30C3 – Art Has No Answer

To talks from two activist arts, “Do You Think That’s Funny?” by Lizvlx and “Hello World” by Aram Bartholl had beneath them a common message even if the styles of the art presented differ. In light of the “Summer of Snowden” (as it has now been coined) art is left as wanting, as speechless as many of the other speakers. Aram at one point recognised that art is yet to find a way to encapsulate the gravity of what has happened, and that works can seem “funny” but somehow inadequate. A feel shared by many as we try to work out the future holds.

The community as a whole is yet to process what we now know to be true. That, to quote the opening comments, “we have woken from a bad dream and found ourselves in an even worse reality”. Its not simply that we have learnt that the conspiracies were true, or that our privacy may have been lost forever. It is more than that. The internet was supposed to be the great leveller, a global democracy, where everyone would and could be heard. That dream seems to have died, the internet is not free. It is possibly the greatest potential threat to our liberty and piracy. Somewhere, something has gone very badly wrong and many people are looking to the community presented by attendees of 30C3 to put it right. Problem is, we don’t know how to do that yet, and the machine’s gears are still turning.

30C3 Day 1 First Impressions

Getting from Northern England to Hamburg on Boxing day is by no means as easy as it should be. For a start there aren’t any trains. It was was worth it because the first day of 30C3 has lived up to the promise of one of the most eventful years in the history of the internet, digital rights, and privacy. The conference opening talk called it by reminding us all that we have woken up from a bad dream to find we are living a nightmare. A nightmare that goes beyond simply loosing are privacy to mass global surveillance. We have lost control of the internet, and the very technology and protocols that it is built on. Can it be won back or have we lost it forever to a small number of massive multinationals and a growing number of government agencies?