Web Residents »Rigged Systems«


The Web Residencies’ seventh call, Rigged Systems curated by Jonas Lund inspired artists, designers, and activists from around the globe to submit their projects. Projects that playfully rethink the political power balance, imagine new ways of circumventing censorship, or build alternative networks to corporate-owned infrastructures are among the four selected submissions for the web residencies by Solitude & ZKM. Read Jonas Lund`s juror’s statement and learn more about the proposals by artists and artist teams Agnes Cameron and Gary Zhexi Zhang, DISNOVATION.ORG, Sam Lavigne, and Xiaowei Wang, who will work on their projects for the coming four weeks.

The Rigged Systems open call asked for applications that aim to subvert the power structures in contemporary network systems and that wish to reclaim a sense of agency within the systems where it feels like there is none left.

Judging from the response and number of applications it’s evident that there is a tremendous desire to act, to subvert and reclaim agency, and that the time to do so is now. Submissions that seriously or playfully work toward rethinking the political power balance; submissions that imagine new ways of circumventing censorship, and others that build alternative networks to the corporate owned infrastructure. The quality, diversity, and range of the 168 applications made selecting four very challenging, and one can argue, that zero-sum open calls are in themselves part of a Rigged System and I recognize this conundrum. Nevertheless, in this scenario and in order of fairness, the rules have been honored. I wish there were enough resources to award all of the sixteen shortlisted projects with full residencies. (Do check them out below, they are great).

The four selected projects all look at the idea of rigged systems from different points of view and with different projected outcomes, from turning the profiling and modelling tools back toward the platforms that enable them, to circumventing censorship by cleverly working with language translations, to rethinking the power of hierarchical sorting (think ranking systems), to expanding and building localized alliterative network infrastructure in exposed areas. Together they all aim to rethink systems and alter the rules in which they govern, to hijack and subvert existing dogmas and offer up new ways of seeing the structures.

I’m very excited to see these projects come to fruition.

»Permaculture Networks« by Agnes Cameron & Gary Zhexi Zhang
Read the proposal here.


Read the proposal here.

»Other Orders« by Sam Lavigne
Read the proposal here.


»The Future of Memory« by Xiaowei Wang
Read the proposal here.