Experimental Chatroom

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Credits: Wild Chat by Lark VCR. Texts by Lark VCR and Xin Xin.

Visit workshop website for daily schedule, script, and resources.

How might we begin to exit established forms of social media and infrastructures of surveillance? Experimental Chatroom is a week-long workshop that explores the histories of micro-social-medias and uses p5.js to build experimental chatrooms from scratch. As a means to think beyond Web 2.0, participants will design their own chatroom interfaces and explore playful and embodied ways of communicating with each other by including features such as collaborative drawing and interactive play.

Workshop materials and discussions will address pressing issues of how we can build inclusive, collaborative, and considerate online spaces. Templates and tutorials will be provided for both a peer-to-peer chatroom (using peer.js) and also a chatroom that archives data. Participants will customize design elements using basic HTML and CSS, no previous knowledge of coding required.

The peer-to-peer model offers alternatives to surveillance capitalism, while the database backend model allows for the archival and building of collective memory. Through a comparison between decentralized and centralized networks, we will consider ways that the architecture of online spaces impacts community interactions.