Image credit: Still from Marguerite Hemmings and LaJune McMillian, Antidote (2020), digital video.

Serpentine Podcast: Playtesting

‘Justice is an ongoing methodology’

– Ruha Benjamin

The Serpentine Arts Technologies programme launches a series of two specially conceived episodes of The Serpentine Podcast released alongside their publication Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse (FAE2)

FAE is an annual publication that offers strategic insights to practitioners and organisations across art, science, technology, and policy. FAE2, released July 2021, focuses on Art x Metaverse (Gaming and Virtual Infrastructures). These podcasts invite incredible artists, technologists and thinkers to share their insights, methodologies and working practices with advanced and emerging technologies, and virtual worldbuilding. From building counter archives, datasets and repositories for liberation, to working with antecedent frameworks, together we embrace more decentralised, community-focused and emancipatory visions for the future.

The Playtesting series is presented by Tamar Clarke-Brown, Producer, Arts Technologies Commissions and produced in collaboration with Sasha Edye Lindner from Reduced Listening, Additional sound design by Alx Suutoo Dabo.

Alx Suutoo Dabo

Interdisciplinary artist Suutoo works with sound, visuals and objects, often alchemising these elements through ceremonial performance. Through these, they explore and incite a poetics of becoming, toying with the transformative potential of imagination and the ways in which it comes to shape our realities.

Episode 1: Counter-Archives

What can digital assets and datasets do for Black liberation and social justice? From broken mechanics to Black Trans gospel, magic circles to terms and conditions of engagement, we join Berlin-based artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley ( and New York based artist LaJuné McMillian (The Black Movement Library) to find out how these artists are building counter-archives towards liberation through alternative practices of digital archiving and asset creation.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist, animator and archivist creating work that centres Black Trans people.

LaJuné McMillian is a Multidisciplinary Artist, and Educator creating art that integrates performance, extended reality, and physical computing to question our current forms of communication. They are passionate about discovering, learning, manifesting, and stewarding spaces for liberated Black Realities and the Black Imagination. LaJuné believes in making by diving into, navigating, critiquing, and breaking systems and technologies that uphold systemic injustices to decommodify our bodies, undo our indoctrination, and make room for different ways of being.

Episode 2: Co-Creation

How can gaming and virtual world-building help us design better cultural architecture and infrastructures? What does the metaverse show us about community building and the co-creation of experience? And what do ‘antecedent’ technologies have to show us about creating ethical frameworks? Taking an intergenerational view, we join Native American artist and technologist Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Andie Nordgren, of popular online MMORPG Eve Online and Director of Live Platforms for Unity to find ways through the hidden architectures and decentralised ethics of the metaverse and its precedents.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist, Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Arts, at the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida and the host of Wampum.Codes, a podcast featuring conversations with indigenous creatives who use technology to make positive change in their communities.

Andie Nordgren is the Director of Live Platforms at Unity Technologies and ex-EVE Online Executive Producer at CCP Games.


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