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Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) announces The Articulation of Protest

Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) presents The Articulation of Protest. A Programme on Some of the Logistics of Information and Social Activism Today.

In his essay ‘What Is the Meaning of Autonomy Today?’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi uses this question to trace the development of autonomy from the historical movement of Autonomia, elaborating on a state of mind that must take root in any type of self-organisation of cognitive work. Cultural producers use autonomy today to make a claim for deregulation and secure a living in multiple ways, but these strategies often dispute legal procedures. This is specially the case with copyright law, which, according to experts and activists in the field, has become obsolete in relation to contemporary communication platforms.

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway presents ‘The Articulation of Protest,’ a programme of two lectures that intends to address this conjuncture. The first lecture, on 14 September, will be presented by the Swedish historian Rasmus Fleischer, co-founder of Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy) and the second on 21 September by social theorist Alberto Toscano, author of Fanaticism: On the Use of an Idea. The lectures will look into strategies that have emerged in recent times through actions and communication, and in dialogue or confrontation with existing legislation, with the aim to secure free circulation of information and knowledge in the face of the state’s or capital’s attempts to control and to commodify them. In doing so, they will explore individual and collective initiatives and other strategic choices, and discuss them in relation to a history of critical organisation, of free speech and activism.

About the programme:

Rasmus Fleischer
Friday, 14 September 2012, 19h
In 2009, after months of legal disputes, authorities in Sweden won an injunction against Pirate Bay, the world’s largest BitTorrent file-sharing site, to block users’ access. In response, Pirate Bay wrapped up the code that runs its entire website, and offered it as a free downloadable file for anyone to copy and install on their own servers, making it possible for hundreds of new versions of the site to be set up.

Rasmus Fleischer, one of the founders of Piratbyrån, closely aligned with the Pirate Bay, will speak about political engagement and discuss to what extent speed or, on the contrary, delay might become a resource for a deepened critique of contemporary politics. Fleischer will do so from the perspective of current developments and polemics within ‘social media,’ to look at how both enthusiasm and skepticism toward the internet may, in some cases, be part of the same counter-revolutionary coin.

Alberto Toscano
Friday, 21 September 2012, 19h
Logistics has been the focus of much recent artistic work that seeks to unsettle consensual perceptions of our world. But, because of logistics’ privileging of invisible circulation over the symbols of power and resistance, an art concerned with it necessarily works against conventional notions of art as protest, dissent or intervention. In his talk, Alberto Toscano will explore this rift between protest and logistics in two ways: the first concerns the aesthetics of information used in the representation of dissent and the mapping of logistics, and the second involves analysing the shift of dissent from a remonstration against authority to a consideration of the way in which logistics tends to sideline the art of protest.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre Gate 7, 0551 Oslo, Norway
[email protected]

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