Torque Editions

Critical Kits

This book investigates DIY tech culture and how it meets participatory, inclusive and community-based forms of creative practice. Critical kits are toolboxes, resources, instructions for how to make fun, experimental, or simply interesting things happen with technology. But they’re also a means to question the uses and abuses of technology, and to explore the network of affects technologies participate in.

Critical Kits, produced by Re-Dock arts collective, includes a selection of case studies from artists and makers working in the kit form, a series of essays on the theory, historical, and contemporary contexts for kit making and distribution, and an in depth look at Gym Jams, a kit-based project which took place in Howe Bridge public leisure centre.

It is designed to be useful for artists, makers, students of art-tech work, and anyone interested in current participatory and technology practices.

Who are Re-Dock?

We are an artist collective whose work grows out of the intersection of kit making culture and public art. We make participatory art in non gallery spaces (libraries, leisure centres, shopping centres, canal towpaths) that explore people’s relationship to emerging technologies. Although our projects are initiated by artists in response to specific places and communities, we have found ways to reconstruct them with different communities in different places. This process has led us to view some aspects of participatory art practice as a kind of a kit.

Why have you written this book?

As part of a generation of artists giving equal critical focus to both participation and technology, we think we’ve identified a problem. Much of the documentation of this work fails to capture the richness, complexity and difficulty of working across contemporary art practice, community engagement and technical cultures. This written exploration of the artistic uses of kits and kit culture, is our response to this challenge.

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Critical Kits and How We Use Them – Re-Dock




October 2017

Print Edition

Available from Re-Dock [£10]


Hwa Young Jung, Ross Dalziel, Neil Winterburn, Andrew Wilson, Rachel Clarke, Gemma May Latham, Chris Wood, Domestic Science, Laura Pullig, Stef Bradley, Nathan Jones, Chris Jackson, Jonathan Spencer, Sam Meech, Tim Brunsden


Hwa Young Jung