unmoastery site

[Athens, Matera, Berlin, Beyond]


intro’d via edgeryders


from original site..



update nov 2015


first unmonastery summit – feb 2015


at transmediale – capture all

One of the central requirements identified during our circles, was the need to form an autonomous legal organ in order to establish clearer structures and models for participation, acknowledge the vast mix of contributions being made by individuals to unMonastery over time, decentralise tacit control within an accountable structure, and advance opportunities for resources to support the establishment of individual unMonastery nodes. This was particularly crucial given that over the past year the initiative and network had grown far beyond its early stage development within the EdgeRyders community.

During this meeting we hit upon an organisational model that we felt was both open and inclusive. Whilst light as a foundational starting point, the key invention for this was that membership can be claimed by all those who commit significant energy and time to the development of unMonastery. Thus The unMonastery Deep Time Bank was born.

Vinay listed as one of 16 –  intrepid souls committed to the continuation of the unMonastery initiative… via 100 unpaid hours



  • New Lebanon, New York, USA — [In development] —  (Point of contact is: BenB)
  • Athens, Greece — [In development] —(Points of contact: Katalin, Lauren and Jeff)
  • Berlin, Germany — [In development] — (Point of contact:@keikreutler)
  • Alessandria, Italy — [Scoping] — (Point of contact: Bembo)
  • Göhrde, Lower Saxony, Germany — [Scoping] —  (Point of contact: Katalin)
  • Pessegueiro, Sines, Portugal — [Scoping] — An initial dialogue has revealed a promising possibility of a ‘creative immersion centre’ in a beautiful unFortress overlooking the sea 100 km south of Lisboa.


set about bringing together a group under the banner MAZI (meaning “together” in Greek) that could develop specific tools, platforms and contexts with the objective of making DIY network’s more widely available and useful to more people. As part of this a consortium formed to apply for CAPS, building upon existing initiatives in the creation of community owned local wireless networks.

MAZI website


partner organisations that make up MAZI, which includes the NITlab at the University of Thessaly, the Zurich-based non-profit organization NetHood, the Edinburgh Napier University, the Design Research Lab at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Open University, the INURA Zurich Institute, SPCin London and Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin


much more info on link above.. and again here:



2 video from site:

may 2014 – UnTeaser (UnDocumentary)

july 2014 – unClosing special content (unDocumentary)subENG

on thinking why the communes failed

katalin on matera

ran a coderdojo test their…. went well.. then a day for the children.. 60 came.. talking of school there and teachers

so unmonastery not normally – an eclectic ecosystem..?

follow unmonastery:

link twitter

Place-based social innovation combining monastic traditions + hackerspace ethos. Collaborating with neighborhoods to solve common and complex challenges.


link facebook


the book of mistakes – the book of greater and lesser omissions – (haven’t read yet)



athens lab:


people.. adding for reference as reading below):

Katalin Hausel – @katihausel

Ben Vickers – @benvickers_


notes/highlights from book – code/recode:

(still reading)

pdf download:


the first unmonastery opened its doors feb 2014 in matera italy.

drawing on a perhaps romanticised history of monasticism and the design patterns of a residential hackerspace, the unmonastery project seeks to develop the code for a new communal, protocolized approach to the development of a global community which is capable of moving in unison over the next century to challenge existing dependency chains and economic fictions..

nice. curious about protocolized ness…

unmonastery bios… a workable reusable toolkit of …. documentation of the matera prototype

code/uncode .. analysis of unmonastery in athens.. interviewing monks (on left).. paralleled w/unmonastery ites journey (on right)

p 4

uncode defies being written…

a surface reading of this structure show how the unmonastery fails to replace god and christian faith with an appropriate shared aspiration and value system. however, the interviews also reveal the inability of the established orders to truly claim a potential contemporary relevance of the ‘forma vitae’. no matter how inelegant or petty the conflicts and problems appearing on the right hand side seem, they stand witness to a raw and committed struggle to search for a 21st century form of dedication to a devout communal life, while insisting on the responsibility to carry some remainder of the belief that at this point in history there is still constructive action available, beyond an nihilistic embrace or idealistic refusal of the facts of everyday life.

a nother wayrev of everyday life ness

p 5 reminds of – dreaming of a dance ness..

ie: a naked account of our daily labour of making sense of our work in the unmonastery.

p 6

r: keikreutler – .. i do think protocol can offer speculative solutions to organizing routines and living patterns but perhaps more os a common poetry that generates trust and allows a freedom of action. saying freedom maybe for lack of a better word.

juxta – ing with graeber increase b law et al…. wondering about protocols.. and if need them less the more people there are.. because of one ness.. and that sync of making the dance dance. needing all of us to be whole. and so then.. how virtual/www ness allows for all of us to play.. ie: even in rural areas.. even in monastery’s .. creating unmonatery ness..

i’m thinking way important for any protocol to be minimal.. ie: taking 33 min a day as mandatory ish – (not the book – the 33 min describe in the book). and only because we currently need detox. i think if we were all detoxed . .. no protocol would be needed..

i love his verbiage: common poetry.

but .. i struggle with the idea of generating trust.. thinking it’s 100% or not.. only dependent on – ie: are you human, not.. what did/didn’t you do et al..

p 7

r: @benvickers – getting up painfully early – embedded in list of what he (or someone writing to ben.. can’t tell) then says: are not rules to compromise or consense on.

getting up early? as a rule for all?

p 8

l: erik – on Rules v rules.. so, the scriptures are as it were, the ocean in which we swim, in which this little floating raft of the Rule is making its headway on, to mix metaphors slightly. (Rule translated.. a measuring line.. benedict’s regula.. straight  path to get from a to b, where b is life of union w/god)

p 9

l: ben – where i’m going…. how you get to the point in which you might suggest a reform. … how observed changes come to be new Rules.

r: on not approving of 2 morning circles per week.. recognizing foreigners to experience as daily practice… morning circle and practice should be our primary worship: aligning ourselves with each other and celebrating communal ecstasy.

the 30 min a day w/ fam ness

be with family graphic stilly

(can’t search images on site just now.. wanting to add image of 30 min w/fam)

also ref’s to tabacco/chemical abuse.. reminds of piece talking of being with a person when need escape or to live (bad paraphrase but can’t find/remember it now).. ie: how would we be if we all.. all.. had all the day. as the day ness. 100% of the day (perhaps less 33 min) free matters.. to seeing us. and trust matters huge to that.

r: then he ends suggesting that opening up closing day circle to guests (via practice in matera – be cemented  into unmonastery life….. to be a part of the abnormal human ritual of speaking in an attentive, nonargumentative group.

p 10

l: erik – on saint benedict – though seemingly autocratic… council of order.. follow like sheep ness…  is very clear than any important decision should take everyone’s opinion into account…. sometimes the youngest have the best ideas; so don’t only listen to greybeards.

r: katalin – … how do you walk a new colleague around to meet everyone in a virtual workspace…

interestingly, protocols for working together face a lot less resistance than structure for living together. we all know we cannot do the unmonastery work individually. how does this translate onto unmonastery life…

p 11

r: katalin – … what are the operators that enable such dazzling coordination and outreach? they are in the blind spot, the aspects of life nobody talks about, so deeply agreed upon that they remain unnoticed and undebated.

deep simple open enough – ship ness

my sense is that recording what makes it work despite of the disagreements may be just as important as resolving the conflicts.

sounds like Astra at platform coop – and – document everything ness

we are in a process of developing protocol for writing protocols…. it is a mistake to mix up writing the protocol for athens, with writing the meta-structure of having a protocol for unmonastery. the first one is about control, to make sure people sharing their living and working space exist together in harmony. the second is about enabling any community to make its hidden procedures and customs explicit, in order to ensure it remains open facing and open source, subject to change, from small alterations to large scale forks.

need for problem deep enough, via mechanism simple enough, in system open enough.. ness

p 12

r: on listening to rule for when to wake or listening to body..

i used to alway s plague myself w/guilt if i woke up late. one of biggest life changes for me, was to tell myself “ever feel guilty for waking up late, your body is telling you something.

i wonder what the mechanism or approach is to ensure that you don’t end up w/a split between those that stick to it and those that struggle – and you mitigate guilt, or division. or is the mechanism simply consensus that everyone agrees/pledges to the belief that discipline and consistency is a root to well being/stability? and it spreads by example/conformity.

my – i hope not. the it is me ness.. has to be embedded in – everyone having something else to do ness. raised eyebrow ness is a killer.

r: bembo on post matera – and questions of how we live haunt us and obscure the greater one of: what service does unmonastery offer to its surroundings..

wanderings is right.. no? embrace that. rev of everyday life. whimsy matters. unknowing matters. that is the gift/service.. no?

p 13

l: ben – asking about the rhythm of rigorous routine set by the Rule… how it actually affects your body, your metabolism, your sleep, your states of consciousness… and how it affects your relationship and interaction with others that are living the same routine..

l: erik – on first – it messes you up.. ie: we get up at 3. … now i find it marvelous. on second – developed a very sophisticated sign language.. able to have long convos w/o saying a single word.

p 13-14

r: ben – on how unmonastery ites are so un bounded ish.. and this fundamental thing is rules. in the monasteries, it was gult and in hierarchical iterations of the monasteries; violence.

i don’t want to use either.. so i recommend: experimentations. ie: we haven’t tried this before, lets see what happens if we ie: wake at 5am. then share analysis….also on monasticism, read the agamben’s the highest poverty (not available for rec on overdrive) (earlier said read it because we’re wasting time on monasticism) .. the power of the rule; rules are obeyed in the eyes of god, upon the self. the self in this way is not accountable to the group, any more than they want to participate and judge this as a necessary lubricant for that participation..


my notes from book here: the highest poverty

l: erik – it’s a very powerful thing to do such a private and intimate thing in silence alongside other people. and that actually creates a very powerful bond.

p 16

r: ? the unmon is predicated upon the synergy of working in a coordinated strategic manner. getting to the point where this synergic motor powers the core of the collective requires tangible investment.

or tangential investment.. ie: getting to the (touching on the) root of all.. again.. trusting it’s already in us.. if we just go deep enough..

for (blank)’s sake ness

l: erik – on joy…. and it is true that part of what makes it joyful i think… is that we’re trying to dispense with what it not necessary, …

gupta roadblock law

p 17

l: erik – on gratitude, joy and freedom.. as 3 things that are a stabilizing force in being able to exist w/in this life

p 18

l: ben – what do you think it is that specifically fosters trust between monks beyond faith?

l: erik – i think… seeing people’s fidelity and their reliability, and that holds for small things as well as large things. …  what you come to really appreciate is people just doing.. mucking in and helping, and cleaning up when there’s a mess, a… lending a hand.. little things like that. seeing that over time you find that actually people are remarkably trustworthy.

i don’t know. still don’t think we’ll experience … joy.. freedom.. gratitude.. if we ourselves judge toward trust. i think the dance only dances if we all decide the one rule is.. trust people. 100%. because they are human. that’s it. everyone gets a go.. everyday.. do-over to infinitum.

p 18

r: – bembo – theatre dependent upon the ensemble… we know in our bodies that time stolen from the work is irreplaceable, it deflates the ensemble….. the standing or falling of the unmonastery seems to balance precariously upon the ability to provide inner discipline. we may embrace hard work and community service as the pillars of our mission, but subjective interpretations as to how much inner discipline should be expected have plagued every attempt thus far to form unmonastery communities..

what we found.. when 2 needs met.. the dance will dance.

visitation 2 – in purple lettering – sounds like one ness..

p 19

l: erik – it’s pretty exceptional to be living in a human cotext where you can pretty much all the time take everyone’s good will for granted.

that’s the missing piece.. the 100% trust ness.. we need to do that for all of us.. adichie single story law.. and eisenstein i know you law.. et al

r: presummit presumptions – #2 – that we recognise that existence without protocol has proven its limitations.

i would question that presumption..

r: #7 – that the spine of the circle reflects the health of the organism.

i like that..

r: #8 – untox work

is that detox..?

p 22

whoa.. interview 2 by phone.. facilitated by Nathan

here his article on them aug 2014:

Can Monasteries Be a Model for Reclaiming Tech Culture for Good?


perhaps unMonasteries, sparing the dogma and self-flagellation, can keep alive the promise of a liberating Internet as companies like Google and Facebook tighten their grip.

The unMonastery’s gestation began in 2011, the year of Occupy and the Indignados, a time of so many ambitious undertakings with ambivalent outcomes.  The Council of Europe’s ominous-sounding Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division sought, in the words of its chief, “to have a better idea of the extent of insecurity in society.” The international body sponsored the invention of Edgeryders, “an open and distributed think tank” of people working through an online social network and a series of conferences.  They produced a report about the economic crisis—a “Guide to the Future.” Soon the council’s funding ended, but Edgeryders pressed on as an online network with more than 2,000 members and an incorporated entity. The group presents itself as a company in the business of “open consulting.”

At the end of its first conference in Strasbourg in June of 2012, a small circle of Edgeryders, with glasses of wine in their hands and under the shadow of a church, dreamed up the unMonastery. The idea was this: find a place with unmet needs and unused space to lend a building to a group of young hackers. Live together cheaply, building open-source infrastructure for the commons. Repeat until it becomes a network.

The unMonastery vision went viral in the Edgeryders community. It fit into a widely felt longing at the time, evident in many parts of Europe and North America where protest had broken out in 2011, to start figuring out practical alternatives to the failed order. Occupy activists were learning to set up worker co-ops, and their counterparts in Spain laid plans for Internet-driven political parties. This was the period, too, of Edward Snowden’s leaks, of Aaron Swartz’s suicide, of blockades against techie commuter buses in San Francisco. Google became one of the world’s leading lobbyists, and Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. Tech could no longer claim to be a post-political insurgency; it had become the empire.

wow just copying it all so far

ben vickers.. insight – much to read here .. just go to link above

documentation can trump even failure; others can study the attempt, tweak it and try again.


Elf Pavlik, a 31-year-old web developer with pony-tailed hair, had been living for five years without touching money or government IDs.


Keeping track of the longer view was the job of Bembo Davies, a Canadian-turned-Norwegian widower and grandfather, a veteran of the circus and the stage who updated his WordPress chronicle in august prose.


or when they worried about whether they’d done any good for Matera whatsoever, they reminded each other, “Everything’s a prototype.”


Building a new society in the shell of the old can seem so impossibly hard. Capitalism, meanwhile, makes organizing ourselves look easy by paying us to pretend that’s what we’re doing. Maybe the longing for leaderless swarms in the protests of 2011 partly stemmed from the image of a team at a software conglomerate, or a noncommercial, open-source project nonetheless parasitic on its corporate sponsors. But the kind of democracy and community we glean from tech culture lacks a deep structure, a core; tech culture is particularly good at disguising the reality that its core has become investor returns and Wall Street IPOs. The CEO’s absolute authority dresses up like charisma. Rapt in admiration, we the people are being de-skilled out of actual self-organizing. A few months in, the unMonastery’s communications had become a jungle of platforms, many of them proprietary, with few clear lines between inward and outward: the public Edgeryders website, public Trello boards, a closed Google Group and public folders full of Google Docs.


Like just about everything, all of this has happened before.


“Making the democratic most of the Information Age,” Roszak wrote, “is a matter not only of technology but also of the social organization of that technology.” – 80s

rushkoff os law – we need to go deep/simple/open .. ps in the open – io dance ness


Offers of real estate for a new unMonastery have come from Greece, Spain and up near Venice.


Michel Bauwens, an elder statesman in Europe’s peer-to-peer movement, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis suggesting that underused churches and monasteries not be sold on the real-estate market but repurposed as sites of a new collaborative economy. He cited the unMonastery as a model.


These relationships can seem like compromises with the past, but what seems new and original almost never really is, except to the degree that we fail to remember.

back to code/uncode:

l: ben – one of major differentiators between what we’re trying to achieve and how the monateries operate, or at least our percept… as isolated spaces retreating from civilisation. we consider the interface with the local community to be a major part of our work but we’re still at times questioning that as an absolute direction.

resonating.. with our findings..  when you get one a.. crave other a. (a and a ness – a nother way) .why app chip design is such.. to perhaps .. jumpstart us back to (what visitation 3 purple letter even ref’d – a more natural state of us – ness)

p 23

r: katalin – cycle seems phased by…. one is creating a structure for self-evaluation.. writing a second book of greater and lesser omissions

self talk as data… ness

p 24

l: ben – after hearing paul talk of monestaries funding streams through ie: mushrooms; vineyards, candy, fruitcake.. says  one way  we designed it was with govt policy in ind, and that means that there’s a specific funding stream in terms of almost selling it as a service to govts and small towns/cities…. before we move forward into the future we need to seriously think about production as a means for supporting what we do.

? (also ? to list of to do’s katalin was referencing on p 23)

radical econ – if need a jump start..

r: katalin – the place we live, the projects we help with or develop all do not belong to us and need to be ready to be given back as soon as someone local wants it.. keeper of a “found object” that can be claimed and must be returned at any moment, without hesitation.

p 25

r: bembo – meanwhile, personal survival reared its familiar head. the edgeryders became less about the greater we, and more about economic strategies for a generation of upstarts trying to make their way as social capitalists.

p 26

l: ben saying it seems monasteries are low on youth.. and asked paul if he thought they would be open to new innovations..

l: paul – yes. … a lot of monasteries are always looking for new ays of making an income.


r: bembo – on the guidebooks they have written…  then at bottom of page – touching on individual survival strategies..

i think this has to be based on us trusting that 100% of us have the map/protocol w/in each of us. daily anew. focus on a mechanism that draws on that .. daily. allows for whimsy/regeneration/iteration ness.. daily.  so i think we can’t have any more than – perhaps a kids book – and even that is optional – for those feeling overly blind/toxified.[a nother way]

p 27

l: ben asking about any monasteries focused on tech

l: paul saying there are many.. then telling of one making millions doing web sites.. ink jet cartridges… but consumed too much of abbot’s time… so whole thing collapsed.. so much pressure, business pressure, whist also living the monastic life at same time…

100% timeholacracy et al law ness] ness.

as the day.


as an app.. on top of other initiatives.. as a social clinic..
perhaps more.. as an app getting at root of all initiatives.. as a means.. placebo even… to get us back to (uncover) a natural state.. everyday.. before initiatives…

p 28

social cohesion ness and temporal shell

glue law and imagine a turtle ness

l: after Ben said.. they were looking to monastery as another way… another system…paul.. saying operating system is capitalism… no choice..
r: how to not be an eternal reception desk.. levels of entry..
how about simpler.. and ..holacracy law ness.. dive in.. because.. it’s a daily reception… do over... for all.. ad infinitum
edgeryders starts out from counsel of europe at strasbourg. social cohesion research..

r: read their first book..

l: on all as suggestions from counsel .. problems sent ance every two ish years.. and suggestions made.. up to local monastery to implement
r: 2 nd para – assumption of moneys and protocols…
ie:kickstart.. update uncode

p 3 5

l: ben – asking about agamben’s third thing – where Rule and life lose their familiar meaning.. our entire task is precisely to bring this third thing to light..

i’d say – third thing if you like – as eudaimonia… and the dance via attachment as eudaimoniative surplus.. so how to create/uncover an operating system that can facilitate that.. mechanism simple enougn – grounding/facilitating the chaos of 7 billion set free to eudaimonia – 100%/singularity ness/third way ness.

r: many of us don’t do collectivism; weaned out of the cult of the individual, it is our differences that claim value, while massive areas fo overlap seem profoundly less interesting.

ni ness. re\wire for that.

r: faith will only get you so far; we are once again left with the option of thinking strategically.


r: david – … it it makes you feel uncomfortable and unproductive to sit in a circle for more than half an hour you might be…

not sure of the grounding of this particular circle.. but am sure of grounding of still ness

In old age the emphasis shifts from doing to being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, know nothing of being. It asks: being? What do you do with it?   – Eckhart Tolle

pascal quiet in room

feedback loop is broken

p 36

r: david – need a cell to retreat into soitude and privacy. it’s not difficult to allocate a bedroom into a – do not distrub – room for anyone..

echo chamber ness for sure.. but this sounds like our necklaces in the be you house.

p 38

r: the unmonastery continues to operate as a postulate. its brilliant hypothesis is built upon a ‘what if w were a coordinated we’

p 39 – submission is for many an unknown – the very idea hurts. pictures of vast totalitarian parades tighten the throat. inner conflict occurs: the mysterious virus of ‘not wanting to’ suddenly becomes an option.

a major premise of both monasticism and unmonasticism is that optin is not an optin. the choice to enter the magnetic force field of the accelerator is done at the gates – from that oint onwards ay choice is no longer individual but collective.


always a choice. – diplomacy of a bondservant ness. we’re in this mess right now because.. you always have the option.. (ie: option in play ness)..

i believe this.. because if you don’t have the option.. you won’t be you.. we won’t be us.

p 42 – interview 3

r: urt (uncivilixation retructuring therapy

detox as detox ness?.. self-talk as data

p 43

r: pour 10 hrs 7 days a week into the unmonastery project, w/o a clarity about why, apart this being the only way we may know how to work. i can imagine waking up one day and just being fed up….this is the job for the presummit, to find the shared source of the energy that makes us all working together o the unmonastery project

why matters. we have to get to a sustainable/iterating/regenerating energy..

p 45

l: cassian – no, there’s nothing wrong with that at all, except that takes time. we are so pressed with the immediate needs that we don’t have the luxury to write a document about it. we’re just working on the experience; we don’t have time to write a document about it.

what if you did/could do both… document everything ness.. chip.. with self-talk as data..

p 46

l: alberto – so you input the knowledge not in documents but in people..

l: cassian – in networks, yes. and some documentation too..

albert – bu there is a way that the drive to documetation emerged in the hacker moement is that they saw that is more efficient in terms of time. so the same problem only gets solved once, and then it’s written down somewhere and that documetn is accessible online. that saves you more time than actually going to belgium and finding brother william who..

cassian – but that’s more fun.

exactly.. we can’t not live. tech can help us with that. just talk to self.. which is needed anyway.. then let deb roy.. gary flake.. et al style tech to the labor/time intensive capture/search/connect/suggest.. et al..

p 47

l: on lack of desire/energies to do the ref books et al..  among the projects pending on the unmon horizon was one based upon a hidden assumption voiced in the 00 matrix designed for berlin: that to avoid making a protocol any longer is dangerous. it is clear that not everyone puts the same imperative in the concept. however, whether we call it uncode, unrule, unprotocol, it seems to haunt our work of the past year that the disciplines of our benedictine predecessors are not mirrored in our daily work:

wasn’t for them either.. no? other wise.. whole word would be doing that by now..

need for a nother way.

p 51

l: cassian – theres a love of the place. and because we love the place we want to take care of the place…but there isn’t a monastic pov about environmental issues per se.. (he had on 50 said he thought eco movement valid but excessive)

with all writing on right (and left) side of hard work of keeping things clean.. and perhaps even harder work of deciding who does what and when.

listen to this. no? if you love the place.. no rules/guidelines.. needed.

work on 2 needs.. deep enough.. to take care of all other needs. so – do this first. ness.

p 52

r: including the key edgeryders unifying thread of social cohesion.. however, promoting widespread social cohesion required the cultivation of internal cohesion. this took very human-sized quantities of time. we could decide to ‘trust the process’, but this was predicated upon having one. painstaking work was still to be done.

a and a ness. they dance. as us.

a nother way