Data-driven Platforms and Processes in Schools
Artery is facilitating a new project by Autonomous Tech Fetish working with Radical Education Forum to explore how data-driven platforms and processes are operating in schools and within childcare systems. Monitoring, surveillance, safeguarding, profiling, anti-radicalisation mechanisms, data collection and more. How do teachers, schools staff, parents and children act within these technical governing machines? How do they affect the health and well being of those being administered under these platforms? How are pedagogy practices influenced and changed to accommodate these structures and within these frameworks? Could better transparency around the collection and access to the use of children’s data offer benefits to those children beyond their current uses?

These are just some of the questions being explored at the Common House with the aim to run a series of art workshops within school settings.

Autonomous Tech Fetish (ATF) is an collective of artists, technical tinkerers, academics and activists dedicated to the making new strategies for critically exploring intersections with new technologies. We run an open tech space for gathering, sharing and making at the Commonhouse and host a series of activities such as Betty Ciphers Encryption School, public maker workshops, film club, and collaborations with other activist groups. We explore how digital technology is fetishised and how we can respond – to defetishise it or refetishise into new forms, new configurations that serve our needs and desires. In this way, we can question why technology has been made a certain way? Who has it been made for, and who has been excluded? How does or can it restructure our bodies, minds, desires? As part of the Common House, ATF is looking to work with different groups to affirm the technological autonomy of political activism, developing strategies to organise through new forms of surveillance and control. Beyond this, we are committed to co-education, creating spaces where pitfalls and hidden potentials of technologies can be explored without assumptions, to play with the innards of the physical and abstract machines that surround us.

The Radical Education Forum is a group of people working in a wide range of educational settings who meet monthly to discuss radical pedagogical theories and techniques, and contemporary issues of interest to those involved in education. We are interested in how these theories and questions can inform our practice. The Forum supports social justice in education, linking practitioners within mainstream educational institutions, community education initiatives, social movements, arts organisations and self-organised groups. Meetings are held on the last Monday of every month at the Common House.

We launched the Radical Education Workbook Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the London Anarchist Bookfair at Queen Mary University. Please download and enjoy a free copy here.

The Common House is an experiment in building a commons – a resource that is organised and structured by our collective activity as a community and not by money or property rights.


A selection of projects highlighting Artery’s past experience of working with communities and partners since 2005.

Database Addiction: Databases, Health Governance and Art Enquiry
October 2014 – October 2015

Artery is working with YoHa (‘aftermath’) arts organisation who are leading an arts research enquiry into the contemporary role of database systems within health governance and mental health care working with Dr. Luke Mitcheson and the staff of the Clinical Academic Group based at the Addictions Service Centre in Brixton, Southeast London, part of . This arts enquiry form part of a series of investigations by YoHa on the lived logics of database machinery using arts methodology as critical enquiry on this first phase of the research.
Artery will support the projects action research activities, public engagement and profiling to open up the research enquiry to others to reflect on:
  • How the arts as critical enquiry can be developed with staff and institutes to reflect on technical systems in the workplace;
  • How art can create exploratory space (non-discursive) within work spaces where there are layers of conflicting difference e.g. in key priorities, monitoring, protection structures and hierarchies;
  • How to encourage reflection on ubiquitous data systems and on the knowledge it creates and aggregates or importantly that knowledge which is not integrated and the reasons;
  • How can art interpret database structures as a type of governance which influences and even constructs forms of power and decision-making.

YoHa’s graphic vision and technical tinkering have powered celebrated collaborations since 1994. They have a renowned reputation for pioneering critical arts projects that have toured internationally.

Clinical Academic Groups
The CAG Addictions centre is part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Clinical Academic Groups bring people together who are experts in their field – in areas such as addictions, psychosis and child and adolescent mental health.

Databases, Health Governance and Art Enquiry, is supported by the Wellcome Trust.


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