Disruption Network Lab – “Cyborgs: Hacktivists, Freaks and Hybrid Uprisings” (2015), conference; image courtesy of the Disruption Network Lab
Cyborgs: Hacktivists, Freaks and Hybrid Uprisings is the topic for a two day conference organized by the Disruption Network Lab, in collaboration with the Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien. The event is built around the international book launch of ‘The Cyborg: A Treatise on the Artificial Man’, written by political Sci-Fi theorist Antonio Caronia (1944 – 2013).
Till now, this book has only been published in Italy, where its received much attention and popularity for its explorations of virtual power structures and analysis of how relevant the body is in contemporary political space. The conference offers a terrific program of cultural critics, scholars, artists and activists who offer a provocative and peculiar vision of contemporary reality.
Entrance fee for the conference is 5 euro per day.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Introducing the Cyborg – 5:00 – 5:40pm
Celebrated Marxist theorist, activist, and member of the Italian Autonomist movement, Franco “Bifo” Berardi will be introducing Caronia and his work with a video interview. He will discuss his personal friendship with Caronia against the backdrop of Italian revolutionary political and student movements since the movement of 1977, noting recurrent uses of technologies for developing alternate forms of collectivity and political empowerment.
Keynote: Ubiquitous Identities – 6:00 – 7:30
In Caronia’s writings on aliens, cyborgs, or artificial organisms are meant to explore a practice of relating to the different, incorporating the incongruous into our notions of political relation. Massimo Canevacci will be giving a keynote lecture that similarly evokes an image of collectivity that embraces its discordant and restless shifting fragments and does not need to be homogenized into a unified whole. The Keynote will be moderated by Francesco “Warbear” Macarone Palmieri, who is among other things, famous as a social anthropologist, performance artist, curator, and DJ.
Panel: Deconstructing Conflicts – 8:00 – 9:30 pm
Moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli, this panel with Helena Velena, Janez Jansa, and Agnese Trocchi, who are all respected for their involvements in hacktivism and art, will subvert power structures through provocation, playfulness, and disguise. They will amplify ambiguities and contradictions in order to expose the potential for a different political reality. These three talks will cover a variety of topics including the Italian hacker and cyberpunk movement, questions of identity and politics in art, and the relations between technology and sexuality.
After-Conference – 10:30 pm
The After-Conference will take place at Vierte Welt Kollaborationen, Zentrum Kreuzberg, Kottbusser Tor, 1. Floor.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Video: Cyborg Party of Freakland – 4:00 – 4:15 pm
The conference will continue on Saturday, starting with a short video by artist and activist Giacomo Verde, in which he presents a propaganda video of the not-yet-formed Cyborg Political Party.
Keynote: Hexing the Alien – 4:15 – 5:30 pm
Two artists and Cyberfeminists Francesca Da Rimini /Doll Yoko and Virginia Barratt will be delivering a Keynote moderated by Magdalena Freudenschuss. The keynote will discuss the ways in which the biological and psychological limits of the body are altered through our intersections with technologies: making evident our contemporary experience as hybrid beings. The keynote will refer to Donna Haraway’s influential text, ‘The Cyborg Manifesto’, to explore new political subjects and situated subjectivities mediated by technology.
Panel: From Cy-borg to Bio-borg – transhumanist visions reviewed – 6:00 – 8:00 pm
This panel promises to deliver an insightful and engaging talk, with an impressive lineup. It includes one of the leading (and one of the most provocative) scholars in gender and queer theory, Jack Halberstam, and researcher in the topic of bioethics and human enhancement Christopher Coenen, co-founder of Cyborg e.V., Stefan Greiner and will be moderated by the curator and project manager of the Disruption Network Lab, Daniela Silvestrin. This panel will explore the ethics, possibilities, and limits of the cyborg – and to what extent people will be able to transcend their biological physicality.
Live Cinema + Q&A – 8:30 – 9:30 pm
The conference will conclude with a screening of a film by Mariano Equizzi and sound designer Paolo Bigazzi Alderigi that explores the colorful history of the Italian Cyberpunk movement, looking at everything from its roots in conspiracy theories to the development of its geeky aesthetic. There will be a Q&A after the screening.
Blog entry by Alena Sokhan in Berlin; Friday, May 29, 2015.