Cascade Network: Communicating culture in transition

Cascade Network co-creates unique and self sovereign transmission systems for communities in transition by combining immersive communication technology and emerging network solutions.

The Network utilises emerging participatory and interactive digital solutions to create a participatory, accessible virtual home for intangible cultural heritage and living creative culture.

Leveraging the potential of emerging embodied communication techniques (Web VR, Mixed Reality) each Network is designed with a community to transmit embodied knowledge, alternative ways of knowing and deep communication on resilience.

Working with the unique attributes of blockchain systems - namely the capacity for record-keeping - the design of these Cultural Networks looks to store, share and protect the ownership of cultural creations with the creators. The digital system opens up the possibility of global reach and for cultural creation in the diaspora to have vast outreach, recognition and practical value exchange that enhances the collective wealth of communities themselves.

Additionally, we look to partner with companies towards the potential of machine learning and semantic techniques to prioritise vital information that rises in communication streams in times of evacuation and disaster and to facilitate the flow of value exchange in times of disaster to take the burden of transacting with the bank out of the mix.

This project is prototyped in Vanuatu - on request of the Chiefs of Ambae - to meet the needs to record Ambae culture during the evacuation of the island and to co-create potentials for an immersive communications system to support the creative expression of Ambae reaching many more people over the coming years.

Transition Times

The aim of this project is thestrengthening of sovereign cultures and communities in the Pacific.It is not known in decades time how many of the Pacific islands will remain above sea level. The aim is to celebrate living community and strengthen a network of resilience that will grow capacities and resources to meet the transition in a manner congruent with indigenous sovereignty.

On the island of Santo, Vanuatu, the community leader Sandy Sur, Further Arts and creative artists and researchers like Leah Barclay have been working intensively on possibilities for digital stewardship of the cultural forms.

The Cascade Network originated in connection to the Leweton community’s Water Music and seeks to replicate the life-giving, fluid, connective power of water through a WebVR knowledge sharing system underpinned by blockchain. The effort naturally arises from a network of relationships that connects community leaders, artists, cultural producers, NGOs and technologists with communities in the Pacific (see "Project Origin & Networks") across decades. The Cascade emerges from those working across arts and indigenous rights and sovereignty and connects the Leweton Community in Vanuatu, Furtherarts, TransArtAlliance, The Water Bearers, Intercreate and WISN: it is grounded in an understanding of the complexity of the issues of indigenous sovereignty.

This network grows through the integrity of long-established relationships across communities with an openness to the potentials of digital technology: we hold the sense that with trust and care there are radical solutions available to empower legalised, protected and creative cultural ownership.

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