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The Digital Prepper Toolkit (With Sarah Grant & Rosa Menkman)

“Since our everyday reality is no longer separate from our digital reality, a better digital future actually just means a better future. Although we are not entirely optimistic, we do want to offer ways to empower and prepare for this.”

In this black and white image, Rosa Menkman is pictured on the left. Her image has visual glitches, she has white skin and white hair. Sarah Grant is pictured on the right. She has pronounced features, such as cheekbones and a short black fringe. Her skin is also white.
Sarah Grant, Rosa Menkman

Rapid Response Project 

The artists Grant and Menkman’s Digital Prepper Toolkit is a project in support of self-reliance in the event of a digital crisis — or when no infrastructure or social platforms can be trusted by the public. The Toolkit can serve as an alternative to existing digital platforms and would come with extensive documentation, suggested deployments and how-tos, and could be tailored for different types of digital crises taking place in varying spaces.

Digital Crisis  Digital Prepper Toolkit

The Digital Crisis Toolkit offers a set of tools that promotes self-reliance and therefore self-authority and less dependence over top down, imposed platforms. The toolkit is an emergency first aid kit for dealing with times when online access is compromised, providing at minimum local connectivity over ideally peer-to-peer connections and including applications for staying in communication and sharing information.

Practically, this requires us to ask which crises can we prepare for? What types of digital crises can we imagine, including government sponsored network outages, content filtering and site blocking, and network access restrictions. Is there a way to categorise these different types of digital crises, from those caused by natural and man-made accidents or power outages, to targeted hyper-surveillance, censorship, and even astroturfing?

You can visit the toolkit here, and feel free to take their survey, which further supports Grant’s and Menkman’s research.

About Collaborators

Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant is an American media artist and educator based in Berlin. She is the Visiting Professor of New Media at Kunsthochschule Kassel with a focus on radio art and computer networking. In her practice she researches and develops open source software, artworks as educational tools, and workshops that demystify computer networking and radio technology. She also organizes the Radical Networks conference in New York and Berlin, a community event and arts festival for social justice activations, critical investigations, and creative experiments in telecommunications.

Rosa Menkman

Rosa Menkman’s work focuses on noise artifacts that result from accidents in both analogue and digital media (such as glitch and encoding and feedback artifacts). The resulting artifacts of these accidents can facilitate an important insight into the otherwise obscure alchemy of standardization via resolutions.

Through her research, which is both practice based and theoretical, she uncovers these anti-utopic, lost and unseen or simply “too good to be implemented” resolutions — to produce new ways to use and perceive through and with our technologies.

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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