On cultivating the installable base

On cultivating the installable base

Roel Roscam Abbing

Language: English


This paper argues that technically-inclined PD practices that wish "to matter" are well predisposed to significantly contribute to public repositories of computational alternatives. It makes that argument by providing an account from an ongoing collaboration with a group of artist collectives that seek to build its own alternative social and publishing platform. That process explicitly relies on and contributes to existing Free-Libre and Open Source software (F/LOSS) applications in the process. Using this collaboration as an example, it then argues, based on Leigh-Starr’s notion of "installed base", that contributions to the installable base of computational alternatives can be a key contribution of PD practices. With this notion, this paper adds further substance to discussions of how to rethink PD’s relation with socio-technical work by highlighting concrete points of intervention where PD can meaningfully contribute to technology design.

The reflections in this paper cover the first prototypes of lumbung.space between april and september 2021