Distributed Web of Care

Announcing DWC at Code Societies

by Taeyoon Choi

A class at Code Societies Winter 2019 at the School for Poetic Computation in New York City.

Distributed Web of Care is an initiative to code to care and code carefully. In this class there will engage in three different activities. First, we will investigate centralized, decentralized, distributed and peer to peer networks. We will analyze the popular technology platforms, focusing on its network infrastructure and terms of services. We will compare them with decentralized alternatives such as Dat Peer to Peer Protocol and Scuttlebutt. Second, we will take on performative exercises to explore the feeling of being in a network. We will learn to move around in physical space with strings in order to care, not control, each other. Lastly, we will imagine the kinds of network we want for the future and we will discuss how we can build it with code and code of conduct. We will distribute our code and code of conduct as zines in physical print and data, published with Dat.

Suggested readings

In class, we will use terminal, git and Dat. Please familiarize yourself with using the terminal. The class is based on a class from Summer 2018.


Intersections of Race – Gender – Environment – Disability justice


Step by step

  1. Getting set up
    • open up terminal, go to your project directory
    • mkdir datzines
    • cd datzines
    • install npm and node
    • npm install -g dat
  2. Cloning an archive
    • dat clone (Taeyoon’s archive unique hash – revealed in class)
    • cd (into the cloned folder)
    • ls (show files)
    • dat sync
    • Taeyoon will update the original archive. Students will see their files synchronizing.
  3. Making your own archive
    • cd ..
    • mkdir yourname_zine
    • cd yourname_zine
    • create zine.
    • touch inside.txt
    • nano inside.txt

Dat Zines

Guidelines for the zines, appropriated from ASCII Town Workshop by Mindy Seu.

File must include

Outside: (for cover of your zine)

Inside: (content of your zine)

For Outside:

For Inside:

Below your cover, write “Inside:” followed by a hard line break.


Code Societies

SFPC’s Code Societies, is a winter intensive session organized by Melanie Hoff. Code Societies will examine the ideological and corporeal attributes of computation; concentrating on the poetics and politics of culturally embedded software. How do different platforms and processes — including algorithms, data collection, social media, infrastructure, and interface — yield distinct modes of seeing, thinking, feeling, and reinforce existing systems of power? Through a balanced study of critical theory discussion and hands-on coding workshops, students will create small projects that explore and question these ideas.

Code Soceties complete syllabus

Further Reading on P2P Protocols

Dat Prototcol Guide SSB Protocol Guide

group photo

Distributed Web of Care is an initiative to code to care and code carefully.

The project imagines the future of the internet and consider what care means for a technologically-oriented future. The project focuses on personhood in relation to accessibility, identity, and the environment, with the intention of creating a distributed future that’s built with trust and care, where diverse communities are prioritized and supported.

The project is composed of collaborations, educational resources, skillshares, an editorial platform, and performance. Announcements and documentation are hosted on this site, as well as essays by select artists, technologists, and activists.

Distributed on Dat and GitHub.