By Tatiana Bazzichelli, published in Digimag 63, April 2011
In the essay The author as a producer (1934), Walter Benjamin describes the author’s role through the figure of the engineer. Instead of reproducing the production apparatuses, the author/engineer is able to intervene within them, transforming the cultural production function itself and opening it up to the collective intervention.
The engineer figure described by Walter Benjamin reminds the “tactical” art by Paolo Cirio, who contributes to transform the meaning of the artistic practice from within, by unveiling the unsolved knots in the art field. Through his artworks, Paolo Cirio (http://www.paolocirio.net) intervenes tactically locating some plugs of a puzzle which can be finished only by directly involving its referents, being them either corporations, media apparatuses, or the so-called network “users”.
His artworks, some of which were created together with Alessandro Ludovico and Ubermorgen.com (GWEI, Google Will Eat Itself e Amazon Noir), some others were created individually (such as Drowning NYC, The Big Plot e Open Society Structures), redefine the author’s and art’s role, which becomes a premise to think over social and political dynamics. By manipulating the media and the news media, as he himself claims, his work “often pushes the boundaries of the representation, going beyond the use of a single media and focusing on the information environment created by the data flow.” His artworks deal with the language, the narrations, the creation of conspiracy plots, but also with the meaning of power, democracy, privacy and control. Not always without provoking contraddictions and controversies. But it is just through this dynamic of the imperfect and the unknown – once they are started, artworks are opened to possible developments and interpretations – that it is possible to experiment how the information and media flows build their meaning.
This interview, starting from the description of the meaning of tactics and strategies applied to the artistic practice, and wondering about some concepts such as “the media robbery”, ends thinking over some sensible knots revealed by the last projects: Face to Facebook, created with Alessandro Ludovico and launched at the last Transmediale 2011, and P2P Gift Credit Card protagonist of an action in London on March 25th, in which the “revolutionary” credit cards have been distributed in strategic places.
Both projects, exhibited at a solo show, REALITYFLOWHACKED, which opened in Ljubljana on April 26th at the Aksioma Project Space, become an incentive through which analyzing the intersections between art and market, the contradictions and paradoxes of neoliberal capitalism, the artist’s role itself and, at the same time, the one of the user.
In the social media era, the relational dynamics and the information data flow become more and more part of the production processes, not often validating the utopian perspective assumed by Walter Benjamin in 1934. That is why it becomes central to reflect on such processes, imagining possible alternatives, provoking critical contradictions and producing new visions and experiences.
Read the interview with Paolo Cirio here.Tags: Artivism, Bazzichelli, Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, Paolo Cirio, Social media, Social networking, Web 2.0
Seminar on the Arts and Politics of Participation, April 2, 15.00h @ AHAcktitude 2011, Italy, Academy of Fine Art of Carrara, organised by Tatiana Bazzichelli, Loretta Borrelli, Simona Lodi & Vera Martini.
The program is very rich and participated. Conferences, debates, workshops and performances will involve students, artists, activists and professors.
On Saturday from 15.00-18.00, Loretta Borrelli, Simona Lodi, Vera Martini and I are organizing a collaborative seminar on the topic: Arts and Politics of Participation. All the members of the AHA: Activism-Hacking-Artivism network and new participants are welcome. During this seminar, we are investigation the meaning of participation in the context of capitalistic strategies in the field of networking practices and exchange.
Below is the text of my intervention, a critique of the concept of participation and artivism in the time of social media (language: Italian).
Racconto di un’esperienza: verso una critica dell’artivismo?
di Tatiana Bazzichelli
Il concetto di partecipazione è centrale per sciogliere alcuni nodi che riguardano l’evoluzione e le trasformazioni del concetto di “fare rete” nell’era dei social media. Le mie riflessioni sono la conseguenza di un percorso che sto portando avanti a livello universitario durante la scrittura del mio dottorato in Danimarca e sono anche la conseguenza di un percorso di diretto coinvolgimento nell’ambito della scena attivista (o meglio artivista) in Italia sin dalla metà degli anni 90. Quindi, il mio contributo va pensato come soggettivo, e di base si tratta di un racconto di un’esperienza, che citando Chiara Zamboni, “è allo stesso tempo dono ai presenti e desiderio di essere aiutati nel decifrarla” (Zamboni, 2009: 34).Tags: Activism-Hacking-Artivism, Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, moltitudine, Networking, Social media, Social networking
Volume two, issue two is out!
Voices of dissent: activists’ engagements in the creation of alternative, autonomous, radical and independent media
Volume two, issue two of Interface, a peer-reviewed e-journal produced and refereed by social movement practitioners and engaged movement researchers, is now out, on the special theme “Voices of dissent: activists’ engagements in the creation of alternative, autonomous, radical and independent media”.
FULL ISSUE (PDF 5.05 MB)
Interface is open-access (free), global and programmatically multilingual. Our overall aim is to “learn from each other’s struggles”: to develop a dialogue between practitioners and researchers, but also between different social movements, intellectual traditions and national contexts.
This issue of Interface includes 26 pieces in 4 languages by authors from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Palestine, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, the UK and the US, including:
Theme-related articles: Tina Askanius and Nils Gustafsson, Mainstreaming the alternative: the changing media practices of protest movementsTags: anna adamolo, Artivism, Bazzichelli, Hacktivism, Social media
• Patrick McCurdy, Breaking the spiral of silence: the “media debate” within global justice movements. A case study of Dissent! and the Gleneagles G8 summit
• Tatiana Bazzichelli, Towards a critique of social networking: practices of networking in grassroots communities from mail art to the case of Anna Adamolo
• Clemens Apprich, Upload dissident culture: Public Netbase’s intervention into digital and urban space
• Dongwon Jo, Real-time networked media activism in the 2008 Chotbul protest
• Brigitte Geiger and Margit Hauser, Medien der neuen Frauenbewegung in Archiv / Archiving feminist grassroots media
• Margaret Gillan, Class and voice: challenges for grassroots community activists using media in 21st century Ireland.
Paper presented at the Public Interfaces Conference, 12-14 January 2011, Aarhus University, Denmark.
This paper reflects on the notion of recursive publics proposed by Christopher M. Kelty in the book Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (2008), analyzing the consequences of disruptive dynamics both in so-called underground artistic networks and in the business context of digital economy.
Public interfaces are contextualized through the analysis of disruptive actions in collaborative networks, showing that the vulnerability of networking dynamics in recursive publics might be an opportunity to create political criticism, while the act of generating a/moral dis/order becomes an art practice.
Although the analysis of geek community as a recursive public sharing social imaginary of openness, and a moral order of freedom, is a valid frame to understand geek culture through a sociological point of view, adopting a dialectical perspective in the analysis of network dynamics might open an opportunity to question the notion of artistic intervention itself. This thread connects multiple identities projects and hacker practices of the last decade with business strategies of today, reflecting on the role of activists and artists in social media. Their interventions are thought as a challenge to generate a critical understanding of contemporary informational power (or info-capitalism), and to imagine possible routes of political and artistic action. Furthermore, this analysis questions the methodology of radical clashes of opposite forces to generate socio-political transformation, proposing more flexible viral actions as relevant responses to the ubiquity of capitalism. The strategy of disruptive innovation as a model of artistic creation becomes a challenge for the re-invention and rewriting of symbolic and expressive codes.Tags: Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, neoism, rebel art festival, Social media
In the recent article I wrote for the Italian IT portal Punto Informatico, “NetStArt/ I retroscena delle geografie digitali”, I presented the new project of the Italian duo Les Liens Invisibles: R.I.O.T. – Reality Is Out There.
Created for the Share Festival in Turin and presented during an outdoor workshop for the first time, the work “R.I.O.T. / Reality Is Out There” (here the website) is based on the concept of “augmented reality”. Through the use of smart phones in the urban landscape it is possible to access a parallel infosphere, and as Les Liens Invisibles point out, re-appropriate the public space. The various virtual data and geo-coded levels visible using smart phones become a geography to discover and reveal, but also an opportunity to invade and decompose consciously – and ironically – the everyday life. As stated in the website of the Share Festival, “the inspiration of the new Les Liens Invisibles project is the theme of Share Festival 2010: the error / smart mistakes, which the team plays creating an alteration of reality with the help of these technologies“. The workshop developed through a collective walk in the city of Turin, discovering the installations hidden in the virtual landscape (see the map).Tags: Art & Business, Artivism, Bazzichelli, Hacktivism, Networking, Social networking, Web 2.0
October 26th, 2010Bazzichelli PhD Research, Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, Social networking, Web 2.0
Panel hosted by DARC (Digital Aesthetics Research Centre, Aarhus University)
Presenters: Christian Ulrik Andersen (DK), Tatiana Bazzichelli (IT/DK), Geoff Cox (UK/DK), and Les Liens Invisibles (IT).
Share Festival, Turin, Italy. November 3, 2010. Regional Museum of Natural Science, Conference Hall, 2pm.
The panel investigates some of the interconnections between art, activism and business. Presenters examine how artists, rather than refusing the market, are generating cultural Trojan horses — social hacks, or “smart errors” — producing critical interventions from within. As the distinction between production and consumption appears to have collapsed, every interaction in the info-sphere seems to be a business opportunity.
The phrase “creative economy” is a perversion in this line of thinking. Therefore, the creative intersections between business and art become a crucial territory for re-invention and the rewriting of symbolic and cultural codes, generating political actions, attempts of social innovations, but also unexpected consequences and a deep level of irony. Errors or mistakes demonstrate the permeability of systems — that these can be reworked — and more so, that radical innovation requires modification of the prevailing business logic.Tags: Art & Business, Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, PhD Research Bazzichelli, Social networking, Web 2.0
We are not suggesting these are new issues — as there are many examples of artists making interventions into the art market and alternatives to commodity exchange — but we aim to discuss some of the recent strategies that have emerged from a deep understanding of the net economy and its markets. Examples derive from software development and net cultures, such as peer production, free culture initiatives, gift economies, extreme sharing networks or open source business models.
Talk at the Emotion, Media and Crime Conference
September 29 – October 1, 2010, Aarhus University
The aim of the conference Emotions, Media and Crime in Aarhus is to highlight the relationship between emotion, media and crime in contemporary culture.
“Crime is the central point of an extensive production of fiction in books, films, TV series, and games. Crime is also a popular subject of journalism, mediated in newspapers and electronic media, not least the internet. Import and export flourish, developing intercultural exchange in a variety of fiction genres as well as forms of journalism. In short, national and transnational mediation – and mediatization ? of crime has been a crucial factor in determining how crime is perceived and discussed within the public sphere. Popular crime fiction, TV series and crime scenes have even become concepts in tourism and destination branding”.
My proposal reflects on the activity of a series of media artists and activists in Italy who created fictional myths, conspiracies and mythopoiesis – between urban legends and alleged crimes – in the middle of the 1990s. It addresses the creation of media ghosts and conspiracy theories as a form of art, where tactical and strategic use of media aims to underline sensitive nodes of social and political reflection (Wu Ming, 2006). Through the analysis of some pranks, conspiracies and artistic interventions, I will describe the process of creation of fictional identities as a challenge for cultural criticism. The method will be comparative, based on the ethnographic investigation of a few cases. First, I will address the pranks by the Luther Blissett Project (1994-1999).Tags: Hacktivism, luther blissett, pranks
Some notes extracted from a paper written for the Conference “Interweaving Technologies. The Aesthetics of Digital Urban Living”, Aarhus, Denmark, April 22nd, 2010.
In the last half of the twentieth century Avant-garde art practices from Fluxus to mail art promised the creation of collaborative art and the production of new models of sharing knowledge. Today, techniques of networking developed in grassroots communities have inspired the structure of Web 2.0 platforms and have been used as a model to expand the markets of business enterprises.
The principal success of a Web 2.0 company or networking enterprise comes from the ability of enabling communities, providing shared communication tools and folksonomies. In this paper, I aim to advance upon earlier studies on networked art using a cross-national design, refusing the widely accepted idea that networked art is mainly technologically determined. Furthermore, I will present a few considerations that connect early experiments of networked art with the establishment of social networking platforms.Tags: burning man, Disruptive Business, Hacktivism, Social media, Social networking