s o l a r    p r o j e c t

This is a project that concerns itself with experimenting with the new media technologies.

The principal factor which, in our opinion, could make the Internet on the Solar Project different from the Internet's usual application is that, the Internet in this case applies itself as an environment that is now defined in Interaction Design Technology (the Internet being a component of it) as computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). With the major distinction, that while the conventional use of the Net restricts itself to the conventional tasks of resourcing information and upgrading further data structures, CSCWs on the other hand, work towards the express purpose of developing "human intellectual production". Which exactly coincides with our own avowed intentions of using web-based technology in a way that would convert the Net into a collaborative workspace (rather than remain just a technologically-enabled database), with opportunities for international partners to collaborate on pre-determined creative tasks.

Given this technology premise, what we have done so far has been to conduct, over the last one year, a series of online and asynchronous 'events' aimed at:

(a) connecting up through the networking technologies communities from different parts of the globe, especially with those communities that are placed at great physical distances from each other;

(b) with special emphasis on connecting up (through these technologies) with the "new audiences", a term coined by us to denote those that are considered to be the "technology-illiterates" and in that sense remaining the most vulnerable to the use of the technologies. By the "new audiences" we would mean user-groups such as children, artisans, blue-collared workers, artists or even housewives and such - anybody unlikely to become part of the computer-mediated technologies in the conceivable future; and

(c)with the further hope of giving shape to certain cross-cultural product-outcomes that would decidedly remain as physical entities at their respective physical locations although they have in fact been generated through virtual exchanges. What is of concern here will be to address the cultural identities of such globally-generated products through cross-cultural exchanges, and an issue that could need considerable deliberation over their market implications into the next millennium.

In a nutshell, therefore, our mandate includes

(i)   getting communities from across the world to connect up online on defined tasks;
(ii)  to include into the folds of the new technologies more numbers and varied categories of technologically-vulnerable users; and
(iii) to give cross-cultural products created through these interactions a sharper focus and definition knowing full well that these are products with physical entities that have yet been borne out of virtual exchanges.