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Free/Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons: An Unconference about Art, Design, Technology, Making, Cities and their Communities

The Unconference is organized by the University of Nicosia Research Foundation as part of project PHYGITAL, and co-organized in collaboration with the Fine Arts Programme, Department of Design and Multimedia, hack66, and the Municipality of Lakatamia. The implementation partner is Future Worlds Centre.
What kind of creativity comes after today’s digital cultures? After the smart city, post-surveillance, post-innovation, when social entrepreneurship discourse has ran its course?

In the last few years there has been a sharp momentum in the growth of groups and spaces that operate under collective and community- driven structures of collaboration and shared learning processes (onsite and online). This is happening in parallel to greater debates around the fate of the commons, openness, freedom of access and how new digital scapes are influencing how we shape socially and community orientated art, design and technological practices.

In our times of digital communalities bringing together issues related to art, design, technology, governance, and the commons, makes apparent the need to critically reflect on contemporary discourses of openness and freedom, and redefine the ways we produce and share knowledge, not least about new possibilities of production and sharing in themselves.

Considering our digital realisms and increasingly disparate lived realities we wish to explore approaches and examples to activism in relation to social movements around making and sharing, critical artistic practices, and their related technological shifts. Especially as pockets of our cities are being transformed into creative and entrepreneurial hubs, reflection becomes necessary in how the setup of these collective hubs of knowledge production effects and affects urbanisation, regeneration and issues related to the smart city and its mechanisms of surveillance.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Richard Stallman
  • Gregory Sholette
  • Luiz Guilherme Vergara
  • Johan Soderberg
  • Gabriele de Seta
  • Lynn Jones & Harriet Poppy Speed
  • Ruth Catlow
  • Silvia Federici

Unconference Format

The Unconference brings together scholars and practitioners across fields, to convene, share, and collaborate on issues around the physical and digital commons, the free and open source art and technology movements, as well as collective and community- driven structures of collaboration and shared pedagogic processes (onsite and online).

This Unconference follows the momentum of a broader movement rethinking the academic conference format towards a more connected model of knowledge sharing, peer learning and collaboration. This allows presentations of research while it also allows participants to work together and set their own agenda in workshops that respond to previous proposals as well as spontaneously emerging priorities. We will be hosting participants from a broad network of researchers and activists across fields, and connecting remotelywith others.

The Unconference participants are invited to contribute to an Open Access Online Masterclass with the same theme. The event will connect with a local makeathon and later lead to an Exhibition that aims to communicate visually and interactively the outcomes of these debates. Developing a publication is one of the conference’s main aims.

How To Participate

– Show up!
– Help construct the second-day programme and join the discussions
– Participate remotely via backchannel or/and by sending in something for the on-site participants to consider
– Propose something for the Proceedings or the Online Masterclass

Join our Art, Tech, and the Commons Mailing List by emailing [email protected]

For queries please contact Helene Josephides | [email protected]

Or the Unconference Chairs:

Evanthia Tselika | [email protected] or Chrystalleni Loizidou | [email protected]

Provisional Themes:
The technology of participatory art, community art, and socially engaged art
The art of the free and open source software movement
Social media mobilisation: necessary or abusive?
Free and open source community technologies and arts
Openness and/vs freedom in social, art, design and tech initiatives
Hacktivisms and artivisms / hacking the art and art hacking
Contemporary questions around community and civically driven art, design and technology
Hacking as culture
Hackerspaces and makerculture / hackerspaces and their politics
Shared learning – peer to peer
“Design Global Manufacture Local”
Local vs global dimensions in community practice
Tech and art resistance discourses, their directions and overlaps
Freedom tech, tech freedom
Making and the commons: redefining public art / participatory art
Digital commons
Digital governance and social movements
Self-organisation discourse
Open data discourse
Networked cultures
Technology and policy / policy tech

Unconference Scientific Committee

  • Evanthia Tselika, University of Nicosia (Chair)
  • Chrystalleni Loizidou, hack66/ Lakatamia Municipality (Chair)
  • Maria Hadjimichael, University of Cyprus
  • Niki Sioki, University of Nicosia
  • Eva Korae, Cyprus University of Technology
  • Marios Isaakidis, University College London
  • Thrasos Nerantzis, Future Worlds Centre
  • Leandros Savvides, Leicester University
  • Gabriele de Seta, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan

You can Register for the event here

You can see the full programme for the event here

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