A report from Digital Futures and Rebooting the Digital Commons

Learning and Interpretation
May 14, 2015

It has been nearly three years since our first Digital Futures meetup at the V&A; the programme was initiated in 2012 as an open platform for displaying and discussing work by researchers, artists, designers, companies and other professionals working with art, technology, design, science and beyond.  The Digital Futures sessions have been bringing together people from different backgrounds and disciplines with a view to generating future collaborations, but it is also a platform for networking and creative exchange.

Since our first event, Digital Futures has welcomed to the sessions brilliant people and exciting work from students and researchers to artists, designers, theorists, scientists and other professionals, exploring the impact of technology in society and culture and focussing on areas such as internet of things, open data, maker culture, e-waste, value, identity, activism and many more.

Digital Futures Urban Open Space, May 2013. Urban Open Space was developed in collaboration with the Met Office, NASA SpaceApps, UP London Imperial College, Royal College of Art and Product Research Studio at the University of Dundee.​
Digital Futures Urban Open Space, May 2013. Urban Open Space was developed in collaboration with the Met Office, NASA SpaceApps, UP London Imperial College, Royal College of Art and Product Research Studio at the University of Dundee.​

Since October 2014 the Digital Futures programme is being co-curated by SPACE and hosted at The White Building, an incubator for discursive and innovative thought, that serves as a testing ground and creative lab for artists and creatives whose work engages with technology.

Some highlights from the sessions that have taken place at The White Building since October include the Money No Object series with Heidi Hinder, initiating discussions and presenting projects on the future of currency and value as well as prototyping sessions exploring alternative exchange systems and currencies. You can find out more about how the project developed at the V&A on some previous posts on the blog: https://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/tag/money-no-object

MONEY NO OBJECT, Heidi Hinder (c) Jonathan Rowley
MONEY NO OBJECT, Heidi Hinder (c) Jonathan Rowley

Another popular event we had in autumn 2014 was Digital Futures: Disobedient Objects, which coincided with the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the V&A. The event included a showcase and a very interesting (and heated!) panel discussion with contributions by Michaela Crimmin, Nina Power, Tobias Revell, Marco Monterzino among others exploring the role of technology, making and DIY media in activism and social change.

The Ark of Many Voices, Marco Monterzino
The Ark of Many Voices, Marco Monterzino

Our most recent session, Self Versioning: exploring the potentials of the digital self, which took place in March, presented work by artists who explore and test the boundaries of self representation in our age of networked culture; the discussion brought together artists such as Erica Scourti, Camille Baker, Alisa Leimane, Christina Papagiannouli, EJ Major, Stacey Pitsillides and Pete Wardle.

openFrameworks lab by Hellicar & Lewis
openFrameworks lab by Hellicar & Lewis

Our next meetup, Rebooting the Digital Commons, coincides with ‘All of This Belongs to You’ , and it is looking at how open technologies and open source communities are driving civic awareness, innovation and social change.

The event will bring together a group of artists, designers, researchers and theorists to share their work and engage in an informal discussion. Some of the people taking part include: Sarah Gold, designer working with civic design, emerging digital infrastructures, data architectures and digital tools for a more democratic society, Ele Carpenter, curator, writer and researcher in politicised art and social networks of making,  John Bingham-Hal, Researcher, Theatrum Mundi, a professional network of urbanists and artists in different cities; a forum for cross-disciplinary discussion about cultural and public space in the city,  Bhavani Esapathi, Writer & Speaker on Digital Innovation within the Arts, and more to be confirmed.

Digital Futures: Rebooting the Digital Commons is taking place on Tuesday 26 May, from 16.00-20.00 at The White Building, Queen’s Yard White Post Lane, #Unit 7, E9 5EN London

The event is free to attend and drop-in.


2 comments so far, view or add yours


Hello I am extremely excited about digital futures.
It has been listed as Tuesday 26th of May.

I am confused because today is the 26th but today is not tuesday!
Please tell me if it is actually being held today?
Thankyou, Oli

Hi Oli,
I’m afraid that you have come across a post from last year so you have missed the session mentioned here. However, Digital Futures continues to run regular meetups, talks and displays so please do come along! The programme doesn’t run during the summer but the next session will be on Saturday, 5 November here at the V&A.
Alex Flowers

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