NINE (9) SOCIAL SOFTWARE RESEARCH PROGRAMME
Mongrel’s most ambitious project of recent years was its social software development which began with the release of the “Linker” software system in 1999 and culminated with the release of “Nine(9)” in 2003. These works were among the first examples of multimedia authoring software designed by artists themselves for running collaborative arts projects that were sensitive to the cultural expressions of marginalised social groups. These two works alone resulted in invitations by arts organisations to run hundreds of workshops around the world and won numerous citations and awards.
“Nine(9)” is a “knowledge map,” which uses a grid of nine self-selected images to allow participants to easily create links to other images, sounds, video clips and text. Part of a larger grid of knowledge maps by up to 729 others (9 X 9 X 9), the networked maps become a communal knowledge map. As the critic Josephine Bosma has written about the project, ““Nine(9)”is kaleidoscopic and endless. The repeated maps of nine stories within nine images form a rhythmic visual metamap in which all borders meet like on a globe.” “Nine(9)” is designed for “people’s photos, memories, passions and politics.”
Nine(9) was developed over18 months of research at de Waag (the Society for Old and New Media) in Amsterdam. It was launched on 03.03.03 at ImagineIC and de Waag in Amsterdam. Since then Paul Keller and Jenny Wesley have been producing workshops continuously for ImagineIC, the main organisation in Holland highlighting the culture and identity of migrants. To date over 42 workshops have been conducted with 378 participants around the world.
Nine(9) sites currently include: