“Listening to Firefox” – presenters

“Listening to Firefox” is finally here! After months of planning and organising, our inaugural North West salon/meet-up for discussion across “wider implications of software culture” is happening at 2pm Sunday 15th of May over at Manchester’s MadLab.

5 practitioners have been invited to present extremely short (<3mins) single-slide examples of work across a spectrum of digital-art-technology. From there, the emphasis moves to an open and critically aware roundtable discussion of the wider implications of this practice:


Stephen Fortune – Data and Reality


Markus Soukup -  relicts / 2011

John O’Shea – Open Source Swan Pedalo

Nick Holloway – UK libraries cuts map

Caroline Heron – “Precarious Labour”


Listening to Firefox exists to create a space for open and engaged discussion across a spectrum of digital-art-technology practice with an emphasis on the social, cultural and political implications of this work.  This inaugural event has been co-organised by John O’Shea, Simon Poulter and Hwa Young Jung at MadLab.


1 Comment

  1. Pete says:

    Hey, so John sent me an email about this thing and then kind of asked me to say a little bit in relation to some thoughts on precarity that I mentioned elsewhere on the internet.

    Computers have made a special sort of working environment that is sometimes referred to as the “knowledge economy”, but a flip side to this is referred to as the “attention economy”. Are they the same thing?

    I’m pretty confused by a lot of digital art these days, after studying it at a post-graduate level, as it seems the level of technological engagement that artists dreamed about in the 80s and 90s has come about now. Truly, we live in an age of technological marvels, where
    almost everybody can have a locative-aware art project in their pocket. But I’m not seeing a lot of projects that move beyond that same “new media art”-crowd fascination with location, sound or image being manipulated by computer (although that might just be me not looking hard enough).

    For me, a constant problem with using computers is pulling myself away from what I should be doing and distracting myself. The internet made this stupidly easy, but I was already fairly gifted. I’m starting to
    think that, as the new-ness of the internet wears off, we’re going to have cultural ways of dealing with the overstimulation that it can offer.The idea of voluntarily limiting internet access is turning up
    in self-help writing as a way of valuing your attention span.

    What does this have to do with precarity? Well, maybe the pixel-stained peasants of the knowledge economy don’t want to be constantly shuffling between websites for both work and play. As computing becomes more portable, and we move away from the beige-computer-in-an-office as the site of internet access, to mobile-phone-in-pocket-wherever-we-are, the it’s easier to grasp the fact that an hour spent online researching (say) the muntjac population of the UK is an hour not enjoying something else, something in the real world. And when your job is a collection of part-time gigs
    that can take you away from real-life at short notice, thanks to a call from a temping agency, maybe it’s best to cultivate an enjoyment of the things around you when you can get at them.

    I don’t know how artists, focused on using technology in their practice, can call attention to the effects of technology on people. I think it’s one of a range of areas where digital-art-technology practice breaks down, like trying to deconstruct the semiotics of operating systems. Merely by using these things you are already implicit in the system, like me, spending twenty minutes typing on a Sunday morning when I could be doing something much more fun.

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