Art & Culture My Lectures

Advocating for Free Culture

Recently, I gave a talk at transmediale as part of their Free Culture Incubator series. I’ve embedded the video below. I highlighted three case studies that I think exemplify how advocating for the arts successfully can make profound differences to how we experience urban spaces.

Firstly I mentioned, a campaign to introduce a billboard tax in the city of Toronto, with the tax money distributed to art and culture projects. They were very successful in winning the first battle, which was implementing the tax, but now they need people to speak up once more in favour of how the budget is actually allocated. Check out their Facebook event for more details on how you can help this terrific project.

I also mentioned Ile Sans Fil, the wireless community group that I used to work with, that built a grassroots infrastructure in Montreal that is wildly successful. They were also pioneers of using their infrastructure as a platform to distribute art and community content to their users. They have been so successful at building infrastructure and in their advocacy work that wireless internet infrastructure is now an issue in the Montreal municipal elections.

Last but not least, I mentioned Manchester Open Data City, a huge initiative by FutureEverything. FutureEverything is leading the advocacy around making Manchester the UK’s first open data city, by identifying data that can be made available, and looking at issues of data interoperability, quality and management. I’m programming the FutureEverything conference this year, and can tell you that Open Data and its implications for citizen participation and creativity will be a hot topic. Hope to see you in Manchester this May for FutureEverything!

Art & Culture My Projects Technology

Creating Spaces: Net Art in the “Real World”


A short while ago, I wrote a lead article for the latest issue of the electronic magazine of the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal (CIAC). CIAC was created in 1983 and since 1998, it has been producing the Biennale de Montréal.

In the article I wrote, Creating Spaces: Net Art in the “Real World”, I look back on Canadian net art history, filtered through the lens of projects that have strong links to occurrences and objects in the offline world. As I mention in the article, “These links between online and offline, net art and other forms, has proven to be one of net art’s most consistent strengths in recent history, underpinning the critical complexity of the works and adding to the durability of these works over time.” I discuss the work of Wayne Dunkley, Michelle Teran & Isabelle Jenniches, Willy Le Maitre & Eric Rosenzveig, and Risa Horowitz.

Image: AFK by Michelle Teran & Isabelle Jenniches