Turbulence has commissioned ShiftSpace and now ShiftSpace commissions you.

Ten development grants, of up to $2,000, will be granted to individuals and collectives using ShiftSpace as a platform.

What interface would you create on top of any website? What trail would you choose through the meta-web?

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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.

ShiftSpace is an Open Source platform that attempts to subvert this trend by...

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About The ShiftSpace Commissions Program

Some Background

In Early 2007, after our presentation at Upgrade Boston, Turbulence.org expressed an interest in Shiftspace as a candidate for the Turbulence net art commission program. We considered together what would be the best way to support the project and decided that we actually want you to be the ones to enjoy the commission. Our idea is to break the $5000 commission from Turbulence into 10 individual commissions. These commissions will support ShiftSpace users in developing their own work using the platform.

About ShiftSpace

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 that promises 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 we call Shifts. Users can choose between several authoring tools we're working to develop – which we call Spaces. Some are utilitarian (like Notes and Highlights) and some are more experimental/interventionist (like ImageSwap and SourceShift). Users are also invited to map these shifts into Trails which can be used for collaborative research and extended as a platform for a context-based public debate.

ShiftSpace has announced a new commissions program based on a developer API, through which users can create their own spaces. The platform evolves through an Open Source process that seeks to build advanced social software tools, develop workshops and create online public spaces within a distributed network architecture.

General Details

Our commission program was announced at the Offf festival in NYC in early November. Submissions will be accepted through February 25th, 2008. A team of 12 jury members will inspect the applications and will announce 10 winners by mid-March. The commissions range from $100 to $2000.

Two Categories

We decided to break the commission into two categories, Spaces and Trails, in order to attract both creative interface submissions and metaweb research works. Basically anyone enthusiastic about the web is qualified to apply for the ShiftSpace commissions program.


Spaces are interfaces 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. Spaces are programmed in Javascript but we have made sure it is as accessible as possible using several functions available through our homebrewed ShiftSpace API. Spaces can be anything from several lines of code to full fledged applications. They will be judged not by their complexity but rather by their simplicity and by their potential contibution to the ShiftSpace community

To apply just tell us your idea and maybe team up with a friend or two to make sure you can execute it. If you win the commission we will do our best to help you make sure your idea comes to life. The winners will be declared both ShiftSpace and Turbulence commission winners. Applications will be accepted from both individuals and teams.


Trails are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails can be used for collaborative research, for curating netart exhibitions or as a platform to facilitate a context-based public debate. Trails are easily created though the trails interface, accessible by clicking the T icon through any Shift on the ShiftSpace console. This category is calling researchers, authors, bloggers, professors, students, artists, activists, hobbyists, poets to use ShiftSpace to the extreme. Trail your own meta discourse through the web leaving shifts on websites and trailing them to create a whole new context.

To apply just submit the link to a draft of the Trail you want to create. If you win, you will get some more time to develop your trail (see time table) and receive your grant and be featured on ShiftSpace.org and Turbulence.org when you declare your trail concluded. Applications are accepted from both individuals and teams.

About Turbulence

Turbulence is a project of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA). Now celebrating its 11th year, Turbulence has commissioned over 140 works ($500,000) and exhibited and promoted artists' work through its Artists Studios, Guest Curator, and Spotlight sections. As networking technologies have developed wireless capabilities and become mobile, Turbulence has remained at the forefront of the field by commissioning, exhibiting, and archiving the new hybrid networked art forms that have emerged. These works have been co-presented with the Museum of Science (Boston, MA), Art Interactive (Cambridge, MA), and the Judi Rotenberg Gallery (Boston, MA). Turbulence features two world-renowned blogs: Networked_Performance and Networked_Music_Review. It also co-organizes "Floating Points," (http://institute.emerson.edu/floatingpoints/) an annual speaker series, with Emerson College; the "Programmable Media" symposia at Pace University; and Upgrade! Boston at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In February 2008, Emerson College will host "Mixed Realties," an international exhibition and symposium located in three spaces simultaneously: Huret & Spector Gallery (Emerson College, Boston); Ars Virtua ( Second Life); and Turbulence.org. Finally, Turbulence is supporting "Networked Realities: (Re)Connecting the Adamses", a collaborative, mixed reality, networked exhibition co-presented with Greylock Arts (Adams, MA) and MLCA Gallery 51 (North Adams, MA) in Summer/Fall 2008.

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