Research by Kelly Palfrey

Larisa Blazic

Screenshot of Larisa Blazic work
Image courtesy of Larisa Blazic.

We asked Larisa if the limitations of the P2P network format of the exhibition made her think differently about her practice…

“It was rather nice to think how small a file size can be, whilst still retaining communication qualities such as coherence. Also, I’ve started with some old JavaScript experiments with a lot of text (from Pirate Care Syllabus), experimenting with typography and animated text, but as the play/production went on, the animal emojis from Pirate Care Syllabus became the focal point and the main vehicle through which motion, colour, and layout connect. The rest is a jumble, a mash-up of old & found html+CSS.”

Larisa Blazic is a London based digital artisan, educator and feminist hacker with practice ranging from to Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) art and design. Since the 90s, she has explored a range of emerging technologies and their impact on online publishing, moving images in public space, collective creativity and participation through work exhibited nationally, internationally and online.

Daniel Sean Kelly

Photo of Daniel Kelly work
An Accident in the Library, Oil on Board, 2021, courtesy of Daniel Sean Kelly.

Daniel Sean Kelly is contributing work unlike anything he’s created before to Careful Networks. Below he shares how he approached this.

“Making something for ‘Careful Networks’ has encouraged me to work in ways that are outside of my usual approaches. The specific formations of thought and being inherent to online space are conceptually present throughout my work in more traditional media, but I have never made a work designed to be digitally-native. The solving of this problem has opened up new avenues of thought and enquiry, and helped me to realise links between different strands of my research.”

Daniel Sean Kelly is an artist based in Leicester. Working largely in painting and ceramics, his practice is concerned with the speculative and political potential of adjacent realities accessed through fiction, theory and image making. He has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally. He is an alumnus of the free, alternative postgraduate programme The School of the Damned and a graduate of MA Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Ailie Rutherford

Line drawing by Ailie Rutherford
Image courtesy of Ailie Rutherford.

Ailie will also be sharing some of her own writing alongside this work, here’s a glimpse of what’s to come...

"When I tell folk that I don’t use social media much, that I’m not on Instagram and have never used Whatsapp they often call me a Luddite. They might be right. The term has come to mean people who fear or don’t understand technology, a continuation of the capitalist mantra that anyone who doesn’t turn a blind eye to exploitative labour practices and an extractive economy is just slow in the uptake. But the Luddites weren’t afraid of technology, they just cared deeply about the way technology was being deployed and understood the wider implications and cycles of exploitation inherent in industrialisation. Women spinners in Scotland threatened to set the mills on fire. Because they cared.”

Ailie is a visual artist working at the intersection of community activism and creative practice. Her collaborative artworks bring people together in conversations about our social and economic landscape using print, performance, sci-fi visioning, games and technology as playful means to work through difficult questions and radically rethink our shared futures.

Samiir Saunders

Screen capture of HTML poem by Samiir Saunders
Image courtesy of Samiir Saunders.

Below Samiir shares some of their thoughts on creating work for a P2P network.

“The 2MB file size limit was what first caught my attention. File size is something that I don’t think about nearly enough when creating work. The limitations I tend to focus on are often those which can be tangibly observed and felt by my body, namely: specific poetic forms; the duration of the piece; the aspect ratio; etc. However, file size is a limitation tangibly observed and felt by the computer, and indeed by the environment, affecting both a work’s sustainability and its accessibility. It has been an illuminating process building this perspective into the creation of the work itself.”

Samiir Saunders is a queer, Black, mixed-media poet based in Birmingham. Their work consists of digital poetry, spoken word, experimental hip-hop, and poetry films. Samiir’s artworks examine the tension between a desire to communicate authentically and the limitations of digital technology (and indeed, of language itself), whilst also finding a space for playfulness and the acceptance of ambiguity.

Nisa Khan

Still from Make My Bell Ring
Make My Bell Ring, 2021 Image courtesy of Nisa Khan.

Below Nisa shares some thoughts on her work, sources of inspiration and making work for the P2P network.

“My practice unpicks multiculturalism by investigating embedded cultural codes and exposing unpleasant, crude, familiar and unfamiliar elements of my British-Pakistani heritage. I am interested in humour and its role in representations. Informing as a cultural insider, I re-present alternative representations of the working-class, British-Pakistani woman as one who is aware of her sexuality and presents her unique femininity, which challenges notions of hyperbolic femininity, male-gaze, and Western perceptions of the brown body. The P2P exhibition is an opportunity to push my research of global Pakistani Mujra (dance) performances in an underground network which is representative of contemporary Mujra.”

Nisa Khan is a multi-disciplinary artist from Derby who is a recipient of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021 award. As part of the award her work ‘Have you been sat there plucking your fanny hair’ is currently being exhibited at Firstsite, Colchester and will tour the South London Gallery. Khan is currently studying an MA in Fine Art as UAL’s Chelsea College of Arts, where her work ‘The Browns Head out of Town’ was shown at Tate Britain’s Late at Tate (online).

Nye Thompson

Still from UNINVITED
UNINVITED film still: Relaxing > Clinic’ (2020) by Nye Thompson and UBERMORGEN. Image courtesy of the artists.

“As an artist one of the things that really fascinates me is the way that software and network architectures affect social interaction and the ways in which we conceptualise the world. My approach to this commission has been to use an ancient technology which also generated radical new networks as a way to think about the dynamics of this intriguing new P2P protocol.”

Nye is known for her experimental software architectures exploring network-embedded power dynamics and machinic visions of the world. In 2016 her first solo show was described by C4 News as “too shocking to broadcast”, becoming global clickbait and triggering an international government complaint. Since then she’s exhibited at venues including Tate Modern, The Barbican, The V&A, ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica and The Louvre. She’s been called "the new Big Brother" (Vogue) and "a contemporary Jacques Cousteau" (Bob & Roberta Smith).

Tom Sansome

The general idea around building this P2P exhibition for me was that it would exist as a minimally styled plinth for the artist’s work to be displayed. Technically, we use a single CSS (styling) and Javascript (functionality) file to make sure all pages look and function the same, which the artists also host as part of the show. Ultimately this has meant adding work to these pages has been a simple process because the hard work was done by creating a template to support multiple types of media (images, audio, video, links, 3d models, etc). The process of this build has been a back-and-forth between Mateus Domingos (Phoenix) and myself which has resulted in multiple shared code repositories hosted on Github.

Tom is a Web Developer working at Octopus Energy UK. With over 10 years experience, Tom has been building all kinds of projects from online art exhibitions, to account dashboards for over 2 million energy customers. Tom lives and works remotely from his home in Leicester, UK.