Friday July 13

Kickoff: Network Field Trip, Bit Bazaar × Internet Yami-ichi, and Party

Network Field Trip

Free!
10:00 am - 11:00 am
In front of the Four Seasons Centre of Performing Arts
University Ave and Queen St intersection

Bit Bazaar × Internet Yami-ichi

Free!
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Party 9:00 – midnight
Toronto Media Arts Centre
32 Lisgar Street

Saturday July 14

Main Room Breakout #1 Breakout #2
8 :00
:30
Registration and coffee
9 :00
:30
Opening remarks
10 :00
Wireless Toronto
Gabe Sawhney
:30
11 :00
Our _stable_ networks
Grant Gallo and Jenny Ryan
:30
Building something together with local networks
Cecylia Bocovich and Lauren Lapidge
12 :00
:30
13 :00
:30
Lunch
14 :00
:30
Fandom as an alternative network
Rea McNamara, Owen G. Parry and Maya Ben David
15 :00
:30
Coffee break
16 :00
Our _stable_ networks workshop
Grant Gallo and Jenny Ryan
:30
17 :00
:30
18 :00
:30

Sunday July 15

Main Room Breakout #1 Breakout #2
9 :00
:30
Registration and coffee
10 :00
Understanding blockchains with Scrabble
Sarah Friend and David Wolever
:30
11 :00
The artists network workshop
Jennifer Seaman Cook
:30
12 :00
:30
13 :00
:30
Lunch
14 :00
:30
Protocol tactics
Lars Gierth
City of experiences: The network and the city
Department of Unusual Certainties
15 :00
:30
Money and mesh networks
Jessica Marshall and Ashoka Finley
16 :00
:30
Althea a more distributed ISP
Justin Kilpatrick
What do we want?
Justin Tracey and Cecylia Bocovich
17 :00
:30
Closing

Monday–Wednesday July 16–18

Sprints

10:30 am – 9:30 pm
Semaphore Demo Room, Room 417
Claude T. Bissell Building
140 St. George Street


Keynote: Navigating Digital Futures

Nasma Ahmed, Founder and Executive Director of Digital Justice Lab

Nasma Ahmed is a black muslimah working within the intersections of social justice, technology and policy. She is a technologist and capacity builder based in Toronto. She is the Executive Director of the Digital Justice Lab a national organization focusing on building a more just and equitable digital future in Canada.

Nasma Ahmed illustrated headshot
Digital Justice Lab logo

Sessions

Aether: Distributing social networks without distributed consensus

Burak Nehbit

The ongoing discussion about decentralisation has been dominated by the talk of blockchains lately. While they do work in certain fields, in social networks the bottleneck and restrictions imposed by the distributed consensus render it challenging to build a social network on a blockchain that does not suffer from speed issues. This talk explores a different way of building networks that does not depend on distributed consensus. By making a small number of tradeoffs, it... read more

Althea a more distributed ISP

Justin Kilpatrick

Althea is a protocol that allows people to easily buy and sell bandwidth from each other. The session will cover the design choices and philosophy of Alteha's mesh networking technology. As well as setup a basic mesh network on stage to show off. read more

Building something together with local networks

Cecylia Bocovich / Lauren Lapidge

The Internet as it exists today is not an ideal tool for liberation or the exploration of something new. The infrastructure is largely corporation and state owned and controlled. In this demonstration, we look at working with communities to build local networks: small pockets of exploration that have the potential to become whatever we can dream up together. We will be demonstrating the MAZI zone toolkit (meaning 'together' in Greek), and the results of a... read more

Cadences of connection and exchange: Planning and modeling activity centered networks

Curtis McCord

Although we access internet from many locations acoss our communications, our expectations for connectivity and availability of content are somewhat more static. In these moments our experience of the networked connectivity is embedded in not only files and bandwidth, but also mixes the activities of passerby and environmental features. Our ways of accessing information (i.e. files, content, etc) could be significantly diversified in networks without ubiquitous (centrally provided) broadband, where access might be linked to... read more

City of experiences: The network and the city

Department of Unusual Certainties

We are living in a fluid existence between the virtual and physical worlds. The urban development models of the past are beginning to fall short in creating cities that support the reality of our current existence. Networks aren’t just nodes and links designated by code—they are accessed and used by real people over physical infrastructure that exists in physical space. How does the network interface with the city, and with the public? What are the... read more

Community networks, a perspective from freedom of expression and access to information

Vladimir Cortés Roshdestvensky

The digital divide in Mexico is not just a matter of connectivity. The deployment of physical infrastructure must be coupled with a cultural, linguistic and community perspective, able to provide internet access as a way to exercise a wide range of rights. Article 19 Mexico and Central America office is doing field work in the state of Chiapas to analyze, from a broad perspective, the impact of connectivity policies and the lack to internet access... read more

Fandom as an alternative network

Rea McNamara / Owen G. Parry / Maya Ben David

The interdisciplinary creative practices of fandom — whether it be fanfiction, fanart, or cosplay — challenge our previously held notions of authorship, but also uphold the open internet’s emancipatory values. Networked-based online creations thrive within particular fandoms, and its community-based model has enabled authors to create works that bring in feminist as well as queer and critical race studies approaches, especially through genres like slash. So how are these fan methodologies reshaping the practices of... read more

Money and mesh networks

Jessica Marshall / Ashoka Finley

A talk exploring the question is it possible to build/manage communal mesh infrastructure in a decentralized fashion and pay contributors fairly, all while staying true to an ethos of providing free/low-cost Internet to those who want it? and a possible answer. read more

Our _stable_ networks

Grant Gallo / Jenny Ryan

What does a 'stable' deployment of a community mesh network look like? During this session, we will look at successful community wireless projects around the world, see how they are structured, both organizationally and technologically. In particular, participants will learn what a stable implementation of a People's Open Network might look like directly from the people building one in Oakland, CA. Finally, we will facilitate an open discussion about defining network stability and organizational values... read more

Our _stable_ networks workshop

Grant Gallo / Jenny Ryan

What does a 'stable' deployment of a community mesh network look like? During this session, we will look at successful community wireless projects around the world, see how they are structured, both organizationally and technologically. In particular, participants will learn what a stable implementation of a People's Open Network might look like directly from the people building one in Oakland, CA. Finally, we will facilitate an open discussion about defining network stability and organizational values... read more

Protocol tactics

Lars Gierth

The philosophers have only interpreted the internet, the point is to change it. IP, BGP, DNS, HTTP, and many more protocols set the boundaries of what we do on the internet. Their specifications and implementations have enabled many great advances, but some of these advances have revealed structures and mechanisms that are objectively counter to their users' needs and wants. Our communities are radical in many ways, and some of our shared principles are accessibility,... read more

The artists network workshop

Jennifer Seaman Cook

'Electronic art is electronic education is inter net and television for and about people. My television video electronic educational inter net art is for people, minds and bodies. Electronic art educational inter net television. Not so hard to imagine.' -Peer Bode (Experimental Television Center) This talk begins from a seemingly simple cultural historical premise: that the Net Art/Anti-Globalism movement theories of data-bodies, new forms of civil disobedience, and the performative matrix of artist networks between... read more

The artists network, the data-body, and the social-body

Jennifer Seaman Cook

'Electronic art is electronic education is inter net and television for and about people. My television video electronic educational inter net art is for people, minds and bodies. Electronic art educational inter net television. Not so hard to imagine.' -Peer Bode (Experimental Television Center) This talk begins from a seemingly simple cultural historical premise: that the Net Art/Anti-Globalism movement theories of data-bodies, new forms of civil disobedience, and the performative matrix of artist networks between... read more

The hybrid step toward migrating to P2P: Adding P2P backend to current centralized apps

vmon

Currently, most websites and apps depend on centralized servers despite the limitations of this structure. Migration towards P2P architectures may be encouraged by solutions which support the current centralized paradigm while taking advantage of P2P architectures, making apps more resilient to interference and letting users' devices empower the underlying P2P network. For that reason we created Ouinet, a technology where an entire cooperative network helps serve HTTP requests using P2P routing and distributed cached responses,... read more

Understanding blockchains with Scrabble

Sarah Friend / David Wolever

'What even is a proof-of-work based globally distributed ledger?' Blockchain is everywhere these days - from finance and law, to kitten-collecting, dating-apps, and ice tea companies. This workshop will explore what this technology offers, how it works, and what it can and cannot do in a friendly, playful setting. We will introduce the basics of how blockchains work in a short presentation, and then expand on them with a facilitated session of Scrabits, a modified... read more

Using Qri for distributed data collaboration

Brendan O'Brien

qri.io ('query') is an open source peer-2-peer data collaboration tool. In the spirit of 'do it with others' this workshop will engage participants to each develop their own dataset of citations they'd like to share such as books, online articles, and blog posts. Participants will then publish these datasets on the distributed web using qri, and from there we'll work together to combine the sum of these datasets into a collection of citations. We'll then... read more

What do we want?

Justin Tracey / Cecylia Bocovich

In the world we live in, there is a near-universal social norm that says greater connectivity, a more global web, and more pervasive digital networks are an inherent good. We see this sentiment reflected everywhere, from the obvious manifestations in IoT devices, cellphones, and Facebook, to more implicit forms, such as in the fights for greater digital security, more censorship-resistant communication, or more distributed control of these networks. As communities involved in shaping the future... read more

Wireless Toronto

Gabe Sawhney

Wireless Toronto is a community wireless network run by volunteers, dedicated to the growth of no-cost wireless Internet access in Toronto's public and publicly accessible spaces. Since the group's founding in May 2005, volunteers set up almost 40 hotspots across the GTA, including some of the city's largest: St. Lawrence Market, Yonge-Dundas Square, and the York Quay Centre at Harbourfront. At its peak, the network served over 1000 connections per day. For a variety of... read more

Lightning Talks

Holding Data Together: Decentralized patterns for stewardship

Brendan O'Brien

Formed in the wake of grassroots archiving efforts undertaken in 2017, Data Together seeks to contribute to a civic layer of the internet where communities use decentralized technologies to steward data they care about. Since July 2017, founding partners EDGI, qri.io, and Protocol Labs, have been prototyping open source and decentralized archiving of web pages and data sets using IPFS. Initiatives also include public engagement through in-person events and topical roundtable conversations through online webinars.... read more

Live Streaming over IPFS

Yurko

In this session, I will present how IPFS and HLS came together to allow us to build a distributed live stream for this conference. read more

Peer-to-peer applications on a mesh network

Benedict Lau

In this session, I will present Mesh Orange, a Debian-based router that runs on various single-board computers (SBCs), which together form an autonomous encrypted mesh network. The operating system supports various WiFi hardware and features a configuration system that allows local mesh communities to specify custom hardware settings. After walking through the steps to form a physical mesh network with Mesh Orange, we will run peer-to-peer applications on these SBCs to show a possible internet... read more

Web archiving as DIY and DIWO

Emily Maemura

As the internet evolves and changes, what material of the internet's past will continue to be available? What is being actively preserved for the future, and who is doing this work? In this session I'll discuss my doctoral research project that explores these questions through two cases studies of web archiving by national libraries and academic research libraries which are part of the International Internet Preservation Consortium. These cases are representative of the many web... read more

Sprint Pitches

This is a time slot reserved for anyone to propose a Sprint.

Presenters

Ashoka Finley

Ashoka Finley is a unicorn.

Benedict Lau

Benedict is an engineer working on mobile software and mesh networks. He is a contributor and organizer at Toronto Mesh, currently focused on meshing with single-board computers and building deployment tools and literacy around peer-to-peer applications.

Brendan O'Brien

Brendan is a leader in the open source software development community and open data movement. He founded Qri (pronounced “query”) to help bring the benefits of open source software to public data. He helped to launch DataTogether.org, a network of communities, data scientists and developers dedicated to promoting a culture of data collection and sharing. He is also a member of EDGI, the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded to support efforts to preserve at-risk government environmental data.

Burak Nehbit

Burak is an engineer and designer. He worked at Google for 3.5 years, and afterwards, at Facebook. His last job at FB was being a design lead in Monetisation. Since February, he's been working on Aether full time.

Cecylia Bocovich

Cecylia is a graduate student at the University of Waterloo. Her research addresses broad issues in privacy and more narrowly focuses on censorship resistance in its many forms. She spends the majority of her time designing systems to circumvent state censorship.

Curtis McCord

Curtis is a graduate student at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information. His work focusses on distributed and deliberative 'political' decision-making, especially computer supported work. His approach orbits academic spheres of 'values in design' which analyses the ways that technologies can substantiate value claims, and 'critical systems thinking' which attempts to unpack and analyse those values in ways that challenge technical hierarchies and expertise and create opportunities for inclusive and productive citizenship.

David Wolever

David is a software developer, startup founder, and community organizer from Toronto with over 10 years dev experience. In his free time, David runs PyCon Canada and organizes the international PyCon conference.

Department of Unusual Certainties

Department of Unusual Certainties (DoUC) is a Toronto-based studio who design collaborative processes for engagement, communication and education. In 2010, DoUC started as a result of a shared need to ask questions about our everyday existence. Our work is directed by exploration, information and experimentation that takes shape with a pragmatic approach to solving problems with our clients. We are dedicated to creating substantive content and experiences that people can engage with, reflect on and react to.

Emily Maemura

Emily Maemura is a doctoral candidate in her fourth year of study at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (iSchool). She is interested in approaches and methods for research with web archives data and collections, and in capturing diverse perspectives of the internet as an object and/or site of study.

Gabe Sawhney

Gabe is an experience designer, civic technologist and innovation strategist. He's a founder of several community and civic tech initiatives, including Code for Canada, Civic Tech Toronto, Wireless Toronto and [murmur].

Grant Gallo

Grant is creative techonologist and network engineer who can be found climbing rooftops in Oakland, performing visuals in Toronto, and variously installing internet all over the US.

Jennifer Seaman Cook

Jennifer is an American Studies scholar across the arts, media, technology, public culture, and transnational cultural and social movements. She specializes in emergent media history, mediations of cultural and social theory, and counterinstitutional networks. In addition to her academic scholarship, her essays have been published by 3:am Magazine, Furtherfield, PopMatters, Salon, and Verso (forthcoming). Her poetry and hybrid political writing has been published with Berfrois, Cedilla Literary Journal (archived at University of Montana), Lunch Ticket, New Binary Press, Queen Mob’s Tea House and more. Jennifer has also consulted for documentaries produced for PBS, The Science Museum of London, and The Royal Academy of Arts, and has created public culture mobile app documentaries for the Montreal Infringement Festival/ World Infringement Congress and Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives. Jennifer teaches at the State University of New York's University at Buffalo.

Jenny Ryan

Over the past 7 years Jenny has lived in Oakland, CA and co-founded the Sudo Room hackerspace, Sudo Mesh / People’s Open Network, and the Omni Commons. Her mission is to work alongside existing and emerging organizations to build human and communications infrastructure, connecting grassroots communities and global initiatives rooted in the shared struggle to reclaim the commons, create public spheres through the cultivation of open spaces, and enable direct democracy through principles of federation and open source or Read/Write culture.

Jessica Marshall

Jessica Marshall is an adopted New Yorker and critical theory nerd who likes to write code and play with antennas. She volunteers when she can with NYC mesh and is currently working on ways to use blockchain to subvert ISPs.

Justin Kilpatrick

Justin Kilpatrick is cofoudner and CTO of Althea mesh, a linux and open source enthusiast.

Justin Tracey

Justin works as a graduate student at the University of Waterloo's CrySP lab. His research focuses on network simulation, with an emphasis on simulations of the Tor network. Previously, he worked on file system analysis at UC Santa Cruz, where he was also involved with a local community meshnet project built around CJDNS.

Lars Gierth

Lars recently deployed his second Freifunk mesh node on a Berlin rooftop. He helps upgrade the web at Protocol Labs, a research & development & deployment lab, working on libp2p, a peer-to-peer networking stack, and IPFS, the Interplanetary Filesystem.

Lauren Lapidge

Lauren is an artist, researcher and organiser. Her practice explores how emerging technologies interact with current social and political significance's. Currently she is researching DIY networking within unmonastery and the MAZI project.

Maya Ben David

Maya Ben David (MBD) is a Toronto-based Jewish-Iranian Anthropomorphic Airplane. Working in video, installation and performance, she creates worlds and characters that aid her ongoing exploration of anthropomorphism, cosplay and performative personas. Ben David presents the origin stories of her characters in the form of video and performance, and expands on them via her online presence. They often inhabit alternate universes accompanied by nostalgia, such as the worlds of Pokémon and Spiderman.

Owen G. Parry

Owen G. Parry is an artist and researcher working across live art, theatre, installation, moving image, sound and writing, exploring subjects including gay sex, biopolitics, fandoms, online cultures and Yoko Ono. With an interest in minor, colloquial and collective processes, the submersion of avant-garde aesthetics into the mainstream, and modes of sincerity within late capitalism, he uses art to ask questions, to heal, to subvert power structures, and to imagine other more-pleasurable ways of living or just being together. He is currently an associate lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts.

Rea McNamara

Rea McNamara is a Toronto-based artist, writer, curator, and public programmer. She has developed an expanded practice that includes on/offline space development, image making, performance and critical engagement with networked publics. Her works have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Société Des Arts Technologique, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and Moogfest. McNamara currently oversees public programming at the Gardiner Museum, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Music Gallery.

Sarah Friend

Sarah Friend is a software engineer working at a large blockchain development studio on tools for financial transparency/accounting. When not doing that, she creates games and other interactive experiences. She is a proud Recurse Center alum, and has recently presented at the Montreal International Games Showcase, the MoneyLab program by the Institute for Networked Culture in London, UK, and Transmediale Berlin.

Vladimir Cortés Roshdestvensky

Vladimir Cortés Roshdestvensky is the deputy officer of the digital rights programme in Article 19 Mexico and Central America. He is currently supporting projects on surveillance, online harassment against journalists, and internet access in rural communities. He has worked as an international consultant specialized in human rights, freedom of expression, media and journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Vladimir has trained journalists and human rights defenders on international standards of journalism, multimedia production and digital security.

Yurko

Yurko has worked in the IT field for over 20 years. Always eager to learn new things and solve problems in creative ways. He is a member of Toronto Mesh and an active contributor. Focusing on single-board computers, and deployment.

vmon