Isolation and Empowerment after Web 2.0

Fri, 03.02.2012
Feb 03.02.

After the emergence of Web 2.0, analysing the topology and the effects of artistic and hacktivist practices both offline and online implies a reflection on power structures, networking methodologies as well as on the tension between increasing connectivity and virtualisation of social relationships. The progressive involvement of users in the production process generates new possibilities of peer interaction, but also of hierarchical control and intimate atomisation. It becomes necessary to rethink the meaning of critical strategies in contexts of networking, not only exposing the possible scenarios of networked dystopias, but also proposing a new path for political actions based on the recognition of distributed subjectivities.


Part 1: Trapped and Tracked

A presentation of artistic projects between public exposure and social atomisation after Web 2.0.


With: Aymeric Mansoux (fr/nl) – Naked on Pluto; Johannes P Osterhoff (de) – One-Year Google Performance


Aymeric Mansoux (fr/nl) – Naked on Pluto

Naked on Pluto proposes a playful yet disturbing online game world, which parodies the insidiously invasive traits of "social software". The city of "Elastic Versailles" is animated by the quirky combinatorial logics of a community of bots that glean Facebook data from the players. Naked on Pluto caricatures the proliferation of virtual agents that harvest our personal data to insidiously reshape our online environments and profiles, highlighting the ambivalent hallmarks of major social networks: friends as quantifiable and commodifiable online assets, personas carefully fashioned contrived to impart a sense of "intimacy", and disingenuous publishing of "private" data as self-advertising.


Johannes P Osterhoff (Berlin) – One-Year Google Performance

From 1 January until 31 December 2011, Johannes P Osterhoff published all his search queries with the search engine Google in a One-year Performance piece called “Google”. A modified dictionary plug-in tracked most of his queries and the public list of his search results immediately was indexed by Google crawlers and made publicly available for search by everybody. Johannes P Osterhoff spammed Google for one year, gave up his privacy and tried to sell his Google queries for 99 cents each. All this ended up in the collaboration "Google – One Week Piece", that will be released by the artist for transmediale.


Part 2: Mobilising the Unrepresentable

A reflection on biopolitical strategies of virality and distributed knowledge dissemination tactics during conflicts.


With: Salvatrice Settis (it) – Anna Adamolo project; Victoria Estok (us) – Interpelled; Geoff Cox (uk) as respondent

Salvatrice Settis (it) - Anna Adamolo project

Anna Adamolo was born in October 2008 from a network of Italian students, teachers, artists and activists, to build a further occasion and a struggle tool for the Italian movement called “L'onda anomala” (“The Anomalous Wave”), opposed to the Gelmini Education Reform Bill. "Anna Adamolo" is in fact the acronym of "Onda Anomala" and is a collective and fictional identity that everyone can adopt and use, as she or he wants. The project was developed both on the Internet and in the real world, among the strikes and demonstrations in the Italian streets.


Victoria Estok (us) - Interpelled

Voice is a paradox for it can motivate or paralyse its listener. Evocative audio work grabs attention, challenges the way we think and feel, moves us to act or stops us dead in our tracks. Imagine a one-on-one intervention, an underground sound art project, that creates reflection by focusing sound so that it functions like one's own conscience. Ten years after Victoria Estok’s first visit to the UN talks on the climate crisis, she returned with a "sound laser" and a different approach.


(Image: Elastic Versailles r14 [CP] COPYPASTE 2010-2012)