Shiftspace commissions

0aaashiftwa.jpgEver since i’ve heard Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv present the ShiftSpace project at ars electronica, i’ve been following with growing interest the progress of their idea.

They are currently offering ten development grants of up to $2,000 to individuals and collectives using ShiftSpace as a platform to create new Spaces and Trails:

“While the Internet’s design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. The web is undergoing a transformation whose promise is user empowerment – but who controls the terms of this new read / write web? The web has followed the physical movement of the city’s social center from the (public) town square to the (private) mall. ShiftSpace attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web.

By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions – which are called “Shiftsâ€?. Users can choose between several authoring tools – called “Spacesâ€? – that allow web users to annotate, modify and shift the content of a page and through ShiftSpace, share that shift with the rest of the web. “Trailsâ€? are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails might be used as a platform for collaborative research, for curating net art exhibitions, or as a way to facilitate a context-based public debate.”

The ShiftSpace commissions program is a very interdisciplinary competition and the deadline to apply for both the Spaces and Trails categories is: February 25th, 2008 11:59pm EST.

Related: Interview with Mushon Zer-Aviv.