By Kate Busby
Forward-thinking artists and activists will be gathering to share their thoughts on privacy, freedom and the Internet at the CCCB from October 26th to 28th as part of The Influencers, dubbed a guerrilla festival of radical entertainment. Now in its 13th year, The Influencers aims to inspire, provoke and unsettle audiences in equal measure.
On the agenda are talks on how to build your own “cloud” with a self-managed server; ”post-truth” in the Trump era as seen through the lenses of memes and algorithmic propaganda; a new digital racism in an irony-saturated world; a flea market for Internet things; the Fukushima exclusion zone after the nuclear disaster; and Chinese censorship, feminism and the art of hiding in plain sight.
Barcelona has long been a hotbed for contemporary art that flirts with technology, with several of the city’s institutions dedicating to exploring innovations in the field. This pairing has long been seen as geeky and of marginal interest. That said, with the rise of trendy Internet artists and social media’s proven power as a global mover and shaker, the marriage of art and technology is now a mainstream concern.
Bani Brusadin, festival director, explains: “The Influencers began as a pilot project in 2004, a time when YouTube didn’t even exist. Today, the picture is radically different. The explosion of social networking has liberated unthinkable creative forces. The festival’s key has always been to offer first-hand experience of controversial projects that explore the constant consumption of images and the paradox of a society that is increasingly controlled and self-controlled.”