The Neighborhood Will Not Be Streamed
Possibilities and Impossibilities of an online/offline social network
Whereas terms like political participation and citizen involvement are getting increasingly intertwined with ICT usage, the gap between digital natives and strangers is widening. The Digital as promise and cure is increasingly challenged regarding its contribution towards the emergence of stable/resilient and meaningful communities – that are characterized through rich discourses and face-to-face encounters and stand in opposition to a restrictive like-and-comment culture.
In our talk, we are going to recount some of the quarrels and failures, some of the beliefs and potentials as well as some of the successes and learnings that we experienced during the process of Neighborhood Labs, a project run by the Design Research Lab (UdK) in Berlin. In this project we are developing a sociomaterial, in parts technologically mediated infrastructure aiming at political and social empowerment. We are working on digital and analogue means for creating publics in the Deweyan sense - in a Berlin neighborhood where a good amount of the inhabitants never touched an ICT device in their lives.
This presentation mirrors our approach of practice-led-research, a hybrid and experimental way of doing and reflecting without the determining demand to create final solutions. It will thus by no means deliver final results or generalizable answers, but rather aim at pointing out the difficulties, controversies and paradoxes in order to invite interested minds to discuss, question and collaborate.