Waygood International Art Fayre
Newcastle upon Tyne. 2005.

The Polytechnic took the Waygood International Art Fayre as an opportunity to examine the way that the philosophy of redistribution, derivation and modification can be adapted to fit with a creative community. We establishing a bureau and production unit during the course of the ArtFayre. The Bureau handled the exchange of information, all of which will be based around simple text (*.txt) files. These files ranged from cooking recipes. directions for a walk, musical notation in the form of abc files, tablature or saved data for complex multimedia programming environments. The person depositing the data also received a random piece of data in return.

A production unit  ran alongside the bureau to produce derivations and modifications of the intended outcome of the data (the text files) this took many forms e.g. cookery, knitting and interactive media. Production tasks were performed by mostly unskilled labour to ensure accidental modification

This project was an alpha test of a developing participatory model that the Polytechnic has been exploring. The actual system that was used to handle the uploading and downloading of files was a Linux server. The application stack was a standard Apache web server running PHP (scripting Language for making dynamic web pages) and a MySQL (database). This may at first seem to be very different from the standard new media artists arsenal i.e. Photoshop, Flash etc. But besides fact that they are freely available and have a huge user base to draw on for advice thus enabling us to develop the site and the system very quickly and efficiently. We could bring the Open Source philosophy behind that was inherent in the tools we chose to use with us into the larger and more visible aspect of the information exchange project. This is much like a painter deliberately leaving traces of brush marks and their initial sketches on a canvas or a sculptor leaving evidence of the tools used in an objects construction.

In many ways this project was successful in prototyping a creative collaborative system in which the objects had an evident and traceable history.