The Manifestos

The Strategic Transparency Network

We are...

a group of interdisciplinary artists engaged with technology
a collective of artists, fighters, makers, inventors, thinkers, researchers, opposers & members, who act daily to create and resist known notions and resources while questioning each step we take
connected to each other because we are human
self-managed and autonomous
individuals who are also parts of groups, communities, collectives, consortiums, and ultimately the body politic
wanting to be more than boxes that are checked
interested in using our existing privilege to tear down the systems which created them
a multitude
queer and exploring gender identity
working on not being perfectionists
independent arts workers
realists and idealists
interdependently reworlding via celebratory resistance
students, educators, artists, feminists, activists, technologists, and ultimately humans still try to figuring out who we are
the offspring of nature
people of any nation and race
uncomfortable with being boxed into categories in a fixed or unfluid way
people whose identities are defined by the media we consume, the people we interact with and who we surround ourselves with
carers and caregivers
producers of feelings—a blob of emotions
a process
engaged in resistance
working with people and technology in a variety of ways
connected to nature
unfocused dilettantes
more than can be described
more than a box to check off
not alone
curious in learning and growth
part of the community
temporary collaborators, but also permanent collaborators (in an interdependent world)
in solidarity
making worlds
part of a multispecies community
immigrants, settlers in unceded territories
human, full and complete as we are, with a value that demands recognition
fluid and always changing

In our practices, we...

use technology not only as a medium, but also to investigate social boundaries
engage with technologies to question, subvert, or understand them
experiment with ways technology can extend our creativity and expression
highlight and question norms and issues that affect our relationships with society, injustices, stereotypes
are always learning
are poetic, scholarly, artistic, playful, serious
break rules
create glimpses of other ways to make the world
build, envision, collaborate, question
reimagine our relationships with technology
critique, make, gather
undo, theorize, practice
create new modes of expression
use art as a way to participate in the world
use art to create and bridge communities
explore the possibilities of technology
reflect on our roles and positions in our communities
are inspired by the work of artists and collectives that have come before us (and are still here)
try to engage with technology in ethical and sustainable ways
use technology to amplify art
stay aware of our contradictions
listen, question, explore, examine
challenge, empathize, research, interact
intervene in existing systems
push back against capitalism
engage participatory practices
are living beings not products
connect through ideas and imaginations
use whatever means/media/format which will serve a concept
fight, survive, grow
use technology to amplify the analog expand accessibility
repurpose materials, reuse existing frameworks
incorporate non-traditional (“off-label”) uses for technology
push back on competition
enrich experiences of locations everywhere
desire to use & understand technology, but sometimes get confused and frustrated by technology
move with curiosity and joy to explore the boundaries of our work
heal heal heal heal heal
build community
are in play and in practice
think about others
research, design, create experiences online and in person, use humor
challenge ourselves
explore our identities and relationship to larger structures
use technology as a means to reveal social/political structures
evoke ultimate human reactions emotionally, sensationally
take care of each other
use tech as a extension of art tools to state questions and evoke debates
be honest, contextual and critically think through the process of making and learning
embrace the practice of love
explore ourselves and our relationships with other people
aim to provide access and care
create a safe space for ourselves and others support
create, complain, find pleasure
make mistakes, break patterns
create resilience, probe contradictions
inspire others, learn, process trauma
are self-aware
create ourselves anew
feel the world more clearly
imagine worlds & selves otherwise
queer prior understandings of the world
use an array of technology in concert with traditional media
collaborate and communicate
learn what needs to be learned
hustle and iterate
redefine “multiple revenue streams” out of social and financial necessity
engage with challenges as a way to learn, to avoid stagnation and stereotype

We see resistance as...

tactically orchestrating efforts of collected energies
aggregating communities of shared interest, power
trying to resist a culture of answers
a practice of subversion
going against what is expected of us
the act of living in a chaotic world
speculative fiction
giving people agency to share their experience without the burden of shame or fear or guilt
a way to cope with future obstacles
using tools against purpose
avoiding extraordinary harm; digital products and applications that make a direct assault on our own lives and well-being
prototyping technologies that support a more egalitarian world and that reduce power asymmetries
acknowledging bodies
a way of moving forward
embracing paradox
joyful struggle and expression
part of a lineage
a commitment
disrupting systems
thinking about reality differently
ongoing investigations
eyes wide open, examining and not fearing the consequences of what will emerge out of digging deeper
reluctance to accept the norms
asking hard questions
challenging ourselves and our own ideas first
daily life—existing/persisting can be radical
an ongoing struggle
a constant learning process
creative, tactical, poetic, teaching, disruptive, visionary, mutual aid, activism
maintenance, care and kin
giving a platform to underrepresented voices
cultural work
articulating values
building coalitions
being vigilant and seeing through orgs/grants that are actually hypocritical
a compilation of strategies
creating opportunities of our own
slowing down / patience
supporting one another
dismantling polished notions of classist, corporate art
shifting value systems
maintaining transparency
self criticism
a means of preserving integrity
bringing attention to critical issues in non-traditional, non-acceptable ways
saying “eff this oppressive system, those that built it and those that perpetuate it”
trying to interrupt oppressive systems
saying no
amplifying many voices
a way to communicate and express emotions and ways of thinking
finding alternatives and dismantling boundaries
advocating with community
a daily practice
“all resistance/activism is fundamentally a creative act” since we imagine what could be instead of accepting what is
a way to create power collectively
a demonstration of a point of view
our own existence on the earth
a way of minimizing and/or eliminating harm by being intentional about who we are, what/who we engage with, what resources we consume/create, what values we subscribe to/questioning those values
making space
subverting norms
an active process, but rest can also be resistance
not trying to be “cool”
being creative, but also making projects for the long term
a convergence of overlapping attitudes that speaks to our values; criticality and humor vs. care and affordance
confusing and shaking up power structures
caregiving and play
actively making things available...but also being the person who does that thing
a transparent exchange and clear communication
being conscious of the input and output necessary to our practice
challenging dependencies
finding pleasure
remembering who we were before we were colonized
building the worlds we want to see
valuing maintenance and care
creating community spaces in the present & visions of the future where everyone is valued
creative, caring, supportive
being open, having boundaries
questioning and having answers
shared resources
non-violent communication
fluid and context-specific
valuing the labor/time/contributions of the creative community
showing up in support of what we believe in rather than “against” a larger power structure in a way that reaffirms or centers the oppressor
refusing us vs. them thinking
taking time for rest
not being reliant on social media platforms that exploit our time, energy and labor
healing, both collective and individual
being vulnerable
finding agency within collective power
creating space for alternative ways of thinking and being
hope—not just looking at things as they are, but how they can be, how we would like them to be
necessary, essential; an inevitable response to these complex oppressive systems
defying gatekeepers
thinking about uncomfortable parts of the world and ourselves
building community: no resistance is led alone

We are concerned by...

producing more noise
becoming entertainment (where that was not the intention)
focusing on the means rather than the ends
not thinking in the long term
an over-reliance on individual models of success
production, production, more production... to what ends?
the question of separating the creative from that which is considered not creative
the idea of knowledge production; authorship; who produces content; and particularly role of art and design as a means of reproducing capitalist structures
how to support ourselves financially as we do this work
capitalism’s ability to insert itself into everything
our inability to invent possible futures
how technology distracts us from necessary political work
having our work co-opted by the very systems that we are critiquing
silences, amnesia, trauma, forgotten histories
the construction of “normality”
the lack of motivation or feelings of indifference by people bogged down by oppressive forces or privileged to the point of complacency
existing oppressive systems
determining leadership in resistance—who leads? who decides who leads? who gets credit for the work?
the global economy
our work being used to reinforce what exists
instant gratification and patches rather than structural repair (but we also see value in momentary joys)
racism and blatant discrimination in tech
the fracturedness through which artists make money
addictive mobile technologies
surveillance and tracking
ownership and capitalization of ideas
lack of diversity in some of the technology fields
lack of attention to accessibility and diverse needs
oppressive power structures
the fetishization of technology
power structures
the speed of the moment
artists being used to make technology more palatable
the colonial history/legacy of art
unhealthy competition for limited resources
being instrumentalized/controlled/shaped by the tech or institutions which we are trying to critique in the first place
thinking we are being subversive and critical but really doing what they have wanted us to all along
unethical practices
the rate of technological advancement in art—it’s making many technologies inaccessible to more people, creating deeper disparities in who is being shown, supported, seen
siloing of digital resistance efforts as result of algorithms and big tech banning/censoring
not knowing how things are made/ where they come from and the ethics around that process; also not seeing many alternatives for ethical consumerism with technology
becoming reflections of the very systems we seek to resist
power dynamics
the quick acceleration of new technological development
using materials that pollute
the intentional obliviousness of society
how surveillance is baked into our use of tech
abuse of privilege
total reliance on social media
lacking concrete steps so practices aren’t as grounded in making material change
resistance being used as a trend
the typical relationship of capital
our fixed mindset
the environmental impact of the tech industry and the future of energy availability and stability
legitimizing and replicating oppressive and harmful systems
pessimism, nihilism, sense of powerlessness, lack of personal agency
all voices not having chances to be heard
basic needs not being met to a majority of the human population
the time it takes to engage with resistance, and who is able to participate as a result
pollution, capitalism, and other systems we are forced into
old bad habits
funding sources; being supported by institutions and people that don’t share our values
perpetuating systems that we were trained in without thinking about why or how we are doing so
material scarcities and the implications
market driven structures of meaning overshadowing our potential for other forms of sociality
the establishment of art or creativity as insular or monolithic entities
our impacts (versus our intentions?)
narrow conceptions about the meaning of tech
white supremacy as a technology
corporate practices infiltrating our own behaviors
burnout and survival
the tension in technological dependencies
language that excludes
making art driven by validation and digestibility
being “eaten up” by platforms and technologies
the demand to legitimize ourselves according to standards we did not set
living in a vacuum
burning out, not being able to rest or process things, not allowing ourselves to mourn
(the illusion of) scarcity
inequality, racism, misogyny, anthropocentrism, ecological collapse
the delegation of authority, especially as it relates to resources and opportunities for the underserved
digital divides
lack of resources; having to come up with alternatives
the lack of democracy, consensus and access in virtual spaces

We refuse...

to exist in silos
to participate in making gestures rendered empty
to put the needs of one before the needs of many
to critique without contributing a path forward
to create work that satisfy our “artist egos”
to make “content” for institutions
to receive funding from evil orgs
to accept the status quo
to compromise our values
the fantasy of objectivity
to hoard wealth, data, and knowledge
to be enamored by technology or to accept it as the solution to everything
to deny the sociopolitical implications of our practices
to forget
to stay silent
to make weapons that will aid in our continued oppression
to harm, oppress or discriminate against others (or contribute to work that does)
to work with people who only want our skills and not our voices
to harm ourselves or have ourselves portrayed in a way that makes us uncomfortable
individualist measures of success
to be stepped upon
to snitch
colonialism, white supremacy
racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, patriarchy
work that is extractive or steals from others
situations in which we can’t be critical
the artist as genius narrative
the co-option of genuine collaboration by corporate practices
to be disrespectful to someone/something through our art/process
a boundary between creative resistance and activism: all resistance is creative
to focus on only ourselves
to be rushed
to ignore the labor inherent in creative practice
to support bigotry, elitism, hierarchies, exclusivity
to work with with entities that do not align with our artistic principles
to not pay people for their labor (to accept volunteer labor)
to eat alone (when leading a group) because it is important to build community and that includes taking time for breaks with our teams
to remain silent
to get sucked into the mythology of the art star
to not acknowledge artists and collaborators for their work
to sell our souls, no matter how tempting
to perpetuate closed source platforms
to go through routine burnout
to let others tell our story; we write our own narratives
to take advantage of cultural discontent to move our artistic practices forward
to deny our gifts
racism, transphobia, sexism, ableism, sexual harassment
continuation of unpaid labor
war and death
more and more data collection
to use the power of creation to advocate a point irrationally
neglection of underrepresented communities to make work for oppressive structures; to collaborate with and amplify the voices of oppressive individuals
to do harm
a hierarchical society
violence; abuse
to let stereotypes to define who we are
all the isms
to engage with systems that negate discourse, i.e. use market driven ideas and values as a substitute for other forms of critical thinking, democracy, expression and care
to platform oppressive power stuctures
to assume the answers
to simplify the story
to think within binaries and ultimatums
to let metrics guide our decisions or values
to collaborate with empire
for profit to be bae
to be extractive
to prioritize digital experiences over physical ones
to let these psychopaths destroy the earth
to condone oppressive structures of power that intentionally exclude
to do work that does not respect our time and agency
to live in scarcity, in fear, in ways that undermine our own health, peace and happiness
to use the new and shiny because it’s new and shiny
to ignore that which is messy and complicated
to accept the status quo
to ignore our privilege
to make ourselves small so that cis white hetero patriarchy can feel comfortable
to assume resistance must be violent, or rebellious, or invoke toxic-masculinity including behaviors such as policing and hazing within the intersectional feminist community
to be palatable, salable or pleasant for the sake of technocapitalism
to measure our worth on numbers, facts, external variables and quotidian “success”
to let gatekeepers, collectors, curators, gallerists or anyone else outside the
immediate process dictate how the art is made
to engage in work that causes direct harm to our communities
to deny feelings of love
to make ourselves or others feel small

We want...

rest collaboration
to care for and be cared by
to be paid to do nothing and to make work not for money
to foster leadership and autonomy
to be compensated for our time and energy
to realize that artists have a responsibility with society, it’s not about making work only for us but for our community and others
everyday quotidian resistance
the everyday resistance of the mundane
to think about others before thinking about ourselves
to push back on the systems we work with in and learn how to do it in a way that is generative, productive and transformative
healing, change, restorative justice
new conversations, new collaborations
a collectivist future
rest, and an understanding of the necessity of rest
to build tools that give people agency
equity, care and support
accountability, community
to build worlds
resistance built into the process of our work
more art collectives
diversity of thinking, of identity, of background, of ability, of perspective
positive change
inclusivity of people and all mediums
representation of voices
tools to be used broadly
to be accountable to actions
to hold complexity and contradiction
equitable society
sustainable media
anti-capitalist structures for spaces and artists to exist
more expansive definitions of authorship and
messiness, flaws, limitations
to move past neoliberal structures
to experience ourselves unmediated by technology
a destruction of the nonprofit and grant structure, replaced by a more equitable financial recognition of creative work
decolonization of current art standards
opening up new pathways for people who may not have felt they had access to the art world or title of “artist”
slow, durational work and experiences
aesthetic beauty
to create work that doesn’t necessarily address personal identity
to democratize joy
share our knowledge
to use open-source repositories & softwares, but also hardware when available
more inclusive creative environments
to promote accessibility
equity in pay and contribution
to amplify the marginalized
the chance to say no
transparency in pay
to acknowledge the contributions of others
to hold institutions accountable, and reform them to become more helpful to our goals of democractic art making and cultural work that we want to see
opportunities that we won’t regret being associated with later
to be able to bring more voices to the table because without them there is no progress
to create cooperative futures across all species
to learn to be better listeners
connection and community
many different communities to be valued and archived and historicized
to bring people a sense of play and imagination
to only work on projects we love
more time spent in community
to build our own tables instead of waiting for a seat at someone else’s
to help create resources for other artists to expand their visions
to find solutions that are actionable
to be part of networks & movements which can grow together in healthy & communicative ways
to inspire others to go on with their own lines of inquiry
a safe space for different opinions
equity, freedom
to take action for climate change
healing, restoration
collaboration, many perspectives
personal and economic security in the arts/social justice
safe spaces
everyone to have their basic needs met
to activate curiosity, imagination and humor
music, grooves to dance to...
more reality; to not be in the VR/AR/metaverse world forever
to connect with people about our shared feelings and experiences
to spark new imaginaries
to keep room open for flexibility and change
a world where wages aren’t a determining factor for the value of your role or practice
to love! and to make art that loves the world & other people & ourselves
to teach people how to love
to experience a very happy earth
to be in community with each other (at least it seems by showing up here!)
to try out ideas and see if they fit
to honor
to learn and grow as artists and individuals
to embrace the different and abnormal
to be taken seriously
to grow our conception of ourselves
to be valued for our work—financially, in terms of time, and in terms of flexibility
to question things in our work, even when we do not have perfect answers or solutions
to give and equip people, collaborators, participants, with the resources to reflect, process, heal, and take up resistance in their own ways
to be able to share without fear and have the freedom and space be vulnerable
to put an emphasis on understanding and building intentionality in our practice
to reset the defaults
to create space to question and learn, to experiment and fail without that work standing in the way of the next opportunity
to nourish and share our work
to create space for people to speak, share, and tell their stories

We commit...

to not only resisting but imagining the new
to acting on futurity
to considering whether something is necessary before diving into making it
to taking our time
to resisting being a robot in our daily lives, resisting our programmed temptations and cravings
to art with a lowercase “a”
to embracing humor
to movement building
to refraining from engaging with the superficial
to building an ecosystem that can better withstand attacks from our own patrons
to working with duration
to improving the accessibility of knowledge related to coding
to destroying imposter syndrome
to understanding how our work might use unsustainable or biased technologies, how it might exacerbate social injustices and climate crisis, and working towards eliminating that
to researching, documenting, recording, listening, speaking up
to not making assumptions
to working with community rather than individuals
to solidarity
to aligning our process with the values we are advocating
to engaging with our communities and moving beyond esoteric notions of media art
to allowing ourselves to say no, and understanding and accepting for ourselves our points of refusal
to sharing the knowledge as much as we can
to being gentle with peer art critique and relentless with the critical understanding of our own art
to participating in the community
to being spiritual without being condescending
to being generous
to investing in and inviting in others
to making sure our values and ethics are reflected in the work that we put into the world
to fostering authentic friendships and collaborations
to not being afraid to be the change
to always be honest and fair because the world sure needs it!
to acting for more visibility of marginalized voices
to honoring our ancestors in resistance
to learning from the past while stepping into the future
to choosing care over efficiency
to taking rest as a form of resistance
to making more non-screen based work
to rest and ethical working hours
to being vocal about anti-crunch and anti-burnout practices
to keep having hope
to acknowledging our ancestors
to not hoarding data when we don’t know why we need it
to staying open to new situations
to including rest as essential and crucial to creativity
to being willing to stop work if it’s deemed harmful
to putting needs of the community first
to being aware of social, environmental and ecological factors in work created
to listening and sharing
to taking breaks to hear from others, to reflect on conversation and where people are coming from
to sharing, boosting, celebrating, publicizing
to normalizing non-linear artistic career trajectories and working to remind others to do the same
to not falling into the old pattern of artist as elite—making luxury art without regard
to the social fabric
to forming new ways of relating as workers (art is work) that don't replicate the empire
to being sustainable and fairness
to listening, slowing down
to anti-capitalist, anti-colonial practices
to engaging with things that make us uncomfortable / that push us beyond complacency
to sharing our code with others
to striving for accessibility (physical, economic, etc.)
to supporting artists and work that does not center white or economically privileged people
to making community interaction a key part of my artistic practice, and not a means to an end
to taking incremental steps
to being anti-ableist and antiracist
to regularly questioning how we are perpetuating hierarchical thinking within our actions and words
to doing my/OUR part
to being less harsh on ourselves while maintaining criticality
to breaking through isolation
to investing time to build stronger relationships with communities we want to be accountable to
to being more thoughtful about audiences we make for and who is supporting making our artwork accessible
to creating alternative spaces for artists
to questioning who our audience is/why we are creating
to finding how projects can inspire action, how our projects can make us feel happy and fulfilled
to reusing and recycling and creating a little waste as possible
to acknowledging the historical and current political and social contexts we operate in art making
to working with diverse partners, collaborators, and hires
to making a greater commitment to sustainability, accessibility and equity documenting humanity through our work choosing sustainable materials
to making space for care and affordance
to not getting stuck in a criticality cul-de-sac
to getting consent from the people we are inspired by & use data from, relational instead of extractive processes
to sharing our knowledge + resources
to remaining open to feedback
to remaining open to the influence of others
to holding space for all voices
to letting our inner children take the wheel
to admitting mistakes, being gentle with ourselves
to maintenance and care
to accessibility AND nuance/complexity (the slash represents extra complexity)
to inviting new faces and ways of thinking into our spaces and practices
to working with, not for
to creating inclusive spaces
to transparency (accessibility?) in process and communication
to intentional use of technology that is not harmful
learning and relearning
to supporting each other and communities that we love
to seeking out communities that endorse inclusivity
to being mindful of our actions and practices, and how they affect others and the spaces around us
to creating with intention
to evolving who we are and what our art practices are
to creating work that asks the difficult questions and exists outside of zone of comfort
to dismantling systems of oppression
to authentic self-expression, right use of power, and collectivity
to finding people we admire and seeing how we can align ourselves with them
to being in process with an ever expanding network of possibilities