006) DATA Browser 03. Curating immateriality. The work of the curator in the age of network systems. Autonomedia: New York.] Trebor Scholz 2006 Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5.

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