The Forever-do: Project & Collaboration

Jill Townsley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This is a chapter for the catalogue that accompanies the Resonance III: DATAMI festival presented at the European Commissions Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy in September 2019 and the exhibition DATAMI at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels in December 2019 - January 2020.

Meeting within the context of the JRC, and in response to the Big Data question, we (artist Jill Townsley and computer scientist Carlo Ferigato) realised that process holds an important position within both of our working practices. Research around the design of communication systems, and the emphasis on the process within the art object (definitive beyond subject and object), presented some common ground. Articulating our processes offered a rich dialogue and exchange of creative thinking, identifying important key words beyond process, such as system, time, space, flow, coordinated behaviour, repetition, difference, unfolding, folding, choice, resource, selection and transfer.

The Forever-do Project explores the idea of fishing into data sets generated by coordinated behaviours. The aim is to catch coherent patterns of data and represent them in visual artwork. Nets, traditionally a fisherman’s tool, are also the link between the art and science used in Forever-do. In theoretical Computer
Science, nets are instruments for the analysis and design of systems, distributed in time and space. The strength of these nets is their explicit representation of fundamental situations of coordination and concurrency among system agents. Agents can be computers and/or human beings. Nets were introduced as formal Computer Science tools by Carl Adam Petri in the nineteen-seventies, and are today known as Petri Nets. One of Petri’s examples, the Bucket Chain, is a simple explanation of coordinated behaviour between firemen extinguishing a fire, as they carry water from the tank to the fire using a chain of buckets. This sequence explains how the coordination of behaviour and flow of data in time and space can be represented with nets. The Bucket Chain is the main source of inspiration for the Forever-do Project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResonance III
Subtitle of host publicationDATAMI
EditorsAdriaan Eeckels, Freddy Paul Grunert, Christina Fiordimela
PublisherEuropean Commision
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'The Forever-do: Project & Collaboration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • The FOREVER-DO Game

    Townsley, J., 14 Mar 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

    Open Access
  • The FOREVER-DO Game 2

    Townsley, J., 15 Oct 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • The FOREVER-DO Game

    Townsley, J., 2018

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

Cite this