This arts based practice session is in conversation with Timotheus Vermeulen.
In this session artist and activist Manuel Beltrán, in conversation with scholar Timotheus Vermeulen, will interrogate the shared patterns between different contemporary protest movements, digital activism and forms of “leaderless art” in contemporary protest. What they have in common different protest movements as the Indignados in Spain, Gezi Park in Turkey, the wave of international student protests, and what kind of actions and aesthetics do they use? Is there a common shift towards a new language, new gestures of protest? Towards where are this movements going now that their ideas entered the political arena as in the case of Spain? What are the similarities between citizen-activists of those movements and forms of “leaderless art” that are being created by communities of resistance? What kind of role does encryption, anonymity and technological emancipation play in the process of decentralization and expansion of civil rights and responsibilities of citizens?
This arts based practice session was given as part of the Digital Activism event organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht within the series of presentations, conversations, seminars, and workshops Posthuman Glossary. The series takes place in the form of intensive two-day gatherings with artists, scholars, and activists around the critical issues of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. Posthuman Glossary is a part of BAK’s research program Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) and its chapter Human-Inhuman-Posthuman, which is developed in dialogue with BAK Research Fellow Professor Rosi Braidotti and organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The series leads to the publishing of the Posthuman Glossary in 2016, edited by Braidotti and BAK’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova.