Networkingart art & hacktivism by Tatiana Bazzichelli
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    @ “Aesthetics Re-loaded“, International conference
    December 11-13, 2012, Aarhus University, Denmark

    The aim of the conference is to advance and exchange basic research on aesthetics within the field of new technology. The conference explores the concept of aesthetics by investigating the challenges new computational technologies pose for current aesthetic theory. Confirmed keynote speakers include Bernard Stiegler, Olga Goriunova, and Mark B.N. Hansen.

    Scholars of aesthetic theory seldom engage the specific potential for aesthetic experience offered by digital computer technology, despite its omnipresence. By the same token, IT researchers often interpret “aesthetics” as merely a question of how the user interface manifests itself – in other words, as a question of an encounter or interaction of a “user” with an interface without any more detailed evaluation of the aesthetic qualities of that meeting or interaction. The conference attempts to bring a deeper, theoretically grounded consideration of the aesthetic dimension to bear on the digital phenomena and technologies that surround us today.

    As part of the conference programme, I am moderating a panel entitled: “The Aesthetics of Disruptive Business”

    Participants: Christian Ulrik Andersen/Geoff Cox/Søren Pold, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Stevphen Shukaitis, Marina Vishmidt.

    With a backdrop of the crisis of financial capitalism, austerity cuts in the cultural sphere, the panel will focus on aesthetic strategies in relation to a broken economy. In a perverse way, we ask whether this presents new opportunities for cultural producers to achieve more autonomy over their production process and ask what alternative business models emerge? We are concerned broadly with business as (artistic) material for reinvention, and the challenge for critical aesthetics in terms of key business paradigms like innovation and regeneration.

    • Tatiana Bazzichelli (Transmediale / Leuphana University of Lüneburg), moderator
    • Christian Ulrik Andersen/Søren Pold/Geoff Cox (Aarhus University), “Disruptive Innovation in Digital Art/Activism and Business”
    • Stevphen Shukaitis (University of Essex / Autonomedia), “All Your Aesthetic Management Is Belong to Us: Mimetic Self-Organization in the Circuits of Immaterial Production”
    • Marina Vishmidt (Queen Mary, University of London), “Mimesis of the Hardened and Alienated: Money, Value and Activism in Recent Art and Around It”

    More info about the Panel: here
    More info about the Conference: here
    Conference Programme: here

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    October 3rd, 2012tbazzEvents, Social Actvism, Social networking, Web 2.0

    WHAT ARE EUROPEAN ALTERNATIVES TO GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK?
    Digital Backyards | International Conference
    October 18th-20th at Kunstquartier Bethanien | Berlin

    Are there any alternatives to an increasingly centralized internet landscape as cultivated by Google and Facebook? It is hard to imagine, but there are. The resources for such alternatives lie dormant in Europe’s diversity itself: tinker garages, corporate hotbeds, grassroots hubs, institutional labs, hacker bedrooms, editorial outposts etc. In those digital backyards innovators have been silently pursuing their work. Now they come together from all over Europe to explore synergies and common interests.

    Digital Backyards (18.-20.10.), organized by the Berliner Gazette, is partitioned into a semi-open „Networking Lounge“ (with registration) and „Public Talks“ that are accessible to a broad audience. At the three day conference  journalists, activists, bloggers, researchers, entrepreneurs, cultural workers, programmers from all over Europe come together and explore future scenarios of networking.

    The curator of reSource transmedial culture berlin, Tatiana Bazzichelli, will be presenting the reSource project (in the thread ‘The Art of Tomorrow’) by running a workshop entitled: Building Communities as a Distributed Curatorial Practice (read more here).

    “Scaling up Through Cooperation”
    Thursday | Oct. 18th | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Kunstquartier Bethanien | Studio 1 | Mariannenplatz 2

    “Community, Social Network and Beyond”
    Friday | Oct. 19th | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Kunstquartier Bethanien | Studio 1 | Mariannenplatz 2

    „Public Talks“
    Saturay | October 20th | 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. | free admission
    Kunstquartier Bethanien | Studio 1 | Mariannenplatz 2

    For further information on programme and participants click: http://berlinergazette.de/symposium/digital-backyards/

    Photo Credit: Guillaume Loraine (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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    Ph.d-forsvar (Public Defence): Tatiana Bazzichelli
    5. December 2011, 14:00 to 17:00
    Det lille Auditorium, Incuba Science Park, Åbogade 15, Aarhus University
    [Ph.d - Tatiana Bazzichelli]

    Networked Disruption
    Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking

    In connection with the submission of her PhD dissertation “Networked Disruption. Rethinking oppositions in art, hacktivism and the business of social networking” to the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University for the award of a PhD degree in Information and Media Studies, Tatiana Bazzichelli will publicly defend her research in an open forum, 14-17 on Monday December 5, 2011, in Det lille Auditorium, Incuba Science Park, Åbogade 15, Aarhus University, Denmark.

    The objective of this research is to rethink the meaning of oppositional practices in art, hacktivism and the business of social networking. By identifying the emerging contradictions within the current economical and political framework of Web 2.0, hacker and artistic practices are analysed through business instead of in opposition to it. Shedding light on the mutual interferences between networking participation and disruptive business innovation, this research explores the current transformation in political and technological criticism. After the emergence of Web 2.0, the critical framework of art and hacktivism has shifted from developing strategies of opposition to embarking on the art of disruption. Disruption becomes a two-way strategy in networking contexts, a practice to generate criticism, and a methodology to create business innovation.

    Connecting together disruptive practices of networked art and hacking in California and in Europe, the author proposes a constellation of social networking projects that challenge the notion of power and hegemony, such as mail art, Neoism, The Church of the SubGenius, Luther Blissett, Anonymous, Anna Adamolo, Les Liens Invisibles, the Telekommunisten collective, The San Francisco Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, the early Burning Man Festival, the NoiseBridge hackerspace, and many others.

    Examining committee:
    Senior Lecturer Olga Goriunova, Dept. of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom;
    Professor Franco Berardi, Accademia di Belle Arti, Carrara, Italy;
    Associate Professor Geoff Cox, Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University (chairman).

    After the PhD degree there will be a reception in room 229, Nygaard Building, Finlandsgade 21, 8200 Aarhus N.

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    November 28th, 2011tbazzNetworking Art, Transmediale Resource

    reSource for transmedial culture
    Statement of interest & call for collaborations [download as pdf]

    from: Vittore Baroni, "Real Corrispondence 6", 1981

    The reSource is an initiative of transmediale – festival for art and digital culture, Berlin in collaboration with CTM/DISK GbR and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, on the search for further partners during 2012.

    ## reSource – A new initiative of the transmediale festival

    The reSource for transmedial culture is a new framework for transmediale festival related projects that happen throughout the year in the city of Berlin. It is an initiative that extends into ongoing activities with decisive touchdowns at each festival. Within the aegis of facilitating collaboration and the sharing of resources and knowledge between the transmediale festival in Berlin and the local and translocal scene engaged with art and digital culture, the objective of the reSource for transmedial culture is to act as a link between the cultural production of art festivals and collaborative networks in the field of art and technology, hacktivism and politics.

    This statement of interest is directed mainly to local and international artists, cultural producers, hackers, activists, and gender-situated communities active in the city of Berlin and in the broader field of net culture regionally and internationally, to co-develop experiences which invite exploration, experimentation and reflection. By generating a set of questions and issues which are addressed to local and translocal communities within (and beyond) digital cultural production, the main idea is to develop mutual exchanges of methodologies and knowledge, as well as project-space experiences, investigating new ways of forming a cultural public and producing a meta reflection on strategies of collaborative actions.

    The launch of the reSource will take place at transmediale 2012 through different project disseminations such as workshops, talks and performances. It will in itself be an important feature of the 25th anniversary of the transmediale, looking into the future while acknowledging the importance of the festival as an accessible and dynamic forum for the translocal art scene as well as for interdisciplinary cultural producers and researchers.

    The reSource launch at transmediale is anticipated by a beta-reSource event on November 16-18, 2011 at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) organised in partnership with the Digital Aesthetics Research Center (DARC) of Aarhus University and the Vilém Flusser Archive. After transmediale 2012, the reSource will extend its activity in collaboration with two main partners: CTM/DISK, proposing a series of open events held in the spring 2012, and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, organising a public event in August 2012, which will show the results of the first phase of collaboration and sharing within the context of the reSource for transmedial culture.

    This statement of interest is thought as a call for collaborations to involve a number of additional projects and partners towards the creation of a distributed platform during 2012 and further, envisioning the festival form as a peer-production context of knowledge and research.

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    Time: November 5, 2011, 12:00-16:30
    Where: Theater Kikker Grote Zaal/Main Hall, Utrecht, NL.

    curated by Stephen Kovats (Transmediale 2008-2011, McLuhan in Europe 2011)

    Focusing on the ‘Right to Know’ the Summit invites discussion on how digital media engulfing our daily lives are now accessible in not only new but perhaps previously unimagined ways. Such accessibility also creates new forms of openness and malleability blurring the lines between the hack, the hoax and the objective. The public focus of the Net as being a broad ranging arena of information exchange moderated by proxies such as ICANN and dominated by enterprises incl. Google, Facebook and Amazon is once again shifting. Two decades into our life within the World Wide Web, a much wider and more diverse group of users has emerged using the Net as a central arena of critical socio-political activity.

    The currently unfolding ‘Arab Spring’, as well as the victory of the Pirate Party in Berlin’s State elections, fuels forces that have the ability to create new forms of information visibility and data malleability. These major popular movements have radically influenced all sides and players in the rapidly evolving and seemingly completely unpredictable shifts in social and political orders. The recent case of the ‘unmasked’ fraudulent (or simply naive prankster) U.S-based blogger who purported to be a Syrian Lesbian rights activist moving to the fore of that country’s current revolt underscores the precarious level of blind trust mass media and digital society at large nonetheless still places on the power of ‘sincerity’ in net-based communication. Hacktivism itself, once the poetic domain of seemingly invisible forces, is becoming mainstream. Is there a danger that the rough, highly unstable edges of digital media and network practice, including political hacktivism, open source protocol design (i.e. Thimbl, DIY tools and apps) and evolving movements such as Sharism, will be ‘corporatised’? Where do these forces converge, and where does the opportunity lie to entrench the idealism of the Net’s ability to be the essential guarantor of expressive freedom and mobility? By supporting and embracing the rough edges of the media, keeping these in flux and critical, we have the historical opportunity to firmly guarantee, as an entire society, the Net’s primary strengths and characteristics: that of a truly open, unregulated and free tool of communication.

    Featuring: Alejo Duque, Christopher Adams, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Sami Ben Gharbia, Alejandra Perez Nunez, Rui Guerra and Sunil Abraham. Introduced and moderated by Stephen Kovats, respondent Chris van der Heijden.

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    Panel, ISEA Istanbul, Monday, 19 September, 2011 – 09:00 – 10:30
    Sabaci University, Sabaci Center, Room 3, Istanbul, Turkey

    The panel investigates some of the interconnections between art, activism and business. “Don’t hate the media, become the media”, was one of the slogans of Indymedia. We are applying this critical hands-on perspective to the business framework.

    The panel investigates some of the interconnections between art, activism and business. “Don’t hate the media, become the media”, was one of the slogans of Indymedia. We are applying this critical hands-on perspective to the business framework. Presenters examine how artists, rather than refusing the market, are producing critical interventions from within. As the distinction between production and consumption appears to have collapsed, every interaction in the info-sphere seems to have become a business opportunity. 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 or social hacks that use a deep level of irony, but also unexpected consequences. The tactics demonstrate the permeability of systems — that these can be reworked — and more so, that radical innovation requires modification of the prevailing business logic.

    The backdrop of the Istanbul Biennale makes a useful reference point here as one of the markers along with art fairs in general for the commodity exchange of artistic production. 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.

    The panel explores some of these contradictions: that on the one hand, there are alternative or disruptive business models that derive from the art scene, often as critical or activist interventions, but on the other how these practices can be easily co-opted by proprietary business logic. This is perhaps exemplified by the business idea of ‘disruption-innovation’, where disruption is considered to be a creative act that shifts the way a particular logic operates and thus presents newfound opportunities. Does this mean that well-meaning critical strategies of artists and activists are self-defeating? How do we develop disruptive business models that do not simply become new models for business that ultimately follow capitalist logic?

    We maintain there is nothing wrong with doing business as such.

    Chair: Tatiana Bazzichelli, Geoff Cox
    Presenters: Christian Ulrik Andersen & Søren Bro Pold
    Contributors: Dmytri Kleiner, Elanor Colleoni, Maya Balcioglu

    The occasion is also thought as launch of the project DisruptivBiz, a platform of research on the topics of Disruptive Art and Business curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli and Geoff Cox.

    More information

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    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.

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    March 29th, 2011tbazzEvents, Social networking

    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.

    ahacktitude_2011The next AHAcktitude 2011, the national meeting of the AHA mailing list, is taking place in the city of Carrara, on April 1-3 hosted by the Fine Art Academy of Carrara.

    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).

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