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.

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Complex systems theorist, applying complexity theory to the operations of organisations.