“We have a situation!” is the subject of a chapter on cyberformance and civic engagement in post-democracy, recently published in “Convergence of Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Global Civic Engagement“, ed. Ryan Shin, (IGI Global, 2016; ISBN 9781522516651).
The chapter, written by Helen Varley Jamieson, discusses how “We have a situation!” uses cyberformance to provoke conversations around urgent contemporary issues. Through heterarchical co-creation processes and real-time online events, temporary networked communities emerge and engage in creative problem-solving. The fifth “situation,” created at Multicidade Festival in Rio de Janeiro in November 2015, addressed the problem of water pollution in the context of the approaching 2016 Olympic Games. This chapter chronicles the process of creating and presenting this event and proposes that cyberformance fosters an intimate proto-political form of online engagement as a positive alternative to increasingly commodified activism in commercialised internet spaces. The chapter concludes that networked arts projects – in social, artistic and educational contexts – have an important role to play in the post-democratic reconfiguration of civic engagement, agency and activism.
During the second half of 2016, I will be working with staff, students and artists in Coventry, UK on the creation and presentation of the sixth “situation”. We’ll be focus on the social and community situation that has developed as the university has rapidly expanded in the town centre, dramatically altering the population demographic and the daily life experience for the people of Coventry. For this project, I’ll be the Disruptive Media Learning Lab‘s first International Artist in Residence, and will collaborate with Rachelle Knowles, associate head of the School of Art and Design, who participated in the Graz situation in 2013.
Here is a 6-minute video of excerpts from the screen recording of “Temos uma Questão!“, in Rio de Janeiro on 7 November 2015.
Thanks to Gretta Louw for the screen recording, and to everyone who made this “situation” happen! (Credits are at the end of the video).
I’ve arrived in Rio de Janerio to prepare for our “situation”, taking place next week as part of the Multicidade International Festival of Women in Theatre. It’s my first visit to Rio, so as well as preparations I’m fitting in a little bit of sightseeing before what will be a very busy week. On Monday, we will start the workshop to create the performance; there are 5 local participants, and the online team will join as time zones allow. more »
Our research for the Rio situation began with the issue of water quality in Guanabara Bay: world attention is turning to Rio de Janeiro and its waters as the Olympic Games draw closer. However, the pollution of Guanabara Bay isn’t a new problem, and its impact is much greater than a one-off sports event. Many communities’ livelihoods are based on and around the bay, and of course all life is dependent on clean water.
Remember those protests we heard about, before and during the 2014 world cup in Brasil? Do you know what they were all about, if anything was achieved, or if social unrest continues? I’ve been invited to create a “situation” in Rio de Janiero, so I’m starting to look at what’s going on there these days – and I’ve discovered there’s a situation brewing in the water. more »