Upper Space took up the renovated engine room of a former cotton mill in Manchester to organize a series of exhibition, workshops, screenings, talks and public interventions that invited citizens of Greater Manchester to reflect on possible alternative and resistance to ‘consumerism and the disempowerment that it represents’
On display are arts of rebellion from around the world that illuminate the role of making in grassroots movements for social change: finely woven banners; defaced currency; changing designs for barricades and blockades; political video games; an inflatable general assembly to facilitate consensus decision-making; experimental activist-bicycles; and textiles bearing witness to political murders
A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting is a growing collection of items contributed from places that may disappear due to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion and desertification. Through common but differentiated collections, the contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been
Speculative designer Lisa Ma is looking for the relevance of Luddism in the modern era by shifting focus from digital and communications technologies to the innovations of biotechnology industries. These biotechnologies which have started to pervade the food, health and ecological systems will undoubtedly attract their own forms of luddism. So who are the BioLuddites? Where are the group and individuals who ask for a demystification of biotechnologies and who are calling for a public debate about GMOs, systems ecology, hormone replacement, etc?
While children and other innocent civilians are being terrorized and murdered right now in Gaza, people are still accused of anti-semitism simply because they believe that the basic human rights of the Palestinians should be respected. I fear there is still a lot of disinformation and misunderstanding about what is happening in Israel/Palestine. I would certainly never claim that i understand precisely the situation but i do think that Ben White’s book and his talks are clear, well documented and very engaging
Forensic Oceanography critically investigates the militarised border regime in the Mediterranean Sea, mapping the liquid geographies of maritime jurisdictions in order to document the violence perpetrated against migrants at sea. By producing maps, visualisations, human right reports, videos, articles, exhibitions and websites, Forensic Oceanography interrogates this maritime sensorium in the attempt to challenge the regime of visibility imposed by surveillance means and become a tool in the struggle for freedom of movement
What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city?
In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving
The works exhibited include a robot that 3d prints then plants seeds made of a biopolymer created from corn (PLA), an installation that monitors and visualizes the breathing of corn and a series of corn plants connected with electrodes to record the interaction between plants and humans
Recent travels have brought Peter Cusack to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine; the Caspian and other potentially dangerous places. Most are sites of major environmental/ecological damage; others are nuclear sites or the edges of military zones
The Social Mining Union (SUM), aims to reposition the role of the ‘labour union’ (and function of positive activism) within a globalized landscape of post-consumer society, examining the industrial mining industry and peripheral territories it is associated with
The exhibition ‘Resolute – Design Changes’ in Breda shows the work of graphic designers who aren’t afraid to come to grip with burning social and political issues.
Their work goes beyond protest. The designers make us confront problems we’d rather not think about, they turn complex issues into clear and limpid posters, and some of them even craft tools that can be used for immediate action
Piratbyrån and Friends traces the stories of cultural sharing and affinity-building among the activities and values of the members of Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy). This Swedish artist/activist group was established in 2003 to promote the free sharing of information, culture and intellectual property. The exhibition presents screenings, installations and artworks by founding and more recent members, keen to tell the story of the group on their own terms
Flone is a drone (an unmanned aerial vehicle) which uses a smartphone as a flight controller and explores novel ways to “occupy” public space, in particular the air and claim the right to use it before legislation makes it illegal
Palestinians living in an undetermined future would be housed inside a colossal high-tech skyscraper. Each city (Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, etc.) would have its own floor. The building is surrounded by concrete walls but its inhabitants would be able to travel in and out of their country using a highly efficient subway system and go from one Palestinian city to another using an elevator.
In this episode we will talk about the ultimate cliché vacation but also about the Networks of Dispossession, the collective mapping of data about the relations of capital and power within urban transformation in Turkey. I also had plenty of questions about Graph Commons which seems to be a brilliant tool for reporters, researchers, activists, etc.
Aksioma is publishing brochures dedicated to the work of some of my favourite artists and activists. The latest issue of the magazine of Gambiologia (the Brazilian art and science of kludging) is dedicated to collecting, hoarding and recycling. And Neural just turned 20!
For the past few years, CAA’s founders Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe have been traveling around America (and increasingly Europe) to train grassroot activists to think more like artists and artists to think more like activists. The objective isn’t to replace traditional strategies with unbridled inventiveness but to use creativity as an additional tool that will help them gain more attention, make activism more approachable and that will, ultimately, make their campaigns more effective
When Harmony Went to Hell. Congo Dialogues at Rivington Place in London brings side by side archive photos shot by Alice Seeley Harris while Leopold II was still the sole owner of the land and new work from Sammy Baloji, a Congolese artist who has spent the past few years investigating the legacies of colonialism in his country
Critical Exploits showed how a new generation of artists, designers and engineers are taking a highly critical approach to the development and use of the engineered systems and infrastructures that we increasingly rely on for daily life
The main preoccupation of the exhibition is not the militant commentaries behind artworks but the effect that political values and social movements have had on the production modes, aesthetics and communication of visual culture. As such Art Turning Left stands out from other shows dedicated to political art or activism
Showcasing a comprehensive selection of the group’s diverse output, the exhibition includes video, software, net art, installation, and performance. F.A.T. Lab members will also be creating and hacking on new, cutting-edge projects to be added to the exhibition on the fly
Nuría Güell has an impressive portfolio: she wrote a manual on How to Expropriate Money from the Banks, married a man from Cuba to give him her nationality, collaborated with a famous bank robber to design the plan to rob a bank agency from the high security prison where he was detained
Today’s guests are Evan Roth, Becky Stern, Geraldine Juárez and Magnus Eriksson from the Free Art and Technology Lab (F.A.T. Lab), a network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, and musicians who are committed to supporting open values and the public domain through the use of emerging open licenses, support for open entrepreneurship, and the admonishment of secrecy, copyright monopolies, and patents
Scott is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance. Hacking the Future of Money. The book “applies economic anthropology, gonzo exploration, hacker philosophy, DIY culture, and a bit of mischievousness to the world of high finance.”
We’ll talk about the book, the bitcoins and other radical approaches to global finance of course but also about Scott’s plan to start a London-based school of financial activism
Plotting expeditions from London, Paris, Berlin, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Bradley L. Garrett has evaded urban security in order to experience the city in ways beyond the boundaries of conventional life. He calls it ‘place hacking’: the recoding of closed, secret, hidden and forgotten urban space to make them realms of opportunity
Art of the 1980s oscillated between radical and conservative, capricious and political, socially engaged and art historically aware
a video archive of global dissent which explores four decades of social disobedience: from the uprising in Italy in 1977 to the anti-globalization protests and to the insurrections in the Middle East
In the face of impending climate crises, environmentalists are standing with the Bio-Conservatives or with the Techno-Progressives.
However, a number of emerging factors suggest possible alternatives for the relationship between environmentalism and science. Among these are the DIYBIO or Biopunk movements and the campaign for open access to science, as well as headless and cell-based networks of activists such as Anonymous
Drawing on the work of a diverse group of contributors, from art historians, anthropologists, and political theorists to artists, filmmakers, and architects, Sensible Politics situates aesthetic forms within broader activist contexts and networks of circulation and in so doing offers critical insight into the practices of mediation whereby the political becomes manifest
I knew about Bitcoin, i had heard of the Tor software that enables online anonymity but other than that, i felt that there was precious little i knew about the Deep Web, the vast submersed side of the World Wide Web that countless people are using in perfect anonymity every day to buy goods that neither ebay nor amazon will ever sell you and to exchange services that never appear when you do a google search. The more i looked into online black markets, the more intrigued i was. I thought that the easiest and fastest way to get a better understanding of the issue would be to interview Arthur Heist
I’m sure many of you have heard of James Bridle. Either because he coined and formulated the concept of New Aesthetic. Or because you’re interested in drone warfare. A few months ago, Bridle launched Dronestagram which uses Google Earth images and data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to document systematically the locations of deadly U.S. drone strikes. Bridle has also been traveling from Istanbul to Brighton to Washington DC to paint crime scene-style outlines of UAVs
Post Cyberwar proposes 3 methods to prepare for the time after a cyberwar: one is an open navigation system that uses seismic activity, the second one uses analogue television broadcasting to provide a wireless communication infrastructure and the last one would use London’s sewerage system to store data
Oil City takes audiences into the underbelly of London’s oil economy, looking at UK finance for Canadian tar sands projects. By eavesdropping on business people and seeking out secret documents hidden in dead-drops, you will help piece together a puzzle that interweaves government files with financial deals
The order of the book is based on necessity, for instance it is important to know what to do to avoid arrest immediately after breaking into a building. And how to get access to drinking water, heat and cook food before dealing with issues of public space and establishing a communal economy
The Reposition Matrix is an investigation into the military-industrial production and trading networks of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (also commonly referred to as Drones). The workshop aims to reterritorialise the drone as a physical, industrially-produced technology of war, and consequently explore how this affects our understanding of the covert drone campaigns in the Middle East
La Cosa Radiactiva is a “research on transparency and nuclear secrets. A performance to demystify radiation while building awareness of its risks. An imagination exercise to reflect on how it would be like to live with radiation and above all this, a call about the importance of citizens having their own tools to be able to verify public health data provided by governmental authorities.”
Under the Shadow of the Drone is a life-size depiction of a Reaper drone, one of a number of such weapons in service with US and UK forces. The Reaper is used for surveillance and bombing missions, in the declared war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the illegal wars of assassination taking place in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Such wars are made possible by the invisibility of drones to most people
In the context of omnipresent telecommunications surveillance, “The Pirate Cinema” makes visible the invisible activity and geography of peer-to-peer file sharing. The project is presented as a control room that reflects P2P exchanges happening in real time on networks using BitTorrent protocol. The installation produces an improvised and syncopated arrangement of files currently in exchange
KLE – Kit de Libertad de Expresión (or Freedom of Speech Kit) is a portable digital device that allows people from all over the world to participate to remote protests by sending and displaying text messages in public space. The interactive banner is (unsurprisingly) inspired by the record number of social protests that took place in Spain in 2011. It is estimated that over 23.000 demonstrations have been organised that year around the country
Cultural Hijack explores the role of art and the artist in contemporary society and offers the opportunity to rethink the growing field of intervention in relation to cultural activism and social change