The CCTF was organised during the relearn summerschool this last week of august in Rotterdam. @kymberleyward brought to us the great material that @karisa gathered for her thesis researching on line care communities*.
When I arrived at the end of the second day the group had overlooked a series of online communities previously studied by Karisa http://osp.kitchen:9999/p/relearn-2017-CCTF The group had decided to focus on the open apps project, a group of diabetic people who developed a DiY tool for automating insulin distribution by sending the blood measure to their smartphone app.
This group seemed to materialize many of the questions we ask ourselves about electronic harware and the body, information sharing, privacy and the cloud/the relation to corporations, and more…
I also know this group because each time people critic self quantification, there is always someone to say no, this can be done to the benefit of good , “look at open apps” people were saying… So I was indeed super happy to take a look at open apps and understand it.
However it was difficult for the group to get to any proximity with the topic, even if there was a lot of material to look at, none of us suffer from type1 diabetes, we even felt a little voyeuristic lurking at their twitters feeds and other widely available instagrams pics… We spent some time looking to different ways that could allow us to address this going back to issues we are concerned with, such as community or care or the physical relation to technology…
At some point with @sakasama we started asking ourselves why did the oppen apps group (only ~300 people) had so much visibility (in the press for example) and @sakasama formulated the question “to whom does this benefit” and we started answering http://osp.kitchen:9999/p/relearn-2017-CCTF-3 (line 67).
It appeared clearly that this group was emblematic of liberal thinking (that often characterizes open source projects) and that this was a contradiction to the principle of caring as indeed they would abandon a large part of their community (essentially the ones that had less financial means) by benefiting corporation while more fundamental needs that do not benefit corporations are not addressed, such as for example the cost of insulin (there is no generic insulin).
The material work that should come from this reflection still has to be formulated, and we decided to move on to subjects that are closer to us and continue to envision the relation between the body and the technological apparatuses of our networked societies. I continue more than ever to think that this cannot be separated from social concerns and while techno-optimism continues to hold the main stream, and dystopic scenarios are built in the critical scene, I really look forward to a care community that takes in account those issues and provides a different aesthetics appealing to the diversity of our knowledges and our fragility in the world.
*more info on Karisa’s and Kym’s blog: http://didyouread.tumblr.com/