Aesthetics of Common Participation and Networking Enterprises

Bicycle Built for Two Thousand, by Aaron Koblin

Bicycle Built for Two Thousand, by Aaron Koblin

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.

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Hacking (Sex) 3.0. On Networked Sexualities and Open Porn

Tech-Talk Tuesday at Open Space Aarhus, September 7, 19.00.-22.00.

CUM2CUT 2006 - Deep Dive Superhero by Joachim Muehleisen

CUM2CUT 2006 - Deep Dive Superhero by Joachim Muehleisen

After the talk I got interviewed for the Danish IT newspaper Comon.
Published as: “Hackere skaber ny form for porno” > read more here.

What is the connection between hacking and pornography? If we consider the hacker and activist backgrounds of the Italian and Spanish underground culture of the past thirty years, the hacktivist attitude is very often connected with the radical-punk idea of self-management, DIY and independent production. But the idea of creating networks of relations among individuals and collective experiences where subversive use of technology is connected to radical politics is not just limited to the creative use of computers and technology. Sex might also be seen as a working field of hacker experimentation and a context in which to express the DIY punk approach.

While hacktivism is the direct political and social action online, pornography becomes the direct political and social action on one’s own body (outside and within the network). Some experiences in the European queer and activist culture showed how to transfer this experimental hacker and DIY attitude from technology to the body and to the broader concept of sexuality. Experiences where the DIY-structure of the punk scene, and the hacker ideas of sharing, openness, decentralization, free access to information, and the hands-on imperative (Levy, 1984) became a challenge to create a different kind of pornography. Some video materials from the CUM2CUT Festival (Berlin, 2006-2007) will be shown.

Read more on my paper:  On Hacktivist Pornography and Networked Porn, essay in the Arse Elektronika Catalogue, edited by Monochrom (AT), Re/Search Publications, San Francisco, USA, upcoming October 2010 + PDF.

If You Can’t Hack ’em, Absorb ’em, or the Endless Dance of the Corporate Revolution

“Coke Side of Life” advertising campaign

“Coke Side of Life” advertising campaign (2009)

Essay by Tatiana Bazzichelli: “If You Can’t Hack ’em, Absorb ’em or the Endless Dance of the Corporate Revolution”, published in Concept Store nr. 3, journal by Arnolfini Contemporary Art Gallery, Bristol, UK. Get the issue here. Get the PDF here. Read the full text below.

What were once the values and philosophy of the hacker ethic are since some years the domain of many of the business companies which represent the development of Web 2.0 and contributed to create the notion of social media.

According to Steven Levy, the first one to use the term hacker ethic as described in his book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (1984), the hacker ethic was a “new way of life, with a philosophy, an ethic and a dream”.

A philosophy, which had its own language and rules, and its own representative community, whose roots went back into the 1950s and 1960s, crossing the activity of the hackers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in the Seventies, the rise of the sharing computer culture in California (well represented by the Community Memory Project in Berkeley and the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley). Embracing the ideas of sharing, openness, decentralization, free access to computers, world improvement and the hand-on imperative (Levy, 1984) the hacker ethics has been a fertile imaginary for many European hackers as well, who started to connect through BBSes in the Eighties.

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NetStArt/Column on social media, hacking and art on Punto Informatico


Last July I started my collaboration with Punto Informatico (“Informatic spot”), with the column “NetStArt”, on social networking, hacking and art. NeStArt as a starting point after the net art.

Punto Informatico is an Italian daily online newspaper, and according to Wikipedia “one of the most famous of Italy’s online newspapers, and the oldest, founded in 1995 by Andrea De Andreis” (it was part of the Italian BBS network). Since 1995 it was managed by De Andreis Editore and directed by Paolo De Andreis, from 2008 to date has been directed by Edizioni Master.

The column, “NetStArt”, wants to reflect on the intersections between art, social networking, hacktivism, and contemporary net culture – therefore it is mainly focused on the transformation of politics, art and culture in the era of Web 2.0. It is strictly related with the research I am developing at Aarhus University on the disruptive art of business (2010).
It is online every 2 weeks, coming out on Wednesday.

Until now, two articles have been published (in Italian):
NetStArt/ Per un NetStArt artistico e tecnologico
NetStArt/ Arte disruptiva e giochi identitari

Operation Bazzinkki – 26.06.10


“The point is not good art — fulfillment in fantasy — but a new mode of life which allows fulfillment in actual life.

Sensibility which is not supported by the mode of life is mere escape”.

Henry Flint

Operation Bazzinkki by Monica Assari

Operation Bazzinkki by Giacomo Verde

Operation Bazzinkki by Petter Karlsson

Event, Signal, Affect. The ‘Signaletic’ Event in Art, Culture and Politics

Conference-Colloquium, Aarhus University, June 12 &14, 2010, ADA building, room 333.

Crowd in Italy, 2008, from the book Sono Anna Adamolo

Crowd in Italy during a strike, 2008, from the book Sono Anna Adamolo (ed. 2009)

This conference-colloquium at the Humanistic Faculty, Aarhus University, will relate to the widespread use of the concepts event and/or affect in contemporary research of media, art, philosophy, politics and culture. It is the aim to qualify, explore and investigate the scope of the terms event and affect in different analytical fields. We assume that the renewed focus on event and affect is partly due to the impact of new (electronic and digital) media and the new forms of immediacy created by real-time control and transmission.
The conference will therefore investigate two key issues: 1) How can we describe event and affect on philosophical, artistic, political and cultural levels? 2) Has a new paradigm of the signal – related to the bypassing of representation in real-time transmissions – superseded the sign? What characterizes the signal?

By combining these questions the conference wants to initiate a broader discussion on a paradigmatic transformation from sign to signal in relation to the concepts of event and affect and their use and scope in art, politics and culture.

[The text above is an extract of the Conference’s call. The arrangement team consists of: Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Britta Timm Knudsen, Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Carsten Stage, Camilla Møhring Reestorff, Mathias Bonde Korsgaard and Jonas Fritsch].

Download the program.

Nigel Thrift, Brian Massumi and Erin Manning.

Niels Albertsen, Mads Anders Baggesgaard, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Christian Borch, Christoph Brunner, Merete Carlson, Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Leila Dawney, Carsten Friberg, Jonas Fritsch, Jan Ifversen, Britta Timm Knudsen, Mathias Bonde Korsgaard, Christoffer Kølvrå, Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen, Thomas Jellis, Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen, Thomas Markussen, Casper Høeg Radil, Carsten Stage, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Anne Marit Waade.
Lise Nygaard Christensen, Lise Dilling, Jette Geil, Lars Bo Løfgreen, Kirsten Marie Pedersen, Rebecca Parbo.

My paper is about networked events as political and social practices of criticism in grassroots communities. Title is: The Network Events. Networked art as a challenge for sociopolitical transformation. I will address some artistic and activist projects as an example of fertile zones of rewriting and experimentation of cultural and political codes. In particular, I will describe the Italian case of Anna Adamolo (2008-2009).

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Research Seminar on the Disruptive Art of Business

Free Beer by Superflex

Free Beers by Superflex

Last May 21st, I ran a seminar together with Geoff Cox on the intersections between art, business and activism, at Aarhus University.

The seminar, as part of the DARC, Digital Aesthetics Research Center meetings, addressed the new forms of business that emerge from the uses of social media and critical arts practices, models that offer new insights into exploitation and even new ways of creating value. Geoff and I opened  the discussion on how best to translate these topics  into future research projects (e.g. in collaboration with SNYK), while presenting a range of different concepts. The research seminar was scheduled for Friday the 21st of May, 10-12, Aarhus University.
The title “Disruptive Art of Business” derives from a paper I wrote for an upcoming book, as part of my PhD Research investigation on Networking 2.0 (read more about the meaning of disruptive technology here). Another of my articles on art, business and social hacking is published by Concept Store Journal nr.3 (Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol), and it is also online here.

Key concepts: crisis of value, debt economies, alternative models (eg. music industry), donations based models, open source business, P2P (see Peer to Peer Foundation for instance), non-monetarised exchange and the gift, free software development, waged and unwaged labour, transformation of the institution, new forms of organization that take cue from networks culture (Organized Networks), buzz words, like sustainability, recuperation and tactical media strategies, disruptive art.

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Interweaving Workshops – Notes & Photos

From the workshops Psychogeographics Aarhus by Martin Howse (UK/DE) and Wi-Fi cracking workshop by Gordan Savicic (AU/NL).


After the previous common experience in Peenemünde (Germany), and in Bergen (Norway), I met again Martin Howse and Gordan Savicic in Aarhus for the Interweaving Technologies Conference (April, 22, 2010), promoted by DARC and DUL, Aarhus.

In 2008 Martin Howse organized the Peenemünde_xxxxx Workshop in the historical location of Peenemünde (where the Luftwaffe tested the V2 rocket during World War II), and with Gordan and some other people, I was part of “an intense, conspiratorial two day long working group/workshop”, following the traces of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1972). During that time I was working on the topic of pornographic coding (inspired by the paper of Stewart Home and Florian Cramer, 2005), which I also analyzed with Stewart Home and Paolo Cirio in the previous 24h-speculative-coding-workshop organized by Martin in Bergen at the Piksel Festival (November 2007), where we created a prank on MySpace.

I was involved in the Peenemünde xxxxx workshop reflecting on the subject of pornographic coding with Gaia Novati and Federico Bucalossi from Italy. What we realized during those intense days was a video, which we called Orgasmatic Implosion. Martin and Gordan worked instead on the EM practice, ‘a landscape and the exposure of its hidden (EM – electromagnetic) double’. It was a very fulfilling experience, which we presented some days after at Transmediale 2008 in Berlin, as part of the Salon’s program (read more here).

On April 22, Martin and Gordan came to Aarhus to run two workshops: Psychogeographics Aarhus by Martin Howse and Wi-Fi cracking workshop by Gordan Savicic as part of the Interweaving Conference. You can look at some photos here.

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