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9 (Nine) (Harwood, Graham), 2003

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anywhere at all. Those who did manage to use it found themselves faced with an unsolved mystery, which could be nothing but a joke, or some weird failing advertisement campaign or even an art project. However they interpreted it, they did become engaged in an art project, which extended from the still relatively open roads of the real world into the would-be public domain of the World Wide Web.


Mongrel is an artists' collective consisting of Matsuko Yokokoji, Mervin Jarman, Richard Pierre Davis and Graham Harwood. They make installations, produce software, texts and CD-ROMs, and give workshops. In an interview, Graham Harwood explains: «Mongrel is a mixed bunch of people working to celebrate the methods of London street culture. It was set up with the people who helped make «Rehearsal of Memory,» which is a CD-ROM made with patients/prisoners of Ashworth, a top Security Mental Hospital». [13] On its Website Mongrel say about themselves and their workshop participants: «It is our job in the workshop to unravel motivation: ours for wanting to do the


workshop and theirs for wanting to participate.»

Everything Mongrel does evolves around audience participation on a deep level. Their work fits both in the category of physical interface and software in this context, but I always have found their dedication to establishing connections with people through physical meetings and education the most intriguing. The Mongrel approach to social, cultural and political systems or structures is deconstructive and experimental. Harwood again: «We are dedicated to defeating the self-image of societies in which it is usual to presume those involved in ‹intellectual pursuits,› and those attending ‹culturally prestigious events› are far above the mundanity of political conflict.» [14]

Mongrel seem to be looking for new views of the world and new languages to describe them. Their radical attitude is present in the tools they design, and consequently their workshops cannot help but be radically different from the average commercial software workshop. For instance «(9) Nine,» a piece of software developed when Graham Harwood was artist in residence at De Waag, Amsterdam, was designed to enable people who know very little about computers

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