A vision for a networked system of care and reciprocity to tackle artist precarity.
The Offer Need Machine (ONM) is a digital platform in-the-making that aims to amplify the culture of generosity that already exists in local, discipline-based communities of creatives.
ONM allows creatives (artists, designers, crafters) to offer their expertise with the intention of supporting another creative through an initial offering of a “one-hour gift”. Once they have gifted an hour of interaction, they can then rely on other creatives in the network to be accountable to their needs. The exchanges are not meant to be transactional, but more fluid and organic according to expectations set together within each encounter. As determined by examples from emergency and ad hoc mentoring systems created in response to COVID-19, a short time frame of mentoring from one expert to another can go a long way to improving their chances of expanding their abilities. What makes ONM distinctive is the care protocols built into its infrastructure, which establishes certain value-based rules of engagement, while creating possibilities for new types of interaction and potential long term networks to emerge.
The vision for ONM is to make space for creatives to advocate for and bolster their value as creative care workers. We want to counter big tech monopolization to explore social technologies governed by the people that use and shape the platform. Leveraging solidarity and gift economy principles, we hope to explore how terms of engagement, software, and code can encourage respectful, considerate communication, as well as self and community care through giving, as opposed to the explicit quid pro quo exchanges of marketplace environments.
ONM was an idea born out of Artengine’s Digital Economies Lab (DEL). With support from the Canada Council for the Arts’ digital strategy funds, development is currently in phase three – Macy Siu, Kofi Oduro, Julie Gendron are designing and prototyping use case scenarios, and will be testing their designs at Artengine’s facilities with arts community members in 2022.
ONM allows creatives (artists, designers, crafters) to offer their expertise with the intention of improving the skills of another creative. Once they have invested an hour they can find someone to teach and mentor them in an area where they require knowledge. The exchange is not directly reciprocal. As determined by examples from emergency and ad hoc mentoring systems created in response to COVID-19, a short time frame of mentoring from one expert to another can go a long way to improving their chances of expanding their abilities. What makes ONM distinctive is the care protocols built into its infrastructure.
The Offer Need Machine is delighted to be funded through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund.
The ONM project emerged from Artengine’s Digital Economies Lab and we continue to partner with the ONM team to develop this exciting project.
Check out the conversation about Caring + Sharing with Julie Gendron here in the Ideas section of our website.
Dive deeper into the project and the complicated relationship between value in $ and values in art. Visit the Ideas section to watch or listen to the great conversation with Macy Siu.
Julie Gendron is an independent creative director, digital strategist and artist. She is very interested in creating platforms, experiences and events that allow people to explore and create their own point of view, culture and communities.
As a consultant, Gendron works with art and non-profit organizations to enhance their digital efficiencies, build curatorial and audience opportunities and provide digital product design.
As an artist, her choice of medium is varied and conceptually dependent. She is inspired by dissembled technology, participation, sound, land, satire, data, decay, mutation and unpredictability. She is one half of the artist collective Manufacturing Entertainment with Emma Hendrix.
Gendron completed her graduate work in the department of Art, Design and Technology at Concordia University specializing in Participatory Design. She has received awards and grants from the Japan Media Art Festival, Canariasmediafest (Spain), Centre interuniversitaire des arts mediatiques, Dora and Avi Morrow Award for Excellence in Visual Arts, Creative BC, BC Film, Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council. She has shared her work at various conferences and exhibitions in Canada, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Japan, Australia and the US.
Macy Siu is an artist and foresight strategist who is driven by expression and empowerment tied to the hyphen of in-between spaces. Her practice focuses on creating evidence-based speculative futures, soundscapes, and artifacts to imagine and drive conversations around possible inclusive futures. Macy is also a former intellectual property lawyer with a specific interest in legal design and access to justice for creatives. She is currently a board member of CARFAC Ontario, and a part of Artengine’s Digital Economies Lab.
Kofi’s artistic practice is an observation of the world around us, which he then inserts into artwork for others to relate to or disagree with. Through videography, poetry and creative coding, he tries to highlight the realms of human performance and the human mind in different scenarios. These situations can be described as social, internal, or even biological, which we face in our everyday lives. Adding music and visuals often helps to identify one’s own feelings, and to highlight the various subtleties that make us human. With a dose of technology, there is an endless range of progress in human creative endeavours.