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Graham Harwood (Mongrel)
«Nine(9)» has been fermenting in Mongrel's pot over the last four years. It has developed out of Mongrels everywhere getting on with it and with each other: none more so then the peoples of Amsterdam and of the Bijlmer in particular where Mongrel have been doing a residency for the last two years with the Waag Society.
«Nine(9)» can be said to have two main trajectories. Primarily it is software built by and for those of us locked out of the narrowly engineered subjectivity of mainstream software. It is software which asks itself what kind of currents, what kind of machine, numerical, social and other dynamics it feeds in and out of, and what others it can help bring into being?
The second vector is related to this. It is software that is directly born, changed and developed as the result of an ongoing sociability between users and programmers in which demands are made on the practices of coding that exceed their easy fit into standardised social relations.
These two threads interweave in most cases. It is how they do so, how their multiple elements are brought into communication and influence that determines their level of success.
«Nine (9)» can most usefully be understood to work in these terms. It is a socio-technical pact between users of certain forms of license, language, cultures and environment. The various forms of its freeness or openness are being developed as part of the various rhythms of the life of this software; its production and critical engagement with the process of permission. «Nine (9)» requires and takes part in new social machines to spawn its codes, to diffuse and manage its development and implementation.
Quote from Mongrel's homepage:
«Nine(9) is a Mongrel-engineered non-commercial piece of software art, available on the internet. It is experimental and the product of people who like to make technologies for their own purposes and then share them. It is in constant development and refinement, and is offered with absolutely no warranty whatsoever.
Nine(9) requires the user to create or choose their own images, sounds, video clips and text. Once this is done, Nine(9) uses the nine map_images as it's base and creates a layout or knowledge_map with them. From this initial layout, the software enables you to create links to sounds, images, text, video clips and also to other parts of your own map and/or other peoples knowledge_maps.
An experimental Nine(9)=>Server is running at 9.waag.org amongst other spaces. MongrelSoft hope, that as the project stabalises. We will see Nine(9)'s appearing all across the internet.
Contact info@Mongrelx.org for details of how to put up a Nine(9)=>Server.
Nine(9)=> why we built it:
The Nine(9) software is an online extension of the mongrel project Linker. Nine(9) and the Linker grew out of what Mongrel does in workshops: our dialogues with other mongrels. We work with people who are not experts but have something to say and not much technical experence of the internet.
The way the workshops run is based around the structure of Nine(9). There will always be one or more computers running the program - hooked up to the internet. Then other machines will be busy getting material into it. A video camera and some cheap digital cameras produce the still or moving images.
Sound comes in direct from video or via the computer's external mic. A simple sound edit program can be used to edit and add effects. The text is typed directly onto the machine. Other stuff can come off the net, CDs, wherever.»