Minshar, Tel Aviv
While the Internet’s design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. The web is undergoing a transformation whose promise is user empowerment—but who controls the terms of this new read/write web? The web has followed the physical movement of the city’s social center from the (public) town square to the (private) mall. ShiftSpace attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web.
By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions – which we call Shifts. Users can choose between several authoring tools we’re working to develop – which we call Spaces. Some are utilitarian (like Notes and Highlights) and some are more experimental / interventionist (like ImageSwap and SourceShift).
In the near future users will be invited to map these shifts into Trails. These trails can be used for collaborative research, for curating netart exhibitions or as a platform to facilitate a context-based public debate.
Recent commissions from Turbulence.org and Rhizome.org will help ShiftSpace continue to grow its user base and further its Open Source model. It will support our upcoming goals including a developer API, a workshop series, a ShiftSpace commissions program and a research into peer-to-peer network architectures.
ShiftSpace participates also in the fourth Issue of Block magazine, titled: Occasional Cities. Block’s co-editor, Carmella Jacoby - Volk will say a few words about how ShiftSpace fits within its pages.
Dan Phiffer is a new media hacker from California, interested in exploring the cultural dimension of inexpensive communications networks such as voice telephony and the Internet.
Mushon Zer-Aviv is a designer and a media activist from Tel-Aviv, interested in challenging the perception of territory and borders and the way they are shaped through politics, culture, globalization and the world wide web.