[-empyre-] July on empyre: Reclaiming creativity as agent of change

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Mon Aug 1 03:30:50 EST 2011

We have come to the close of this month's empyre discussion on the theme of reclaiming creativity as agent of change. empyre members are welcome to continue the discussion, including our guest discussants. August will be a quiet month before the September theme is kicked off - but it is only as quiet as empyre members wish it to be.

We would like to thank our invited discussants Shu Lea Cheang, Paolo Cirio, Jussi Parikka, Saul Albert, Julian Oliver and Michel Bauwens for their insightful and expert contributions and ripostes. We also thank all those empyre members who contributed their thoughts and the lurkers who are the dark matter of the list, holding it all together with their attention. We would especially like to thank Magnus Lawrie who helped put together the theme for the month and coordinate invitations. We also wish Simon Yuill a quick recovery, who was unable to join us due to ill health.

The month's discussion has ranged across a set of related topics considering the pirate, vagrant and vandal as roles for creative and economic activity. The intention was the discussion would be held against the background of current developments in IP law and government policy. However, whilst we have been having our conversations there have been a series of well publicised examples of various piratical activities in the mainstream press, from Anonymous and Lulz's virtual disobedience and cyber-action to revelations concerning the depth and range of News International's hacking of phones and (we are now informed) computers, aided and abetted by the UK's ever trustworthy Metropolitan Police force as well as government ministers and agents. The contradictory (nee corrupt) nature of government ICT and IP policy and related law has been revealed.

What will the fall-out of these events be? How will the ongoing cyber-revolution proceed? Will it lead to social, political and economic change or succumb in a war of attrition, where the greatest enemy is indifference? Will we all become pirates, as a collective agency, or end up isolated on our personal desert islands? Will News International have its main-sails trimmed and stripped of it's media treasures, or succeed in expanding its control to include Europe's largest media company? Will implicated politicians and law enforcement officers be held to account or slip away in the night, to return strengthened?

We will have to wait and see. Events have a habit of happening, subsuming one another. Old news is not news. This is how so many stories die, as a whimper, vaguely remembered or forgotten altogether. There are those who survive, even thrive, due to our short memories.

But perhaps we can remain optimistic. Perhaps something is a little different this time? As anonymous are so fond of signing off, "We have joy, we have fun...". Here's to a joyful and fun filled August.



Simon Biggs | simon at littlepig.org.uk | www.littlepig.org.uk

work email address from August 1 2011 is s.biggs at ed.ac.uk

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk | Edinburgh College of Art | University of Edinburgh
www.eca.ac.uk/circle | www.elmcip.net | www.movingtargets.co.uk

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