Calum Bowden collaborates on stories, worlds, and platforms that reconnect the cultural with the technological, economical, political and ecological. He co-founded Trust and Black Swan.
Trust is a network of utopian conspirators, a sandbox for creative, technical and critical projects, and site of experimentation for new ways of learning together; a hybrid online (Discord) and physical space (Berlin) for inquiry into emerging social and political phenomena through the lenses of aesthetic, narrative, game, technical, climate and design research. Since 2018, Trust has developed a public programme that includes lectures, installations, residency programmes, reading groups, working groups, live-streamed participatory events, and online resources. Trust incubates open source projects that build a creative culture of the commons, including: Moving Castles, Millieu, and Black Swan’s Cygnet.
Black Swan is a Berlin-based collective pursuing horizontal and decentralized approaches to the traditional art world templates for art making. Through peer support, artist-led funding and community organizing, they place resources into the hands of the users rather than the gatekeepers of the arts. Black Swan is developing digital toolkits for artists through a methodology that puts play at the center. Existing communities of creative practitioners are invited to test and experiment with forms of interaction, modes of organization, and sustainable economic models in role-playing events, working groups, and hackathons. Through play, Black Swan is building an open-source and interoperable protocol for artistic communes, which will enable collaborative institutional forms and allow for a redefinition of what art can be.