The Internet has produced new behaviours, subjectivities and institutions linked to another way of being and doing. This seminar debates how these changes throw established categories of art, the author and the circulation of unique work off balance, whilst also forming profound contradictions – from creativity as an economic value to indistinct work time. Is considering another artistic ecosystem possible from these ambiguities?
The assumption was that a transition from the author's text to hypertext would make the funeral of these modern notions possible, replacing them with a new contemporary language. With the arrival and expansion of the net, these predictions, which decades earlier were nothing more than academic speculations, could be found in the right condition to overcome the logic of individual authorship and originality, in practice. However, these desires, which had to be validated by technological displacement in the modes of producing knowledge and generating subjectivity, are today being answered in the survival and statism of a model that ignores the challenges and powers of the net. With the aim of defending the author and their originality, in some cases in a space of resistance, access, production and the circulation of knowledge in digital media, including those the museum participates in, are restricted.
There do not seem to be any doubts about the place taken up by intellectual property in the new productive environment. It also seems to be increasingly more difficult to revert the fact that symbolic production, and with it artistic production, is today part of the so-called creative industries, and which must, therefore, work under strict market logic. Nevertheless, culture and knowledge in the digital environment continue to manifest qualities that had not been characteristic of consumer goods: they are not scarce, do not run out with use and cannot be possessed exclusively. At this point a whole series of fractions arise between legal regulations, financial capitalization and the practices of access and free circulation this seminar looks to unravel. In this complex framework, there is a need to track how the work of the artist is inscribed in the environment of new digital production, to see what the regulations of authorship are after the net, how to defend the singularity of art in the face of the expansion of the creative economy and how to bring about the so-called digital commons in a new form of shared learning.
Daniel G. Andújar. Visual artist, long-time member of irational.org and a reference point in net.art. In 1996 he founded the platform Technologies To The People. He has exhibited internationally and set up other public sphere projects on the Internet, such as e-barcelona.org o e-valencia.org. Furthermore, he has run workshops with artists and social collectives and actively participated in the debate on the artist’s status in the immaterial economy. The Museo Reina Sofía recently presented his work in the solo exhibition Daniel G. Andújar. Operating System (21 January - 4 May, 2015).
Alberto López Cuenca. Professor at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla. He has co-edited the books Propiedad intelectual, nuevas tecnologías y libre acceso a la cultura (Intellectual Property, New technologies and Free Access to Cultures) (Universidad de las Américas Puebla and Centro Cultural de España in Mexico, 2008) and ¿Desea guardar los cambios? Propiedad intelectual y tecnologías digitales: hacia un nuevo pacto social (Do you Want to Save the Changes? Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies: Towards a New Social Pact (Centro Cultural España-Córdoba, 2009). His articles have featured in international publications such as ARTnews, Lápiz, Curare, Afterall and Revista de Occidente.
Geert Lovink. Professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and the University of Amsterdam, where he founded the Institute of Network Cultures. He was also a founding member of ADILKNO (Foundation for the Advancement of Illegal Knowledge). He is the author of Dark Fiber: Tracking Critical Internet Culture (MIT Press, 2002), My First Recession: Critical Internet Culture in Transition (NAi Publishers, 2003) and Tactical Media, the Second Decade (Brazilian Submidialogia, 2005), as well as numerous other essays.
Marcell Mars (Nenad Romić). A cultural researcher, artist and hacker, he is one of the founders of the open repository on shared knowledge Public Library and co-creator of Multimedia Institut [mi2] in Zagreb.
Margarita Padilla. Computer engineer and activist. Co-founder of the space Sindominio.net and the free radio Radiopwd from her operations in hacklabs. She has published several articles such as Agujeros negros en la red (2002) in the magazine Archipiélago and Penélope, tejiendo y destejiendo la red en el libro Ciberguerrilla de la comunicación (Virus, 2000). She is also the author of El kit de la lucha en Internet (Traficantes de Sueños, 2013).
Felix Stalder. Professor at the University of the Arts, in Zurich, where he co-directs the Media Arts programme, and researcher at the Institute for New Culture Technologies, Vienna. Since 1995 he has participated as a moderator of the encounters of Nettime, a space for debate and critique. He is the author of the books Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks (New Media Center_ kuda.org , Deep Search: The Politics of Search Beyond Google (Transaction Publishers, 2009) and Digital Solidarity (PML Mute, 2014).
March 26, 2015 - 6:00 p.m.
Unmasking the Author: Art and Activism in the Internet Age
Margarita Padilla. What Do Network Machines Want and Not Want?
A change of paradigm is no small thing, and this change is going hand in hand with networks of computers, storming into a model that invites the social sphere to imitate it. Networks of people, machines, and, chiefly, changes in the distribution of power. What are the founding and genetic characteristics of this transformation? In emulating the net, social, creative, productive and critical processes search for better conditions for their proliferation; new tools, innovative methods and elements of original organisation. How do we distinguish what is new, radically new, from mere market trends? How do we distinguish what we have to nurture (what makes the network inside the network) and what we have to discard (what’s inside the network that destroys the network)?
Geert Lovink. The Politics of Designing Masks: Internet Culture after Snowden
What options do we have now that doubts hang over the radical transparency of the protection against surveillance? This lecture offers a general panoramic view of the activist and artistic strategies over the last two years, developed in response to the Edward Snowden revelations. Against the widespread depression of hackers, artists have become involved in a broad array of experiments to speak out against surveillance and Internet control. What can we learn from the tragic story of Anonymous? Why are so many people suspicious of the anonymous browser Tor? Julian Assange could, with difficulty, be a model: what went wrong? Could art represent some way out of all this?
Round table: Geert Lovink, Margarita Padilla and Alberto López Cuenca
March 27, 2015 - 6:00 p.m.
Digital Commons: Towards other Ecologies of Art
Felix Stalder. The Artist at the End of the Gutenberg Galaxy: Challenges for Art in Digital Culture
The modern artist figure is a product of the 18th and 19th centuries, the heyday of literary culture. Although the majority of twentieth-century avant-garde movements rebelled against this idea, it became a model that endured and still serves as a regulatory foundation of copyright, as a powerful commercial attraction in the art market and as a structural principle for the majority of art institutions. Nevertheless, the experience of the network society for artists and audiences not only calls this model into question, it also offers a new one focused on notions such as information, shared resources and commons, through which both artists and non-artists interact and redefine their roles and functions.
Marcell Mars. A Public Library
In the catalogue of History, the public library institution appears listed in the category of the phenomena human beings feel most proud of, along with education and public health care, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and free software… A public library is one of those practically invincible infrastructures we only start to notice when it disappears. Due to the Internet, today it is easy to imagine a public library as part of a global infrastructure of universal access to knowledge for every member of society. Yet the appearance and development of the Internet is occurring at a time when institutional crisis, with traumatic and unpredictable consequences, has started to happen.
The digital project Public Library is an example of the defence of the public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge, as well as being an exploration of the infrastructure distributed for use by amateur librarians. In truth, it is a crossover between both.
Round table: Marcell Mars, Daniel García Andújar, Felix Stalder and Alberto López Cuenca
March 26 - 27, 2015 - 11:00 a.m.
Geert Lovink and Alberto López Cuenca. March 26
Marcell Mars, Felix Stalder and Daniel García Andújar. March 27
This workshop is set up as an open encounter, whereby different participants from Open Source introduce their work and debate common notions with a community of artists, activists, theorists and Medialab users. The workshop aims to horizontally complement this seminar with a back-and-forth exchange of information and with work prior to the lectures enabling subsequent debate to be articulated. Furthermore, it looks to recover working environments far-removed from academic production and linked to other forms of knowledge emerging out of hacklabs and medialabs.