Ruth Catlow

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Ruth Catlow is an artist, academic and activist (b. 1968, London) who works with emancipatory network cultures, practices and poetics. Her work often evolves new forms and frameworks for collaboration with other artists, techies, writers, activists – thinkers and doers- in the context of network cultures. She is co-founder and artistic director, with Marc Garrett, of Furtherfield for arts, technology and social change, a not-for profit organisation that promotes the idea that it is everyone's business to imagine and shape society together.

Furtherfield’s public exhibition and lab venues in the heart of Finsbury Park,in North London, provide a unique physical interface for free exhibitions, events and workshops and an online hub provides a forum for exchange and critical review. These spaces bring together diverse local people and their cultures with thriving networks of international artists, technologists and activists. They provide scratch spaces for commissions and exhibitions to tour nationally and internationally, to strengthen the expressive and democratic potential of shared techno-social landscape.

Catlow has co-curated exhibition programmes about the social, political and aesthetic effects of network cultures since 2005. These include Being Social and World Wild Web (2012) and Digital Zoo (2014 UK tour of shopping centres). She co-curated Collaboration and Freedom – The World of Free and Open Source Art (2011), an online collection for Arts Council England and Foundation for P2P Alternatives.

Catlow’s artwork is exhibited world wide and featured in a number of publications.

Selected artistic projects include: Play Your Place with Mary Flanagan (US) (2012-ongoing ); Rethinking Wargames (Lo-fi Netart commission 2003) exhibited The Baltic, Gateshead, currently touring as part of Free Play with International Curation Projects; Festival of Money, with Marc Garrett, exhibited as part of Net Video Black Box at Givon Gallery (2012), Tel Aviv; DIWO (Do It With Others) Furtherfield (UK) (2007-), Pixelache (FI) (2012), CLICK (DK) (2014); WeWontFlyForArt (2009) exhibited at the RSA and Ecology Sustainable Art Awards, London; and Zero Dollar Laptop (2010-). Furtherfield’s VisitorsStudio, artware with Marc Garrett and Neil Jenkins, awarded the 2009 Grand Net Art Prize by Machido Museum, (JA). Her work is also featured on DVblog, the Rhizome Artbase and The Digital Kitchen.

More Information

Selected Artworks and Artistic Projects

2013- ongoing Play Your Place - commissions by Peabody Housing Trust and Tate Britain, Classroom N4

2012-13, Play Your Place - Play Southend with Dr Mary Flanagan, a framework of playful, social drawing events and simple online game-building tools through which people draw, make and play games to develop a collective vision of their future locality.

2012, Festival of Money, short film with Marc Garrett Givon Gallery, Tel Aviv. Screened at Zone Cinema, Brighton

2010, At Winter Equinox We Burn the Sun, short film with Marc Garrett, screened at Show Room Cinema, Sheffield, curated by DVBlog. Also at The Zone, The Hundred Years Gallery, Brighton.

2010, Co-produced Helgi and Hroar, A Tale of Murder and Revenge, a short film by Michael Szpakowski and the staff and pupils of Southwark Park Primary School, funded by Creative Partnerships/A New Direction

2009-9, Connecting Across Difference, Artistic Director for an inclusive multimedia performance commissioned by Drake Music at V&A Museum of Childhood

2009, Furtherfield's VisitorsStudio, artware with Marc Garrett and Neil Jenkins, awarded the 2009 Grand Net Art Prize by Machido Museum, JA, Creative Director

2009, Domestic Idols, net artwork exhibited in terraConstellate - curated by Deb King, Alley Culture, Detroit, USA

2009, We Won't Fly For Art, with Marc Garrett, shortlisted and artwork exhibited for the BASH, RSA and Ecology Sustainable Art Awards, London

2008 Darwin vs Creationism – Another Dilemma of Co-existence, performed with Marc Garrett during artist residency - Liminal Screen Programme at BNMI, Canada 2008, Driven – a Dilemma of Co-existence, net artwork with Marc Garrett

2005, Artists Residency - RISK Media Lab, CCA, Glasgow

2003, Lo-fi Net Art Commission – Participatory artwork called Rethinking Wargames, exhibited at Baltic, Gateshead & Limehouse, London. Exhibited 2004 in The Making of Balkan Wars- group exhibition by Personal Cinema, Athens/Madrid

Curatorial Activity

2005 - to date

Furtherfield Gallery (formerly HTTP). Co-curator, with Marc Garrett of exhibitions at London's first dedicated gallery for networked media art. Exhibitions include WWW: World Wild Web, Being Social, (2012), MADE REAL by Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, 2011, REFF by Art is Open Source, 2011, If Not You Not Me by Annie Abrahams, 2010, Do It With Others at the Dark Mountain, 2009, Feral Trade Cafe by Kate Rich, 2009, Whereof One Cannot Speak Thereof One Must Be Silent by Michael Szpakowski and Doron Golan, 2009, The Jeremy Bailey Show 2008, Open Source Embroidery by Ele Carpenter, 2008, Zero Gamer, group exhibition, 2007. [1]

2011, Free Yourself?, a collection curated for Electronic Village Hall (a University College Falmouth, project)

2011, Collaboration and Freedom – The World of Free and Open Source Art, commissioned curation project, Arts Council England Knowledge Bank, mirrored by the Foundation for Peer To Peer Alternatives (Furtherfield).

Selected Publications

Catlow R., (2014) Karen is Revolting, for Lady Justice, The New Criticals,

Catlow R., Szpkowski M., (2012) Drawing as a Collective Activity, originally for Drawing Knowledge. Tracey, The Journal of Drawing and Visualisation Research, Loughborough University. Revised and republished Miller, A & Strong, J. (eds). (2012) Research-Led and Research-Informed Teaching. CREST Publishing

Catlow R., Garrett, M., (2012) Do It With Others - No Ecology without Social Ecology, Remediating the Social, ELMCIP, The University of Edinburgh.

Catlow, R., (2012) We Won’t Fly For Art Culture Magazine, special themed issue Paying Attention: Towards a Critique of the Attention Economy. Special Issue of CULTURE MACHINE VOL 13 2012 by Patrick Crogan and Samuel Kinsley.

Catlow, R., Garrett, M. (2008) NODE.London: Getting Organied Openly? Paper written for the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Raunig, G. ed.

Catlow, R., Garrett, M. (2007) Contributory Media in the Furtherfield Neighbourhood for Coding Cultures, D/lux Media, Adelaide, Di Rimimi, F. ed,

Catlow, R., Garrett, M. (2006) NODE.London States of Interdependence in Media Mutandis: a NODE.London Reader, Surveying Art, Technologies and Politics NODE.London, Mute, London. Vishmidt, V., Francis, M.A., Walsh, J. and Sykes, L. ed.