Found it! is an occasional blog series by ArtsPond Founder, Jessa Agilo. In this article, Jessa shares emergent perspectives on digital justice inspired by beehives.
As the nights of winter begin to deepen, we are drawn to look back at the incredibly lush and grounding learnings that have come from the past year and how they are seeding and shaping what is to come.
The image shared below is one example of what is emerging out of these strange pandemic times. It comes from the sphere of digital justice thanks to our fantastic team at Together There. Digital justice is a very complex and intersectional topic. We have tried to design a simple framework to help guide conversation and provide containers for the collective wisdom of our communities. The endlessly intersecting structures and sustenance of hexagon-shaped beehives are our inspiration.
The first layer of the hive visualized here is the realm of the “Hs”: Harming, Hindering, Hacking, and Helping. To what degree are digital tools, platforms, and infrastructure deeply harming the sustainability and vitality of our lives, communities and the planet? What other aspects are hindering and frustrating us? What types of actions are hacking these harms and annoyances? What steps or solutions are available to help fundamentally change the system and care for our communities?
In the coming year, we will be producing knowledge resources, launching beta technologies, and hosting events that will dive into these questions and more. Example topics are included in the image above for all four of the H’s, such as:
+ Algorithms of oppression: Stories of erasure
+ Environmental impacts of technology in the arts
+ AI-generated content: Is it harmful or helpful (or just annoying)?
+ Eating up time: The lost lives of social media
+ Small hacks, big hearts: Acts of everyday digital resistance (and resilience)
+ Signs of inclusion: Deaf internet culture
+ Platform coops: Shared profit and ownership of technology
+ Educating youth: Indigenous game designers
Like a beehive, the fuller framework we have been working on includes many other layers expanding organically in all dimensions inside, between, behind, above, below, and alongside the H layer. Not included in the visualisation above, these other layers include K, Y, C, P, L, G, X, and many more.
We are looking forward to sharing all of those with you in the new year. As a taste, L stands for Life and whether references are situated in or impacting real life (IRL), dream life (DRL), virtual life (URL), or natural life in the environment (NRL). The P layer is for distinguishing Populations, including people (individuals), publics (communities), places (spaces inbetween or that combine multitudes of individuals and publics), or the planet (ecologies and systems). The K layer is for what we refer to as the seedlings of the Knowledge/Wisdom tree, including knowledge seeking, knowledge sensemaking, knowledge shaping/sharing, and knowledge stewarding. The C layer includes the Connecting lenses of caregiving, caretaking, cocreating, and changemaking.
Overall, the H layer serves as the heart of hope for the framework. Particular segments from any combination of layers are possible in three and four-dimensional space, stacking and crystallizing together to create DNA-like honeycombs of story and sweet nourishment.
In the meantime, we hope you have a joyful and rejuvenating holiday season. All of the support and care you provide to our communities keeps us going!