In a few months RTI had more computers than they knew what to do with, so they set up Access Space, a unique creative media lab, to which anyone can come and learn, create and communicate online. The methodology remains consistent. We work with zero-cost technology rescued from the trash, and free, open-source software that costs absolutely nothing. In this regard the group has become a pioneer - Access Space is the first public access internet laboratory to be run entirely with free software. Free technology is something which everyone can get involved with.
RTI continues to exhibit trash technology art (see phtograph) around the UK and across Europe, and campaigns to advocate low cost access to information technology. The people are still hungry for obsolete machines and run an ongoing campaign that asks businesses and individuals to donate computers that they no longer use. Through its Access Space RTI has demonstrated that any group can build their own online lab for no capital cost, using the technology that's being discarded in their local neighbourhood combined with free, open-source software. It's a strategy that's highly sustainable, extremely green, spreads empowering information technology skills, and best of all, and is creative and a lot of fun!
That's why their new project is called "Grow Your Own Media Lab!" It does exactly what it says: helps groups across the UK and further abroad to set up their own creative, community-based technology reuse projects, forming a grassroots network of ICT learning and techno-culture centres.
One of their present projects is the Open Source Embroidery project, which brings together programming for embroidery and computing. It is based on the common characteristics of needlework crafts and open source computer programming: gendered obsessive attention to detail; shared social process of development; and a transparency of process and product. Open Source Embroidery is a socially engaged art project developed through workshops and an email list: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/os-embroidery?hl=en. There are also groups on Facebook and Flickr.
Blog Posting Number: 865
Tags: redundant technology