The iJackers Guide to Social Protest in Public Space

This talk made in October , 2020 has been given during the International Congress of Extended Reality in Sciences ( organized by the Swiss Society of Virtual and Augmented Reality (SSVAR –
Art Clay is an artist and collaborator who was born in New York and twitters between his life in Basel and world presence working between the borders of the arts, the sciences, and society. As an artist, he has been awarded prizes for performance art , media art, design, music theater, and composition.

He has exhibited in major museum across the world and is at present, involved with several in several long running projects including a performative sound art tour and a several exhibitions featuring his work including a solo retrospective for 2021.

He has been supported by governmental agencies, art councils, private foundations, and industry partners such as Presence Switzerland, Pro Helvetia, Swissnex China, Swissnex Singapore, Migros Kulturprozent, Mondrian Foundation, Japan Foundation, Arts Council England, Canada Council for the Arts, Procedural, HP, LG Electronics, and many others.

He developed artworks and implemented project with renowned institutes such as EPFL, ETH Zurich, University of the Arts Zurich, Xian Academy of the Arts, NTU and NUS of Singapore, Jiaotong University Shanghai, University of Victoria BC, Sogang University, Seoul National University, Singapore Polytechnic, Politecnico di Milano, and for various private and government agencies and institutions including Biocon Labs, SAST, A2Star, and more.

The talk is inspired by diverse levels of agency in the arts. It covers past and present uses of communication technologies in the arts and how these intersect with social activism.

Early examples of Flash and Smart Mobbing and the Twitter tirades of Ai Weiwei offer a basis of understanding of content and method of the process of social protest using virtual space. The examples are also used to establish “a guide”, or a repertoire of common practice.

More sophisticated levels of agency are approached through the latest examples of holographic (art) protests and Augmented Reality works that use the newest technologies in subversive ways in areas where either physical presence is impossible or where public assembly is repressed and the situation calls for more creative approaches to communicating and or demanding social change.

The talk presentation takes a similar approach to Abbey Hoffmann’s 1960’s “Steal this Book” and being controversial in nature, the talks acts as a guid which makes the virtual domains of protest real and how to bring new possibilities of using socially disruptive performative acts.

Coupled with the use of any and all means of technologies linked with physical or virtual presence, the talk concludes with the coming to the understanding that a need for change is key to innovation and social renewal, and to conceive possible scenarios for (art) works that use art as agency to advocate change.

Speaker’s page

The intro video has been made by Dragan Stiglic:

The director:
Mohamed Jean-Philippe Sangaré
Founder and CEO of SSVAR

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