Blog Post

Kickstarter for Local Autonomy Networks - Crowdfunding

Kickstarter for Local Autonomy Networks - Crowdfunding

Hello beloved HASTAC Community, 

I wasn't sure if I should post this here, but at Fiona's generous encouragement... I'd like to announce my first Kickstarter fundraising campaign. I think this is theoretically relevant to HASTAC as a demonstration of how digital networks are transforming parts of the economy by facilitating crowdsourced funding. Consider the claim that this year Kickstarter will distribute more money than the National Endowment for the Arts. This claim has been questioned by the LA Times, but it raises an interesting possibilty. The question becomes, is Kickstarter another example of neoliberal shifts away from public services, or a more utopian model for democratic funding of projects based on merit? Whichever it is, I'm conducting my own Kickstarter experiment to see if it can help fill the gaps in my own artistic budget left by other granting agencies. 

Please, please donate if you can and help spread the word. I don't think this is going to be a Kickstarter that gets a story in the New York Times, since a project to use wearable electronic clothing to prevent violence against women, LGBTQI people and people of color, with a prison abolitionist theoretical framework seems a bit radical for their taste. But, the model of using networks to fund a project designed to create networks and build autonomy makes a lot of sense to me. 


Please donate and help me spread the word!!! We have 15 days to raise $5000

Local Autonomy Networks (Autonets) is a line of mesh networked electronic clothing with the goal of building autonomous local networks that don’t rely on corporate infrastructure to function, inspired by community based, anti-racist, prison abolitionist responses to gendered violence. The project is focused on creating networks of communication to increase community autonomy and reduce violence against women, LGBTQI people, people of color and other groups who continue to survive violence on a daily basis. The Autonets garments, when activated, will alert everyone in range of the the local mesh network who is wearing another autonet garment that someone needs help and will indicate that person’s direction and distance.

Local Autonomy Networks: Find Each Other is a collaboration between Micha Cárdenas, PhD student in Media Arts and Practice at the University of Southern California, Allison Wyper, Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, UCLA, Natalie Rosen and Claire Viele. We need funding to support the production of 12 Autonets garments and the presentation of performances and workshops at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI, the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Albuquerque, NM, the HTMlles festival of feminist new media art in Montreal, QC and the American Studies Association annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The project has been invited to all of these venues, but none of them are able to provide funding for travel of materials to produce the electronics for future performances. The video above uses two early prototypes, but the actual Autonets garments are still in development. The devices will be made open source under an Open Hardware license and the designs will be made publicly available. We hope to be able to give working devices to people who need them through workshops once we feel they are working well enough to be distributed.

Read more and watch the video



Please help spread the word! We've raised $1400 but still have $4200 to go...



Apparently our goal for Kickstarter, $5500 in 15 days, was too ambitious, but you can still donate to support Autonets here:

Please donate and spread the word! Thank you!