String Figures - Mapping a distributed feminist currency network based on principles of social justice and mutual care (Creative Informatics Small Research Grant 5k)

  • Nissen, Bettina (Principal Investigator)
  • Rutherford, Ailie (Co-investigator)

Project Details


String Figures is a project proposal that grew from the collaborative Crypto-knitting-circles project, funded by Creative Scotland, South East Vibrancy Fund and ECA, between the People’s Bank of Govanhill, SwapMarket, artist Ailie Rutherford and researcher Bettina Nissen (PI). The aim was to co-develop ideas for possible use of new technologies in feminist community currency. The initial pilot project we undertook utilised craft, design and action research to engage local communities in discussions around cryptocurrencies and distributed networks of value exchange.

The term String Figures by Donna Haraway (2016) acts here as a metaphor for the inextricable threads that connect us all which have become more visible and essential in the current global crisis. Haraway describes String Figuring as methods of tracing, following the threads and patterns that connect us increasingly through acts of kindness, care and solidarity in our communities. In this project, we will explore new forms of shared, online mapping tools of distributed value exchanges based on previous hands on workshops techniques we developed to support local community groups and creatives to join and envision a novel shared distributed network. The aim of this investigation is to firstly utilise online tools for distributed mapping and tracing which will lead to a concept design of a novel tool relevant to creative and community organisations to share and map potentially hidden labour practices, shared skills and knowledge throughout a distributed network.

This follow-on project therefor aims to extend the work we started on mapping value exchanges of community care and labour from a local to a more trans-local network across other international organisations (e.g. Furtherfield, Guerilla Media Co-op) with similar ethos and aims towards fair and equal networks of care, solidarity and labour for communities and creative industries. With the current global crisis and shift in language around solidarity economies, mutual aid and online collaboration, this work plays an even greater role in envisioning future alternative models of distributed power and labour practices to challenge the increasingly visible issues of the current economic model and the digital gig-economy.

External Partners:
People’s Bank of Govanhill
Swap Market
Milk social enterprise
Category Is Books
The Well Multicultural Centre
Arc Independent Studios
Outwith Co-Writing Space
Guerilla Media Co-op
Short titleString Figures
Effective start/end date1/07/2031/10/20