Het Huis Utrecht and online
01/ 07 / 2022, 16:00 - 19:00h

Digital rights are more relevant than ever, from big-tech companies that can target us based on data about our health, finances, location, gender, race, and other personal information, to potentially discriminatory AI. What can we, as concerned digital citizens, researchers, and artists do to support this process? In Brussels a new law for the protection of our digital rights and principles is being drafted. What should this law contain? How should we regulate the digital space?

On 1 July you are invited to join the discussion at CODE: Reclaiming Digital Agency, a hybrid event including a panel and a book launch at Het Huis Utrecht and online. We will discuss how artists, activists and policymakers can work together to raise awareness of our digital rights and what is needed for better laws and legislation that will protect us as digital citizens and consumers.

In the panel, we will look into how we can use art to reach politicians and influence policymaking with a.o. artist Benjamin Gaulon and theorist Geert Lovink. Benjamin Gaulon is an artist, researcher, educator and cultural producer. Through hacking and recycling, his research focuses on the limits and failures of information and communication technologies, ownership and privacy. Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of a.o. Social Media Abyss (2016) and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. More panellists to be announced soon.

After the panel, Geert Lovink will launch his new book Stuck on the Platform (Valiz, 2022). In this book, Lovink calls for internet users to reclaim the internet as a way to fight digital dullness. Describing and contesting internet trends during the turbulent Brexit-Trump-Covid era between 2019-2021, Lovink wrote this book as a relapse-resistant story, calling us to resist platform-culture.

As intermezzos, the selected CODE 2022 participants will present short interventions responding to “Reclaiming Digital Rights!”. Read more about the CODE 2022 participants here.

The event is part of CODE 2022, a European collaboration between IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] in Utrecht, School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe in Berlin, Werktank in Leuven, and Privacy Salon, in Brussels, now running its second edition. After a call for participants, for each edition of CODE we invite artists and citizens from different countries to join us for a 6-months programme to think about the current position of the digital sector in policy-making processes. Together we develop interventions and awareness campaigns to expose the power of tech companies and to activate politicians, policymakers and citizens to take action. Our desired goal is to influence public policy and define ways in which we can improve laws and legislation that will protect us as digital citizens and consumers.