by Critical Engineering Working Group

Decentralise! This 4 hours walks participants through the process of setting up their very own server on the Internet, complete with webmail, cloud, VPN, gallery and website services, scalable to hundreds or thousands of users.

Those interested in serving from home can bring in a PC to wipe and re-purpose as a low-bandwidth server on the Internet. Others wanting a high-traffic, media-rich solution will be encouraged to choose and register a geographically-local server package in class such that they can be guided through a complete install (typical monthly fees are 5 to 15 EUR).

Good server-side security practices are covered, from disk-encryption to password-management and firewalling. The basics of the UNIX command line are also taught such that participants can securely log into their server and administer it regardless of their physical location. It takes just one in a community to give the gift of high-quality, low-carbon Internet infrastructure – to free yourself and others from centralised and privacy-eroding services (like GMail, DropBox and Flickr).

No prior experience is necessary, although attention to detail and note-taking skills are important.

Workshop Hotglue

Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant

Building decentralized websites using Beaker and Dat is fun – and a great, hands-on way to learn about the otherwise hidden structures and exchanges that power the web. But to do so, one – more so than ever – needs proficiency in the language of the web (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) in order to participate.

In a workshop specifically for children and other “outsiders”, a modified version of “Hotglue” is used to build decentralized sites together and interlink them.

Hotglue is a FOSS “What you see is what you get” editor for the web. Created in 2010, it currently uses files on the server it is installed to hold the users’ data. A to-be-created modified branch of “Hotglue” would instead work on top of the Dat ecosystem – forgoing the need to be running a server altogether.

Type: workshop
Length: 2-3h
Language: English
Additional considerations: max. 12 participants
Session Objective
learn how Dat & Beaker are different from your regular website
build decentralized websites using Hotglue
interlink our decentralized websites

Material and Technical Requirements
Presenter materials: Projector, WiFi
Participant materials: Laptops

Danja Vasiliev (Russian: Даня Васильев, pronounced as: “Da-nya Vas-ile’-ev”) is a media artist, Critical Engineer and educator born in Saint-Petersburg, currently living and working in Berlin.

“..when a person gives self-control over to a computer and accepts
the default options without question, that person becomes a

Vasiliev studies Systems and Networks through anti-disciplinary experimentation with hardware, firmware and software. Using computational platforms he engages in examination and exploitation of System and Network paradigms in both the physical and digital realms. Based on these findings, Vasiliev creates and exhibits works of Critical Engineering.

Since 1999 Vasiliev has been involved in computer-technology events, media-art exhibitions and seminars around the world. He has received a number of awards and mentions at Ars Electronica, Japan Media Art Festival, and Transmediale, among others.

In October 2011, together with his colleagues Julian Oliver and Gordan Savičić, Vasiliev coauthored The Critical Engineering Manifesto.

He gives public workshops and talks, as well as regularly teaching courses on topics of network insecurity, software/OS modification, hardware re-engineering, digital forensics and other technology related subjects.

In his work and daily computing, Vasiliev uses GNU/Linux software.
He propagandizes Open Source practices in all facets of life.

Sarah Grant is a Brooklyn-based media artist, educator and a recently licensed HAM Radio Operator. She is a former artist-in-residence of the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center and is currently a Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Journalism at Columbia and Adjunct Professor at NYU Polytechnic in Digital Media. Selected projects: subnodes, a portable offline web server and mesh point; You are here makes use of portable devices to deliver compelling, location-specific content to communities around New York; radical networks, a Conference featuring artists, engineers and researchers working in the alternative DIY networking space.