The Medium of Treason

The Bradley Manning Case: Agency or Misconduct in a Digital Society?

Speakers: Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Andy Müller Maguhn, John Goetz, Diani Barreto, Tatiana Bazzichelli. 
Sun 5 May, 2013,  17:00 Urban Spree Gallery, Revaler Straße 99, 10245 Berlin.

As part of the reSource transmedial culture /transmediale festival year-round programme curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli

On April 5, 2010, the Internet leak website WikiLeaks, published a video titled Collateral Murder, where a United States Apache helicopter fired on civilians in New Baghdad in 2007. The video shows American military personnel shooting and killing 11 individuals whose cameras were ostensibly mistaken for weapons. Two children were also gravely wounded on the scene. Two of those people killed were war correspondents for Reuters, the 22-year-old Reuters’ photojournalist Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, 40-year-old Saeed Chmagh.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”. Birgitta Jónsdóttir, MP in Iceland, co-produced the video in 2010 with encrypted footage that had been leaked to WikiLeaks by an unnamed source, now revealed as Pfc. Bradley Manning.

In May 2010, the 22-year-old American Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was arrested after telling Adrian Lamo, a hacker in the US, that he had leaked the airstrike video, along with a video of another airstrike and around 260.000 diplomatic cables, to WikiLeaks. Manning has been held in detention by the US military ever since. He has already pleaded guilty on 10 counts that could subject him to 20 years under multiple violations of the Espionage Act of 1917 and of “aiding the enemy”.

In this highly polarizing case, lawyers, civil rights organizations and journalists are insisting that Bradley Manning had disclosed the information under the aegis of his 1st Amendment Rights, which protects Freedom of Speech. In light of the charges he faces, any leak of classified information to any media organization could potentially be interpreted as an act of treason.

This event affords the distinguished guests the opportunity to re-visit the making of the Collateral Murder video three years on, to discuss the “United States v. Bradley Manning” trial on June 3rd, 2013, which has been hailed “the most important National Security trial in the history of the US” (NYT Pentagon Papers counsel James C. Goodale) and how it has engendered a pattern of intimidation to threaten and silence whistleblowers, cyberactivists, journalists and news organizations such as Wikileaks, and the implications concerning the future of political agency, free speech, freedom of information and the sanctity of the Press.

In this context, the speakers also discuss the reprisals and political ethics in the cases of information disclosure and judicial overreach brought against hackers such as Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, and the tragic surmise of Aaron Swartz. The speakers furthermore evaluate the groundwork of new initiatives for civil society platforms intended to monitor, lobby and support legislation that strengthen freedom of information as well as providing protections for sources and whistleblowers in the rapidly accelerating complexities of the information age.

This event (reSource 005) is organised by the reSource transmedial culture berlin of the transmediale festival in partnership with re:publica. The event is co-curated with Diani Barreto.

With the kind support of the initiative Berlin

Networked Disruption: Book Launch


Tuesday, 26 March 2013, 20:00 – late
c-base (Rungestraße 20, 10179 Berlin, S/U Jannowitzbrücke)

The event reSource 004: Networked Disruption (part of the series of event by the reSource transmedial culture berlin) reflects on how the current techno-economic paradigm of Web 2.0 has challenged notions of art and hacktivism. Named after the just-published book by Tatiana Bazzichelli Networked Disruption: Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking (DARC Press, 2013), the event discusses new strategies of political and social criticism, by reflecting on mutual interferences between art, hacktivism and business disruption.

Hackers, activists, artists, practitioners and theoreticians are invited to reflect with us on the current development of artistic and hacker practices in the context of social networking. How can hackers and artists be critical in the business context of social media? Is the business of social media co-opting DIY culture? Is criticism only possible through opposition? These are some of the questions we will share with the public during the panel.

By proposing the concept of disruptive business as an art practice, reSource 004: Networked Disruption becomes an opportunity to imagine new possible routes of social and political action. The event presents a constellation of social networking projects that challenge the notion of power and hegemony, from the earlier development of network culture to today.

We will reflect on the meaning of disruption today by connecting practices of networked art and hacking in California and Europe, 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.

Networked Disruption is presented by Tatiana Bazzichelli (it/de), in conversation with Michael Dieter (au/nl), Alexander Müller/Hedonist International (de), and the public of c-base. Moderated by Kristoffer Gansing (se/de).

After the book presentation and discussion, the dj/vj/xj Podinski (XLterrestrials + CiTiZEN KiNO) will mix a culture jammer’s “smorgasbord” of counterculture beats and hijacked eyecandy from the 90s and up to various post-9/11 situations. Expect un-soothing audio-visual chaos!

More info here.
Download the book here. Buy a copy  ( .de .uk .it)

Networked Disruption: The Book

Networked Disruption – Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking by Tatiana Bazzichelli now available (DARC Press, Aarhus University, 2013).

Networked Disruption by Tatiana Bazzichelli Cover

The current techno-economic paradigm of Web 2.0 has challenged notions of art and hacktivism within digital culture. The book “Networked Disruption” takes up this challenge and discusses a new perspective on political and social criticism. It simultaneously asks what are the conditions for hacker and artistic practices under Web 2.0 and how can social networking be seen to build on and incorporate artistic practices from the earlier decades of digital and network culture.

Through its theoretical discussion of contemporary art and hacktivism, the book maps out a new contradictory space for art and criticism: Networked disruption.
More information here.

Download free PDF / Buy a copy  ( .de .uk .it)

Licensed under the Peer Production License

reSource transmedial culture at transmediale 2013 (résumé)


Since September 2011, I have been curating the reSource transmediale culture berlin, a project of transmediale that happens throughout the year in the city of Berlin, developing ongoing activities with decisive touchdowns at each festival. It is a networking project based on the inter-connection of genres & practices, developed in cooperation with the reSource partners: CTM/Disk, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and the Post-Media Lab/Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Before transmediale 2013 BWPWAP I planned to create a conceptual link from the events organised in May and in August, to various festival activities, which constituted a further development of those.

The event reSource 002: Out of Place, Out of Time, held last August at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien was the occasion to launch three major installation projects, which have been developed for the following six months, to be finally realized and presented at transmediale festival 2013: OCTO P7C-1, which featured PNEUMAtic circUS, ReFunct Media #5 and Composting the City / Composting the Net.

Read More

Panel: “The Aesthetics of Disruptive Business”

@ “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

Researching BWPWAP

International Research Conference and PhD Workshop
Leuphana University of Lüneburg,
22-24 November 2012

In the context of developing a platform for knowledge exchange and research across the arts and sciences, the reSource transmedial culture berlin/transmediale festival has established a partnership with the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University of Lüneburg and the Digital Aesthetics/Participatory IT Research Centre, Aarhus University to foster new forms of collaborative research, peer-review, publication and performative knowledge dissemination.

The international research conference and PhD workshop takes next transmediale’s thematic framework (BWPWAP, Back When Pluto Was a Planet) as a broad starting point, and is a chance for researchers to share ideas and development processes across and beyond the time/space of academic research paradigms. The conference and workshop asks how BWPWAP can be interpreted in the context of research culture that has been significantly destabilised by network culture and digital media.

Around 20 international PhD students have been selected after submitting their research abstracts via a public call. Students and researchers will meet at the Luphana University to present their activities and reflect on further networked research practices, which will culminate into the publication of a P2P reviewed newspaper presented in the framework of transmediale 2013.

The event follows on from similar events organised in 2012 and 2011 at Universität der Künste (Berlin), and Aarhus University, respectively. For the publication resulting from the last events, visit the following.


Organised by:

Digital Aesthetics/Participatory IT Research Centre, Aarhus University
reSource transmedial culture berlin/transmediale festival
Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Read more about programme and contents:

Postdoc at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg /transmediale

Since April 2012 I became a Postdoc researcher at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, as part of the Innovation Incubator /Centre for Digital Cultures (Art and Civic Media KT). In July 2012 my contract extended to the Institute for Culture and Aesthetic Digital Media, Faculty of Cultural Studies, where I have been working within the research framework and practice-based project “transmedial culture”, as a collaboration between Leuphana University of Lüneburg and transmediale festival.

My research projects are the following:

Research project: “Networking Communities as a Research Practice”

Associated to: “Art and Civic Media” Inkubator KT, Center for Digital Cultures
This project is a further development of Tatiana Bazzichelli’s PhD research: Networked Disruption: Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking (2008-2011). It is based on the practice of networking as a research method used to investigate new models of production of art and culture explored by artists, hacktivists and grassroots communities.

Its objective: To investigate how collaborative practices among communities of artists, activists and hackers engaging with participatory technologies and networks contribute to shape new courses of action, tools and contents within (and beyond) digital culture production.

Research Methods:
(1) To compare new modalities of art production developed by artists and activists after the emergence of social media, reflecting on distributive, iterative and socially-engaged models of participation and innovation;
(2) To apply the concept of disruptive innovation to the art field so as to open up a critical perspective on the “network economy” trying to understand how the market works after de-assembling its strategies and mechanisms of production;
(3) To rethink the concepts of (social) networking, collaborative practices, innovation and participation adopting an ethnographic approach by mapping the activities of communities locally, regionally and internationally.
Official Page

Research project: “transmedial culture”

A Practice-Based Research Project of Networking Art and Culture
Cooperation project with: transmediale, festival for art and digital culture, Berlin (Kulturprojekte Berlin)

Associated to: Institute for Culture and Aesthetic of Digital Media, Faculty of Culture Studies.
The research intends to develop a further analysis of disruptive hacker and artistic practices in the field of network culture, but also a deeper investigation into networking as a research method through a curatorial practice-based experience within transmediale festival: the “resource transmedial culture berlin” (
The reSource transmedial culture aims to work towards the creation of a shared knowledge laboratory, and a project for local and translocal distributed networks by organising events, workshops and talks involving artists, hackers, activists, researchers and cultural producers on a local, regional and international basis. 

(1) To analyse the concept of transmedial culture, investigating creative approaches across digital and analogue media, reflecting on the intersections between cultural production, networking and disruptive art practices;
(2) To reflect on the strategies of networked art and hacktivism, by developing an empirical methodology based on mutual exchanges between the members of the (post-) media art scene, cultural producers and researchers in the field of the humanities;
(3) To form practice-oriented contexts of reflection and give feedback to both theory and practice through an interdisciplinary, distributed curatorial approach.

Outcomes: To organise public events with the aim to facilitate exchange between academic and non-academic spheres of knowledge production. The outcome of these activities will be disseminated through publications with an emphasis on new types of distribution as well as on new audiovisual and performative forms.
Official Page

Digital Backyards Workshop & Conference

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:

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