• MAZI means together: An open-source “minimal computing” local community network for cultural event organisation, fieldwork research and digital curatorial practices

    Alexis Brailas, Elli Leventaki, Mariana Ziku (see profile)
    Stavroula Maglavera, John Mavridis
    Computer science, Cultural property, Data curation, Digital humanities, Digital media
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    DH2020 carrefours/intersections
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Ottawa, Carleton University
    Conf. Loc.:
    Conf. Date:
    22-24 July 2020
    community networks, fieldwork research, minimal computing, Open Source, Cultural heritage, Digital curation
    Permanent URL:
    The emergence of Community Networks (CNs) and DIT (Do-It-Together) minimal computing ecosystems has resulted in technological solutions that enhance community connectivity and digital inclusion. The case is made for the cultural uses of local network infrastructures that combine wireless technology, low-cost hardware, and free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) applications. Based on these features, the toolkit MAZI (“together” in Greek) has been deployed for creating pop-up local wi-fi zones independent from the internet, that enable digital interactions of communities within a low physical proximity coverage range. In this context, the focus is to explore the cultural-technological intersectionality of local community networks and its affordances as useful infrastructures for alternative curatorial practices, humanities research and participative processes. The applied cases presented here include the use of the toolkit MAZI for: i. Media exchange, audience communication and voting in a cross-cultural Balkan event ii. Collaborative commenting and anonymous participation in community-based fieldwork research iii. Digital exhibition hosting and community-based curation with added content The above cases are examples of physical proximity community networking platforms that have adjusted and utilized the open-source applications of the MAZI toolkit (NextCloud, Etherpad, LimeSurvey and Wordpress) in different cultural settings, mounting the toolkit on a low-sized hardware with minimal computing capabilities (Raspberry Pi). The objectives of ICT-enabled local networking as a research, curatorial and communication tool within the scope of humanities, digital scholarship and the GLAM sector, can be directed to foster new participatory curatorial forms, the digital documentation of transient -off the internet- community knowledge sharing and inspiring alternative experiences of the locality and commonality.
    The use of community networks (FLOSS hardware/software) in cultural settings has been explored within the framework of the working group “Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Media” of the History of Art Laboratory, School of Fine Arts in the University of Ioannina, Greece.
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


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