“All information should be free... Mistrust authority... Promote decentralization.… Computers can change your life for the better.”
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution", Steven Levy, 1984
These excerpts from “The Hacker Manifesto” reflect the libertarian, idealistic and visionary spirit that guided the MIT researchers and presided the origins of the Internet. Today the web 2.0 has really changed our lives, to such an extent that the old systems inherited from the past don’t meet our demands anymore.
Information technologies and social networks, over supporting self-expression, direct participation and transparency, question the traditional institutions, as they don’t seem to be able to hold the citizen’s reality anymore. This tension between reality and desire creates new forms of activism, alternative modes of social organization, new aesthetics and myths. They all redefine the framework for contemporary action.
Internet deeply modifies the ways of getting involved. Relieved from their feelings of loneliness and isolation, individuals start speaking out and asserting their rights. First, they use the social networks platforms, then reality itself.
Whether at a social (DEMONSTRATIONS) or political (RESISTANCE) level.
1. DEMONSTRATIONS: Each year, Time Magazine elects a personality of the year. It came as a surprise in 2011 when the famous weekly magazine elected the figure of the protester as most representative of the year! 2. RESISTANCE: Pablo Larrain’s last movie, much awarded in 2012, fiercely reminds us of the people’s power of collective resistance in the face of a dictatorial state (Pinochet’s dictature in Chile).
That is what the hacker, the pirate, is about. From this libertarian perspective does the one who defies rules, conventions and laws, operate, both on the Internet (ANONYMOUS), and in reality, in the pirate style of DIY (POWER OF MAKING).
1. ANONYMOUS: Anonymous are a group of hackers, built as defenders of individual freedoms on the Internet. Among their many feats include questioning their own status and demands. Are they modern heroes or just new criminals? 2. THE POWER OF MAKING: an exhibition of the V&A and the Crafts Council London in 2012. Over 100 objects were realised by worldwide amateurs and artists.
EVOLUTION OF VALUES
Re-enchanting the fight
For many people, engaged activism demonstrates that hope, born with the outraged, is as relevant as ever. Whether speaking out in the streets or in the social media clouds, these actions of militant groups now have measurable, empirical effects.
Other people can prove to be sensitive to the expression of revolt. Feeling the need to re-enchant the fight, they get interested in new, rebel aesthetics, in search for new inspiration sources.
But that will also require more transparency and authenticity from brands that get involved, breaking with the past..
Mythologies 3.0: heroes and myths of the future
Mythologies are created to tell whatever is eluding us. For most people, the world wide web remains a large terra incognita, awakening a need for representations that would enable to decrypt this virtual universe and make it more human. In the coming future, fiction like Matrix or Tron will give way to hackers dispensers of justice, Internet heroes and many cyber actors who will carry ideals of freedom and equal access to knowledge. It will be up to us to choose between privateers or pirates, and determine what we expect from the products and services that will be available online tomorrow.
PROSPECTIVE CREATIVE CONCEPTS
Hacking the space and creating rebellious products.... They express a fun and smart rebellion, in their use or through their aesthetic codes, to re-create citizen friendliness and improve our daily lives.
1. Seedbom by Vicki LeMay. In a mini‐guerilla style, it’s the perfect accessory for urban gardening: a recycled-paper shell filled with flower seeds, cocoa peat, ready for the closest wasteland. 2. La Mutinerie. With the aim of drawing together a community of “mutins”, gathered around common values, this new co-working space in Paris is open to everyone: you can come work for a day or for life, as you wish! 3. Electromagnetic Harvester by Emmanuel Siegel: an energy thief.
Power of making
From self-assembly objects to the re-use of traditional ones, the “power of making” is a great catalyst for personal creation and innovation.
1. Protection iPhone Radius by Design Mod: a self-assembly shell. 2. DIY Speaker Kit, by Technology Will Save Us: DIY loudspeakers. 3. Broo‐Ver by Ben Furston: when the broom turns into a hoover.