During Covid-19 and the following lockdown, Wells Projects moved online and ran “The Digital Commune,” a series of online collaborations and participatory art projects. For lack of a physical space, we expanded our platform for relational experimentation into the digital realm. The Digital Commune’s aim was to create a virtual space, where complete strangers can collaborate and experiment, to form a playful and organic representation of the times we are living in. One of these projects was Cryptocartography, a participatory map-making and 3D modelling workshop.
We created a process to help visualise where we are at the moment. Being present is one of the hardest things to do in times of struggle and maps are a way to (re)position ourselves. In the course of three workshops, through brainstorming and map-making, we focused on memories, mental health and recovery during quarantine. We drew maps, discussed their relevance and importance to each person and imagined – physical or psychological- spaces of community. These loose, imaginative drawings were then transferred into Tinkercad, a 3D modelling software, where we collaboratively designed a space that bears the mark of each participant. We then 3D printed the models as physical objects. The project is developing and we are running more workshops outside of quarantine.