research and exhibition at MIT 2011
April 6th, 2012

Topology of Autonomy: a talk by Sylvère Lotringer

April 6 2012, 01:30p–03:00p
Sylvère Lotringer will address the notion of autonomy, its planting, plotting, and propagation as the means to imagine and propose alternative relations to land, history, politics, and art. Lotringer’s talk expands the discourse initiated through the international archive platform, the exhibition Disobedience: An Ongoing Video Archive.

Sylvère Lotringer is the general editor of the seminal book series Semiotext(e). As a literary and cultural theorist, his major contribution was introducing French theory to the United States. In 1979, Lotringer traveled to Italy to document the post-Marxist Autonomia movement, which resulted in the special publication Autonomia—Post-Political Politics. Lotringer is a Professor of Foreign Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and Professor Emeritus at Columbia University.

http://act.mit.edu/projects-and-events/events/public-programs/topology-of-autonomy

April 6th, 2012

Bus Tour: Community Gardens in Boston

April 6, 2012. 09:30a–12:30p
The tour explored the history of community gardens in Boston as sites of resistance against the increasing privatization of resources in the city. Many of Boston’s gardens are the result of grassroots struggles for community land control and food security. As sites of intense cooperation, community gardens can be seen as a training ground for new forms of social solidarity, political self-organization, and ecological consciousness.
The tour of Boston’s community gardens is a component of the thesis project of Scott Berzofsky (SMACT 2012).

http://act.mit.edu/projects-and-events/events/public-programs/topology-of-autonomy

 

 

 

 

 

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April 6th, 2012

Topology of Autonomy poster

April 6, 2012. Poster for a finishage of Disobedience. An ongoing video archive at MIT: a buss tour of community gardens in Boston and a talk by Sylvere Lotringer.

by obeyanimals | Posted in exhibition posters | No Comments » |
April 5th, 2012

Shift Boston on Disobedience Archive at MIT

A private or public sleeping space?
by Zenovia Toloudi
April 10th, 2012

http://blog.shiftboston.org/2012/04/a-private-or-public-sleeping-space

The concept of micro-spaces,  explored in (the recent) Antoni Muntadas, Volume 1: Between book and (for long present) work, is also very present in  Giacomo Castagnola‘s practice, where he explores a series of interstitial spaces interconnecting the building with the body. His latest project, is a micro-space for sleeping, a semi-private small environment,  can be found and experienced in the semi-public  Fumihiko Maki‘s new MIT Media Lab ”whitish” lobby.  According to the artist (also designer,  architect, and currently a graduate student at MIT Art, Culture & Technology) :

“Sleeping is a behavior that happens all the time in hidden corners and library couches throughout MIT, and I am interested in accommodating a space for that ‘non conforming’ activity in order not to represent civic disobedience only, but to actually embody it within the project…

…The ideas generated by “sleeping in public” as a form of social critique led me to an article on Richard Stallman by K.C. Jones in InformationWeek, that notes: ‘until around 1998, his office at MIT’s AI Lab was also his residence. He was registered to vote from there.’ In other words, Stallman was sleeping on campus.”

The multi-faceted project refers to MIT’s  hacking culture (with famous examples like that of students placing MIT Police Car on the Great Dome of MIT back in the 1994) . From installation’ s manifesto:

”Sleeping with Stallman is a ‘hack’ into the exhibition space with the simple activity of sleep or rest.

‘Hack’ is another MIT-coined word: ‘A hack is a parodic, practical joke designed to debunk authority.’ As Stallman says, ‘hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness’.”

The temporary micro-space is part of the “Disobedience Archive” research and exhibition curated by Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas on show until April 15th in the MIT Media Lab  lobby. It consists of a soft platform that hosts three sound compilations and three reading sections.

The project is very popular among MIT community since in this case art provides a function, an opportunity for the users to occupy the building in a more  comfortable way through naps and rests. It creates a contrasting to the transparent (surveilling, open) Media Lab, little corner where one can hide and sleep without complete isolation. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the small (individual bubble) while being part of the big (system).

*ZIG-ZAG is a series of two-fold posts that present one project (ZIG) and their creator (ZAG).

SHIFTboston’s readers can participate in the process by submitting their questions and comments (ZAG), or to pinpoint interesting projects or their projects for exploration (ZIG).

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March 22nd, 2012

Abitare on Disobedience archive at MIT

Learning & exhibiting. “Disobedience Archive” at MIT in Boston and other study cases.

In these last years the exhibit spaces of many academic institutions in Europe and in the United States of America are characterized by experimental programmes and interesting elaborations around the format of the art and architecture exhibition. After the unsuccessful experiment of Manifesta 6 in Cyprus, which will be the future of the combination learning&exhibiting?

posted by abitare

by Francesco Garutti

http://www.abitare.it/en/art-2/learning-exhibiting-%E2%80%9Cdisobedience-archive%E2%80%9D-at-mit-in-boston-and-other-study-cases

Almost six years have elapsed from Manifesta 6 in Nicosia, the curatorial project by Mai Abu ElDahab, Florian Waldvogel and Anton Vidokle that – inspired by the Black Mountain College founded in North Carolina in 1933 – had for some months fancied of transforming an European biennial into an Education project set up in a conflicting land, where there were neither art academies nor architecture schools. By now some years have elapsed also from “United Nation Plaza”, the temporary school that Vidokle himself decided to place in a Berlin ‘terrain vague’ in 2007, shortly after the sad conclusion of the Cypriot adventure, never become a reality, never transformed into a physical structure, just remained an interesting project.

Today, in a moment when the spaces dedicated to art and culture institutions are undergoing an interesting process of redefinition, in the light of the radical expansion of the global systems, of a renewed social participation and of the new territories explored by artists in these last years, some academic structures seem to be in the vanguard by hosting and often producing very high-quality exhibitions and projects at their premises, thus revealing and triggering interesting exchange mechanisms between the education world and that of producing art (or architectural research) and exhibition.

For instance Wattis in San Francisco is a space precisely born in a university context and for years capable, today even more under the guide of Jens Hoffmann, to produce exhibitions, often exploiting as driving force its relation with the academy (California College of Art – San Francisco). A clear example thereof is “John Baldessari: Class Assignments, (Optional)” as the future project announced during the last interview Hoffman realized for Abitare, “When attitudes became form, become attitudes” (September 2012) in which the famous and influential exhibition curated by Szemann at Kunsthalle Bern will be reread and rearticulated between past and future.

With regard to architecture, EPFL | École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Architectural Association London, just to mention a few, realized in these last years various exhibitions apt to explore key themes and issues in the contemporary debate. Among these there is definitely “OMA Book Machine” (2010) curated by Brett Steele and Zak Kyes.

In this sense a few days ago closed at MIT Boston an exhibition which maybe more than others explores and puts to the test the fertile relation ground between education and display. “Disobedience – an ongoing video archive” was set up at the Media Lab Complex Lobby of the MIT in Boston, curated by Marco Scotini and Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas.

The archive of “Disobedience” explores and reveals the common ground, between present and past, where political and aesthetical practices merge in an organic whole of action and revolution. Already displayed in many exhibition sites such as Rawen Row in London or the Van Abben Museum in Rotterdam, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, the project reconfigures for the MIT academic context with a new display designed by Urbonas Studio, that includes in the archive pieces and videos the works realized by the American students during workshops and harbours local material relating to political and artistic actions developed in the Boston area (for instance Sylvère Lotringer, Hans Guggenheim, ACT UP, Juliet Stone).

As a long strip of garden, the display gets into the space of the faculty lobby, the setting up of the project echoes the forms of the community gardens and of the North-American protest tent camps. With no hierarchy inside – every piece, video, publication, testimony, has the same historic and aesthetic value – the archive being a complex and compressed aesthetic-critical device transforming into a tool for students and visitors. The school supports the research for the exhibition, completes the narrations, enriches with its contents. The exhibition and the research complete themselves, the school – really as infrastructure – produces and redistributes contents.

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March 16th, 2012

SA+P on Disobedience Archive at MIT

Art and Political Activism
The Disobedience Archive Comes to SA+P
Posted March 2012

http://sap.mit.edu/resources/portfolio/disobedience

The lobby gallery of SA+P’s new Media Lab Complex is the site of an exhibit this spring exploring video works by artists working at the intersection of art and political activism.

Founded in 2005, and since exhibited around the world, The Disobedience Archive is an atlas of activist approaches developed by artists and filmmakers after the fall of the Soviet bloc that are currently proliferating on a global scale. Using ‘tactical media’ such as low-cost video and free web access, the DIY techniques offer unprecedented access to those who feel they’ve been damaged by mainstream culture.

The core of the collection focuses on social struggles in Italy, Germany, Argentina, Israel and Palestine, post-9/11 America and other insurrections around the world. But the archive has always been considered a long-term work-in-progress, intended to expand over time, and for this installation it was enlarged to include political and artistic action in Boston.

Originally scheduled through February, then extended through April 15, the installation was curated by SA+P’s Gediminas Urbonas, and his partner Nomeda Urbonas, working with critic and curator Marco Scotini, director of the Visual Arts Department at Nuova Accademia de Belle Arti Milano and curator of Milan’s Gianni Colombo Archive.

It was developed in tandem with last fall’s lecture series in the Art, Culture and Technology Program – Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – directed by Ute Meta Bauer, then director of the ACT program. That series investigated creative responses to conflict and crisis to explore how artistic interventions can disrupt, subvert or transform existing conditions in critical ways.

The exhibit was produced in collaboration with students from two ACT seminars – both taught by Urbonas – that offered students occasion to research, debate and create artworks that examine the notion of disobedience as it relates to history and politics in the Boston area. Student works included:

Tables Talk, an installation by Hailong Wu exploring the student protests at Harvard in 1969. During the strike, the first thing students did was to pile up the tables in classrooms, to re-arrange the space as a way of deconstructing the power structure. Tables Talk freezes such a moment and reconstructs it with different material, different geometry and different functions, turning the tables into stairs, mirrors and sound generators that offer people the chance to revisit a multi-layered sensation of disobedience as it took place in Harvard 1969.

Consent, a multi-channel video work by Alex Auriema comprising video coverage taken by police of the public in protest. Since the US Court of Appeals ruled that citizens have a right to videotape police in action, police have become increasingly wary of making arrests for ‘unlawful’ recording of their actions and have even become creative with their own video recording, stepping up their own right to record the actions of protesters. An open lawsuit in collaboration with the Boston ACLU is seeking to retrieve the footage that the Boston Police Department has captured since the start of Occupy Boston.

Sleeping with Stallman, an installation by Giacomo Castagnola, began as an investigation into the use of dwelling as a protest tactic, such as Occupy Boston’s use of sleeping in public space to disrupt the existing system. The notion of ‘sleeping in public’ as a form of social critique led him to knowledge of Richard Stallman, who lived and slept in his office at MIT in the 1990s as an act of civic disobedience.

Consisting of a soft platform that hosts three sound compilations and three reading sections, Sleeping with Stallman is a ‘hack’ into the exhibition space that references sleeping as a form of political resistance.

microBUG, an installation by Joan Chen, was inspired while researching histories of urban gardening in Boston. Chen studied the Southwest Corridor Park, an area that was cleared for a proposed interstate during the country’s peak of highway projects only to be terminated in 1969 due to extensive community protests. The need to heal the urban scar left by mass demolition was met by building a public green space featuring community gardens to stitch the neighborhoods back together in a form that combines food production, neighborhood renewal and ongoing discussion of urban agriculture.

For this exhibit, the MIT Museum also loaned digital scans of original protest posters from their general collection, documenting actions at MIT during the Vietnam Era. And iHuman, a collaborative project by Caleb Benjamin Harper, Ali Khalid Qureshi and Summer Stephanie Sutton, provided visitors with an avatar that could move around the environment, allowing the controller to experience the physical space in a manner both anonymous and remote.

The Disobedience Archive was produced at MIT with help from SA+P’s Office of the Dean, Julian Bonder, Paul Summit, Mel King and Juliet Stone. It was funded by the Grants Program of the Council for the Arts at MIT and a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

For more information visit
 disobedience.mit.edu. Read more in Domus (in Italian)

PLAN 81

Posted March 2012

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February 23rd, 2012

Domusweb on Disobedience Archive at MIT

Disobedience Archive—
Per la Lobby del Media Lab Complex al MIT, l’archivio propone un insieme di materiali capaci di creare sinergie forti a cavallo tra arte e attivismo A news report from Boston

http://www.domusweb.it/it/news/disobedience-archive

Il Disobedience Archive, curato da Marco Scotini insieme con Nomeda e Gediminas Urbonas e con l’assistenza di Andris Brinkmanis, raccoglie una serie di pratiche e di forme di auto-rappresentazione individuali viste come un insieme capace di creare sinergie forti a cavallo tra arte e attivismo: una trasformazione nel linguaggio che la società produce come soggetto politico e come oggetto mediatico. Ciò che importa nel progetto Disobedience non è tanto un’alleanza tra le domande degli attivisti e le risposte degli artisti per il raggiungimento di obiettivi comuni, quanto piuttosto l’emergere di spazi e piattaforme comuni di condivisione. Questi spazi non sono chiaramente delimitati, ed è quindi impossibile tracciare una linea di demarcazione tra forze e segni, tra linguaggio e lavoro, tra produzione intellettuale e azione politica. Disobedience funziona attraverso il dispositivo dell’archivio, in cui tutti i materiali esposti, prevalentemente video, condividono un livello di equivalenza, che è quindi privo di gerarchie e che rifugge l’esibizione di ogni qualsivoglia set preordinato di regole istituzionali. Sta al pubblico la scelta e l’organizzazione del proprio personale modo di vedere i materiali a disposizione, l’archivio si trasforma così in un kit di strumenti ready for use.

Il Disobedience Archive è stato esposto in una grande varietà di ambiti in tutto il mondo sin dal 2005. Nell’istallazione per la Lobby del Media Lab Complex al MIT l’archivio si è espanso includendo alcune di quelle azioni politiche e artistiche che si sono espresse nel contesto locale, geografico e storico, di Boston. Sono inoltre esposti nuovi e recenti lavori di studenti, prodotti in seminari di ricerca, e nell’ambito di Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media, che si interrogano criticamente sul concetto di Disobedience e che, nell’ambito della mostra, costruiscono un dialogo con il corpus dei lavori che compone l’archivio.

Per quanto riguarda l’allestimento nella Lobby del MIT, qui l’archivio stesso prende la forma di un giardino lineare che si attesta su un asse che rompe la logica tradizionale dello spazio in cui si inserisce alludendo alle politiche spaziali e urbane, dai community garden alle tendopoli spontanee, che hanno caratterizzato tante delle istanze degli attivismi della Boston area.

Per finire ecco l’elenco delle fonti dei contributi all’archivio: 16beaver group, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (AAA), Gianfranco Baruchello, Bernardette Corporation, Black Audio Film Collective, Copenhagen Free University, Critical Art Ensemble, Dodo Brothers (Andrea Ruggeri and Giancarlo Vitali Ambrogio), Etcètera, Marcelo Exposito, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC), Alberto Grifi, Ashley Hunt, Kanal B, Margit Czencki/Park Fiction, Radio Alice, Oliver Ressler with Zanny Begg, Joanne Richardson, Eyal Sivan, Hito Steyerl, The Department of Space and Land Reclamation (with StreetRec., The Institute for Applied Autonomy, Las Agencias and AffectTech/BikeWriters), Mariette Schiltz and Bert Theis, Ultra Red, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Wentzy, Dmitry Vilensky and Chto delat / What is to be done?, con il contributo di Hans Guggenheim, Mel King, Juliet Stone, Richard Leacock, Sylvère Lotringer, MIT Museum, Paul Summit, Urbano platform, ACT UP e Food not Bombs.

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January 13th, 2012

FlashArtonline on Disobedience archive at MIT

http://www.flashartonline.com/interno.php?pagina=onweb_det&id_art=798&det=ok&titolo=Disobedience:-an-ongoing-video-archive

December 2011 – April 2012
E14 Media Lab Complex Lobby
MIT program in Art, Culture, and Technology.

Curated by: Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Assistant curator: Andris Brinkmanis
Display System by US: Urbonas Studio

Disobedience Archive brings together a series of practices and forms of individual self-representation just as they are finding the key to their strength in an alliance of art and activism: a transformation in the languages that society produces as a political subject and as a media object. What matters in Disobedience is not so much an ‘alliance’ between activist demands and artistic practices in order to achieve common goals: it is more that of a common space or a common base that is emerging. This space is not clearly defined, thus making it impossible to draw a precise line between forces and signs, between language and labor, between intellectual production and political action. It functions through a display of the archive format, in which all the materials on show share the same level of equivalence – without hierarchies and without exhibiting any preordained set of institutional rules. It is up to the public to choose and to organize their vision of the available material: turning the archive into a toolkit ready for use.

The Disobedience Archive has been organized and exhibited in many different venues across the World since 2005. In the installation at the Lobby of the Media Lab Complex at MIT the Disobedience expands to include cases of political and artistic action that have manifested in the geographic and historical terrain of Boston. In addition to this, new student works that critically interrogate concepts of Disobedience are exhibited in conversation with the pre-existing body of works that comprise the archive.

Here, the archive itself takes the form of a garden “corridor” arranged on an axis that disrupts the traditional logic of the existing space and makes an allusion to the spatial and urban politics, from community gardens to self-reliant tent cities, that have characterized many instances of activism in the Boston area.

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December 29th, 2011

installation

DISOBEDIENCE. AN ONGOING VIDEO ARCHIVE installation at E-14 the Media Lab building, MIT (http://whereis.mit.edu/?go=E14).

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December 29th, 2011

Tables Talk

Tables Talk is part of Boston Chapter of Disobedience exhibition – an installation by Hailong Wu, student of the ACT course “Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue”.

“Tables talk” is an exploration of the important students disobedience in Boston—Harvard 1969 strike. As in the Fordism time, students became the avant-garde as rebelling knowledge workers, which happened across the world during that time.

In this sense, what makes student strike unique? We studied power structure of the basic knowledge-workshop—classroom, which, we think, setup its power structure through simple furniture, such as platform and tables. Consistent with this assumption, during the student strike, the first thing students did is to pile up the tables in classroom to re-arrange the space, and moreover to deconstruct the power structure in the knowledge-factory.

“Tables talk” freeze such deconstructive moment, and reconstruct it with different material, different geometry and different functions, which are turned from furniture into stairs, mirrors, and sound generators. It provides people to see, to listen to, to touch and to walk on the piled-up tables in order to form a unique multi-layers sensation of disobedience.

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December 29th, 2011

Sleeping with Stallman

Sleeping with Stallman – Digital Disobedience Project by ACT student Giacomo Castagnola starts the “corridor” line of Disobedience exhibition at MIT.

 

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December 29th, 2011

microBUG

microBUG is part of Boston Chapter of Disobedience exhibition and is inspired by close collaboration with Julie Kepes Stone while researching histories of urban gardening in Boston. The design of this part of installation is conceived with the help of Joan Chen, student of the class 4.303, “Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue”. The microgreens-models for edible plants- are provided by Farming Turtles and with the kind help of Lauri Roberts.

Joan Chen:
This installation project draws from two inspirations. The first is the idea of creating an installation for child’s play—too often we become accustomed the vocabularies of the adulthood that we forget the many possibilities of the child’s world—thus I propose an installation created at the child’s height and scale. This is relevant as a tool for discourse on urban issues because it redefines scale and audience: for whom are the public spaces designed? Do they inadvertently exclude children and the handicapped?

The second is a specific instance of in Boston’s own urban history that relates to disobedience and dissent, the theme of the class (4.303, “Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue”); I have chosen to study the Southwest Corridor Park and the community gardens it encompasses. The area was cleared for the proposed I-95 Inner Belt during the country’s peak of highway projects, only to be terminated in 1969 due to extensive community protests; the need to stitch  together the urban scar left by mass demolition was met by rerouting the MBTA Orange Line and building public green space. Specially, the community gardens along the Southwest Corridor Park stitches the place together in a form that combines food production and neighborhood renewal. It also relates to ongoing discussion on urban agriculture, food, etc.

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December 29th, 2011

Consent

Alex Auriema, student from ACT course “Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media” presents the multi-channal video work Consent at Boston chapter of Disobedience exhibition.

Consent:

In 2007 Simon Glik was passing through boston common only to find himself witness to a violent drug arrest -seeing that the police were using excessive force, Simon was compelled to reach for his phone and record the situation. Soon after Simon found himself placed in handcuffs and carted off to jail alongside the original offenders.

In 2011 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled unanimously that Simon Glik had a right to videotape police in action on Boston Common.1 Mr. Glik had sued three police officers and the City of Boston for violating his civil rights after police arrested him and charged him with illegal wiretapping, aiding the escape of a prisoner, and disturbing the peace.

There have been several similar incidents in Boston alone from the 2001 up to Glik’s court ruling this year. However, rulings in court prior to Glik’s case have not been so lucky. Many of the cases favoring the police’s arrests – standing behind a murky interpretation of the two-party consent rule that holds in Massachusetts (and 12 other States).

Since Simon Glik’s case the police have been much more wary of making arrests for ‘unlawful’ videotaping of their actions. In fact there has been city wide training of police to deal with such statues.

As access to video recording devices has become as common as carrying a watch – it is likely that court cases of this nature will not be rare. It seems to be one of the many socio-juridical ramifications of an increasingly video and mediated culture.

As the Occupy movement unfolds across the country this particular reality is exacerbated. Needless to say half the experience of a contemporary rally/protest is its mediation via live camera feeds, cell phone uploads to various social media outlets, facebook, youtube, the whole gambit.

Our exhaustive media has been particularly useful in tracking some of the most brutal moments of the revolutionary verve from Syria to UC Davis, and has subsequently aided in the speed at which the Occupy movement current has spread.

In direct response to the recent court decisions– the police have also become creative with their filming- stepping up their own right to film and carefully monitor the actions and encampments of occupiers across the nation.

Standing out from the ocean lcd screens is the now ubiquitous presence of the a ‘documentary unit:’ one officer responsible for the systematic coverage of all those engaged in protest, and another officer to ‘cover’ the camera.

The footage shown in ‘consent’ is part of ongoing project that is compiling the police’s diligent coverage of the public in protest. In collaboration with the Boston ACLU there is an open lawsuit to retrieve the footage to date that the Boston PD has been capturing of the public since the start of the Occupation in Boston.

1. http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/appeals-court-unanimously-affirms-right-videotape-police

by obeyanimals | Posted in Occupy Boston | No Comments » |
December 29th, 2011

MIT Strike Posters

MIT Museum kindly borrowed selection of posters for the Disobedience exhibition.
“These digital images are scans of original posters from the MIT Museum General Collection. They document various protest actions at MIT during the Vietnam Era, especially the 1969-1971 period. Used with permission. Courtesy of MIT Museum.”
Special thanks to Deborah Douglas for her kind help and support.

by obeyanimals | Posted in Protest Posters MIT'69 | No Comments » |
December 29th, 2011

installation drawing

The spatial proposal for the installation of the archive takes the form of a garden “corridor” arranged on an axis that disrupts the traditional logic of the existing space of the Maki Media Lab building and makes an allusion to the spatial and urban politics, from community gardens to self-reliant tent cities, that have characterized many instances of activism in the Boston area.

December 21st, 2011

R.Stallman visit

On Tuesday Dec 20 2011 Richard Stallman visited Disobedience Archive exhibition.

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December 21st, 2011

Sleeping with Stallman – Digital Disobedience Project

FreeSWSong New track recomended by Richard Stallman

 

 

Giacomo Castagnola

Sleeping with Stallman – Digital Disobedience Project

2011

Mattress, wood, curtains, MP3 players, headphones, LP envelopes, assorted reading materials downloaded from the Internet. Courtesy of the artist.
This project is made possible thanks to a CAMIT Grant and to a Director’s Grant, MIT

“Civil disobedience thus conceived must be viewed as an exercise in public moral education, as a tactic to achieve law reform. Hence the disobedience is properly called ‘civil’ because it is part of the civic life of the society. But no such appeal to the public conscience can be made unless the illegal conduct is done openly, in the public forum, as a political act.”[i]

Hugo Adam Bedau

Sleeping with Stallman - Digital Disobedience Project began as research for cases of civic disobedience in the Greater Boston area and at the MIT campus. The project started as an investigation into the control imposed on informal settlement at the tent city at Dewey Square in Occupy Boston—a peaceful protest that uses dwelling as the main tactic. The Occupy Boston settlement uses land occupation, inhabitation, and sleeping in public space as a political tactic to disrupt the existing economic and political system. The ideas generated by “sleeping in public” as a form of social critique led me to an article on Richard Stallman by K.C. Jones in InformationWeek, that notes: “until around 1998, his office at MIT’s AI Lab was also his residence. He was registered to vote from there.” In other words, Stallman was sleeping on campus.

In 1984, Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project, to develop, the words of its founder, “a sufficient body of free software [...] to get along without any software that is not free.”[ii] GNU is a complete, Unix-Like operating system created through mass collaboration and available to all, in order to make possible for anyone to use a computer with complete freedom. Stallman formulated the GNU Project as an act of civic digital disobedience in reaction to the increasing control of MIT’s software’s sources which were developed as private capital of knowledge for corporate profits. He proposed GNU and the free software movement as an act of political digital activism and a critique of the capitalization of culture and knowledge within universities in the United States. Stallman’s foundational principle is that “free software” is not “free” because it does not have a price, but rather, it is free in the sense of liberty, as a concept aligned to free speech and liberty “free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.”[iii]

Sleeping is then a powerful form of resistance, paralleling what the Italian Autonomism and Operaismo group from the 1970’s define as a “subtraction of time—an activity invested in the refusal to work,  and of high performance and production. Sleeping is a behavior that happens all the time in hidden corners and library couches throughout MIT, and I am interested in accommodating a space for that “non conforming” activity in order not to represent civic disobedience only, but to actually embody it within the project. Sleeping with Stallman is a “hack” into the exhibition space with the simple activity of sleep or rest. “Hack” is another MIT-coined word: A hack is a parodic, practical joke designed to debunk authority.”[iv] As Stallman says, “hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness.”[v]

Sleeping with Stallman consists of a soft platform that will host three sound compilations and three reading sections. Section 1 will have different versions of the free software songs by Stallman with covers by various artists plus text. Section 2 will have a piece by John Cage (4’33, a silence piece) and the palindromic three-part piece written by Guillaume de Machaut in the 1300s, Ma Fin Est Mon Commencement, both consider by Stallman to be hacks; this will also have a text component on the legal history of “Sleeping at MIT,” which is itself also a “hack.” The 3rd compilation will have texts and an audio lecture by Richard Stallman talking about the free software movement, copyright/copyleft, software monopoly, and other topics related to the capitalization of knowledge in the digital age.



[i] Hugo Adam Bedau, “Introduction,” Civil Disobedience in Focus, London and New York: Routledge, 1991, p.7.

[ii] The GNU Manifesto”. Free Software Foundation. http://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.html

[iii] Ibid., http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html

[iv] Samuel J. Keyser, “Hacking at MIT,” The Tech, February 6, 1999, p. 6.

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December 10th, 2011

cultivating the show

Curator Marco Scotini gardening the exhibition.

Curator Andris Brinkmanis and artist Gediminas Urbonas gardening at the premises of Media lab building.

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 10th, 2011

exhibition at night

Disobedience archive at MIT at night.

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

Opening of Disobedience exhibition

Opening of Disobedience – an ongoing video archive on Friday December 9, 2011 at Media Lab lobby at MIT.

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

Sponsors

This exhibition would not have been possible without the help of many dedicated individuals and with the generous support from our sponsors:

Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

Many thanks to:

The Office of the Dean at MIT SA+P

Council for the Arts at MIT

MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano

Deborah Douglas and the MIT Museum

Julian Bonder

Mel King

Juliet Stone

by obeyanimals | Posted in sponsors | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

building up an exhibition

The microgreens – models of the gardening cultures arrive from Farming Turtles of Road Island.

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

exhibition talk

Exhibition Talk:  Julian Bonder, Glorianna Davenport and excerpts from Richard Leacock’s “November Actions”, Mel King, Marco Scotini, Julie K Stone, ,

Friday December 9, 2011 4–5 PM, E15-001 ACT Cube

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

disobedience – an ongoing video archive

Disobedience Archive brings together a series of practices and forms of individual self-representation just as they are finding the key to their strength in an alliance of art and activism: a transformation in the languages that society produces as a political subject and as a media object. What matters in Disobedience is not so much an ‘alliance’ between activist demands and artistic practices in order to achieve common goals: it is more that of a common space or a common base that is emerging. This space is not clearly defined, thus making it impossible to draw a precise line between forces and signs, between language and labor, between intellectual production and political action. It functions through a display of the archive format, in which all the materials on show share the same level of equivalence – without hierarchies and without exhibiting any preordained set of institutional rules. It is up to the public to choose and to organize their vision of the available material: turning the archive into a toolkit ready for use.

 

The Disobedience Archive has been organized and exhibited in many different venues across the World since 2005. In the installation at the Lobby of the Media Lab Complex at MIT the Disobedience expands to include cases of political and artistic action that have manifested in the geographic and historical terrain of Boston. In addition to this, new student works that critically interrogate concepts of Disobedience are exhibited in conversation with the pre-existing body of works that comprise the archive.

 

Here, the archive itself takes the form of a garden “corridor” arranged on an axis that disrupts the traditional logic of the existing space and makes an allusion to the spatial and urban politics, from community gardens to self-reliant tent cities, that have characterized many instances of activism in the Boston area.

 

Material provided to the archive by:

16beaver group, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (AAA), Gianfranco Baruchello, Bernardette Corporation, Black Audio Film Collective, Copenhagen Free University, Critical Art Ensemble, Dodo Brothers (Andrea Ruggeri and Giancarlo Vitali Ambrogio), Etcètera, Marcelo Exposito, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC), Alberto Grifi, Ashley Hunt, Kanal B, Margit Czencki/Park Fiction, Radio Alice, Oliver Ressler with Zanny Begg, Joanne Richardson, Eyal Sivan, Hito Steyerl, The Department of Space and Land Reclamation (with StreetRec., The Institute for Applied Autonomy, Las Agencias and AffectTech/BikeWriters), Mariette Schiltz and Bert Theis, Ultra Red, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Wentzy, Dmitry Vilensky and

Chto delat / What is to be done?

 

Additional contributions and material from:

Hans Guggenheim, Mel King, Richard Leacock, Sylvère Lotringer, MIT Museum, Juliet Stone, Paul Summit, Urbano platform, ACT UP and Food not Bombs amongst others.
The Disobedience Archive research and exhibition project is produced in collaboration with the students from the ACT courses Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue (TA: Sung Woo Jang) and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media (TA: Slobodon Radoman):

Alex Auriema, Sofia Berinstein, Giacomo Bruno Castagnola Chaparro, Sumona Chakravarty, Joan Chen, Caleb Benjamin Harper, Ali Khalid Qureshi, Summer Stephanie Sutton, Hailong Wu
As well as with the assistance of Sarah Witt, Emily Katrencik, Cris and technical support of Martin Seymour, Chris Clepper, David Constanza, Craig Boney.
Curated by: Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas

Assistant curator: Andris Brinkmanis

Display System by US: Urbonas Studio in dialogue with Julian Bonder

Exhibition team: Anna Caterina Bleuler, Sung Woo Jang, Anastasia Yakovleva, Catherine McMahon, Slobodon Radoman

 

This exhibition would not have been possible without the help of many dedicated individuals and with the generous support from:

The Office of the Dean at MIT SA+P

Council for the Arts at MIT

MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano

Deborah Douglas and the MIT Museum

 

Special thanks to: Julian Bonder, Mel King, Juliet K Stone, Paul Summit

Glorianna Davenport, Hans Guggenheim, Farming Turtles, Vladas Lasas and UPS Lietuva

 

Funded by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT | No Comments » |
December 9th, 2011

iHuman

Caleb Benjamin Harper, Ali Khalid Qureshi, Summer Stephanie Sutton, students of ACT course Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media presented their collaborative project  iHuman for the Boston chapter of the Disobedience exhibition.

iHuman is a platform for anonymous manipulation of the physical environment. Our avatar has the capacity to walk, touch and engage in any global environment. By reconfiguring the FaceTime platform, along with the development of a prosthetic apparatus, iHuman hopes to re-conceive and expand the affordance of an existing technology.

The art piece allows users to experience physical environments in a manner which has previously been inconceivable. By allowing the controller to be both anonymous and remote, communication is no longer bound by moral/ethical or social constraints.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CWmbB-k1Vs

by obeyanimals | Posted in STUDENTS' RESEARCH | No Comments » |
December 8th, 2011

concept

disobedience
an ongoing video archive
December 9, 2011–February 3, 2012

Curated by: Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Assistant curator: Andris Brinkmanis
Display System by US: Urbonas Studio in dialogue with Julian Bonder

Exhibition team: Anna Caterina Bleuler, Sung Woo Jang, Anastasia Yakovleva, Catherine McMahon, Slobodon Radoman

Exhibition Talk:
Mel King, Julie K Stone, Marco Scotini, Glorianna Davenport
Friday December 9, 2011 4–5 PM
E15-001 ACT Cube

Disobedience Archive brings together a series of practices and forms of individual self-representation just as they are finding the key to their strength in an alliance of art and activism: a transformation in the languages that society produces as a political subject and as a media object. What matters in Disobedience is not so much an ‘alliance’ between activist demands and artistic practices in order to achieve common goals: it is more that of a common space or a common base that is emerging. This space is not clearly defined, thus making it impossible to draw a precise line between forces and signs, between language and labor, between intellectual production and political action. It functions through a display of the archive format, in which all the materials on show share the same level of equivalence – without hierarchies and without exhibiting any preordained set of institutional rules. It is up to the public to choose and to organize their vision of the available material: turning the archive into a toolkit ready for use.

The Disobedience Archive has been organized and exhibited in many different venues across the World since 2005. In the installation at the Lobby of the Media Lab Complex at MIT the Disobedience expands to include cases of political and artistic action that have manifested in the geographic and historical terrain of Boston. In addition to this, new student works that critically interrogate concepts of Disobedience are exhibited in conversation with the pre-existing body of works that comprise the archive.

Here, the archive itself takes the form of a garden “corridor” arranged on an axis that disrupts the traditional logic of the existing space and makes an allusion to the spatial and urban politics, from community gardens to self-reliant tent cities, that have characterized many instances of activism in the Boston area.

Material provided to the archive by:
16beaver group, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (AAA), Gianfranco Baruchello, Bernardette Corporation, Black Audio Film Collective, Copenhagen Free University, Critical Art Ensemble, Dodo Brothers (Andrea Ruggeri and Giancarlo Vitali Ambrogio), Etcètera, Marcelo Exposito, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC), Alberto Grifi, Ashley Hunt, Kanal B, Margit Czencki/Park Fiction, Radio Alice, Oliver Ressler with Zanny Begg, Joanne Richardson, Eyal Sivan, Hito Steyerl, The Department of Space and Land Reclamation (with StreetRec., The Institute for Applied Autonomy, Las Agencias and AffectTech/BikeWriters), Mariette Schiltz and Bert Theis, Ultra Red, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Wentzy, Dmitry Vilensky and
Chto delat / What is to be done?

Additional contributions and material from:
Hans Guggenheim, Mel King, Richard Leacock, Sylvère Lotringer, MIT Museum, Juliet Stone, Paul Summit, Urbano platform, ACT UP and Food not Bombs amongst others.

The Disobedience Archive research and exhibition project is produced in
collaboration with the students from the ACT courses Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue (TA: Sung Woo Jang) and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media (TA: Slobodon Radoman):
Alex Auriema, Sofia Berinstein, Giacomo Bruno Castagnola Chaparro, Sumona Chakravarty, Joan Chen, Caleb Benjamin Harper, Ali Khalid Qureshi, Summer Stephanie Sutton, Hailong Wu

As well as with the assistance of Sarah Witt, Emily Katrencik, Cris and technical support of Martin Seymour, Chris Clepper, David Constanza, Craig Boney.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the help of many dedicated individuals and with the generous support from:
The Office of the Dean at MIT SA+P
Council for the Arts at MIT
MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology
NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano
Deborah Douglas and the MIT Museum

Special thanks to: Julian Bonder, Mel King, Juliet K Stone, Paul Summit
Glorianna Davenport, Hans Guggenheim, Farming Turtles, Vladas Lasas and UPS Lietuva

Funded by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

December 6th, 2011

Exhibition at MIT 12.9.2011

disobedience: 
an ongoing video archive
December 9, 2011–February 3, 2012

E14 Media Lab Complex Lobby

MIT program in Art, Culture, and Technology

 

 

Schedule of events:

 

Exhibition Talk:

Friday 
December 9, 4–5 PM

E15-001 ACT Cube

20 Ames Street

Cambridge, MA, USA

 

Opening Reception:

Friday

December 9, 5-8 PM

E14 Media Lab Complex Lobby

75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA, USA

 

Curated by: Marco Scotini together with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Assistant curator: Andris Brinkmanis

Display System by US: Urbonas Studio

 

Disobedience Archive brings together a series of practices and forms of individual self-representation just as they are finding the key to their strength in an alliance of art and activism: a transformation in the languages that society produces as a political subject and as a media object. What matters in Disobedience is not so much an ‘alliance’ between activist demands and artistic practices in order to achieve common goals: it is more that of a common space or a common base that is emerging. This space is not clearly defined, thus making it impossible to draw a precise line between forces and signs, between language and labor, between intellectual production and political action. It functions through a display of the archive format, in which all the materials on show share the same level of equivalence – without hierarchies and without exhibiting any preordained set of institutional rules. It is up to the public to choose and to organize their vision of the available material: turning the archive into a toolkit ready for use.

 

The Disobedience Archive has been organized and exhibited in many different venues across the World since 2005. In the installation at the Lobby of the Media Lab Complex at MIT the Disobedience will expand to include cases of political and artistic action that have manifested in the geographic and historical terrain of Boston. In addition to this, new student works that critically interrogate concepts of Disobedience (produced in the research seminars, Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media), will be exhibited in conversation with the pre-existing body of works that comprise the archive.

 

Here, the archive itself will take the form of a garden “corridor” arranged on an axis that disrupts the traditional logic of the existing space and makes an allusion to the spatial and urban politics, from community gardens to self-reliant tent cities, that have characterized many instances of activism in the Boston area.

 

Material provided to the archive by:

16beaver group, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (AAA), Gianfranco Baruchello, Bernardette Corporation, Black Audio Film Collective, Copenhagen Free University, Critical Art Ensemble, Dodo Brothers (Andrea Ruggeri and Giancarlo Vitali Ambrogio), Etcètera, Marcelo Exposito, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC), Alberto Grifi, Ashley Hunt, Kanal B, Margit Czencki/Park Fiction, Radio Alice, Oliver Ressler with Zanny Begg, Joanne Richardson, Eyal Sivan, Hito Steyerl, The Department of Space and Land Reclamation (with StreetRec., The Institute for Applied Autonomy, Las Agencias and AffectTech/BikeWriters), Mariette Schiltz and Bert Theis, Ultra Red, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Wentzy, Dmitry Vilensky and Chto delat / What is to be done?

 

Additional contributions and material from:

Hans Guggenheim, Mel King, Juliet Stone, Richard Leacock, Sylvère Lotringer, MIT Museum, Paul Summit, Urbano platform, ACT UP and Food not Bombs amongst others.

 

For more information see:

disobedience.mit.edu

 

Directions:

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology
The Media Lab Complex Lobby (E14)
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA, USA

whereis.mit.edu

Contact:

617.253.5229

act@mit.edu

 

Disobedience Archive is produced in collaboration with ACT and NABA⎯Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano.

 

About ACT
The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology operates as a critical studies and production based laboratory, connecting the arts with an advanced technological community. (visualarts.mit.edu)

About NABA
NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano), founded in 1980, is an innovative Arts and Design Academy, the largest private Academy in Italy, and at the same time a dynamic artistic and cultural center. (www.naba.it)

The Disobedience Archive research and exhibition project is produced in collaboration with the students from the ACT courses Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue and Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media:

Alex Auriema

Sofia Berinstein

Giacomo Bruno Castagnola Chaparro

Sumona Chakravarty

Joan Chen

Caleb Benjamin Harper

Ali Khalid Qureshi

Summer Stephanie Sutton

Hailong Wu

 

As well as with the assistance of  Anna Caterina Bleuler (NABA, Milano, Italy), and  Sung Woo Jang, Catherine McMahon, Slobodon Radoman (MIT, Cambridge, MA).

 

This exhibition would not have been possible without the help of many dedicated individuals and with the generous support from our sponsors.

Many thanks to:

The Office of the Dean at MIT SA+P

Council for the Arts at MIT

MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano

Deborah Douglas and the MIT Museum

Julian Bonder

Mel King

Juliet Stone

 

 

Funded by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT. 


by obeyanimals | Posted in EXHIBITION at MIT, exhibition posters | No Comments » |
November 18th, 2011

1st garden fieldtrip: Berkeley Street

On Friday afternoon, November 18 2011 Julie Kepes Stone took us to South Boston. There is great community garden on Berkeley Street that Julie was actively involved with for more than a decade.

 



 

by obeyanimals | Posted in Community Gardens | No Comments » |
November 18th, 2011

1st garden fieldtrip: The Food Project

On the same Friday November 18 2011 we visited several gardens in Roxbury where Julie Kepes Stone was involved in establishing them and contributing with her knowledge and enthusiasm.

 

 

by obeyanimals | Posted in Community Gardens | No Comments » |
November 18th, 2011

1st garden fieldtrip: Magazine Street

Magazine Street Community Garden in Roxbury.

by obeyanimals | Posted in Community Gardens | No Comments » |





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