Responses to current political and cultural debates
Every four months, L'Internationale Online invites artists, curators or writers to react, reflect or assess specific subjects troubling the present. Focus April-May 2021: The techno-political implications of the digital move for culture and education.
One year ago the pandemic escalated in Europe and museums and other venues for education and culture were closed to the public along with the city’s other social institutions. The lockdown pushed institutions to reinvent themselves and move to zoom, YouTube and other media platforms as the new spaces for discussion, leisure, and experimentation. However, these spaces were not always new, not as free at it might have seemed and not public at all. Museums and the visual arts sector led this mutation to the digital but at some point without reflecting enough about the techno-political implications of this move. The racism of algorithm, data extractivism and the economy of attention are just but a few of the counterbalance consequences of the important role that culture has had in the pandemics: as companion, as a tool to take a distance to the social control, as a learning environment. This series of Opinions articles presents a group of experiences, fictional and real, that narrate the paradoxes and challenges that digital cultural and learning environments put on cultural and artistic institutions and the risks of thinking the virtual as a neutral or even safe space; from the workforce behind the screen to its infrastructural aspect to its ecosocial impact.
Contributors to this series: Aida Sanchez, doctor in Fine Arts and an educator, researcher and cultural worker in the fields of visual culture, education and collaborative art practices, currently a lecturer at the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Ana Dević, curator based in Zagreb and member of curatorial collective What, How and for Whom/WHW. Jara Rocha works through the situated and complex forms of distribution of mundane technologies with a transfeminist sensibility, profanating modes and techniques for re-mediation, action-research and in(ter)dependent artish praxis. *Martino Morandi** researches the tangle of and our entanglements with socio-technical systems and is interested in the politics of our interactions with technology at different scales, from power plants to bio texts.