Festival of culture jamming, modified technologies and radical entertainment
"The rapid spread of digital technologies during the 90s made new types of creative intervention possible in the troubled area where art and communication merge. Since then, the grassroots exploitation of the styles, strategies and tools of mass communication have produced many unusual contributions to social and artistic innovation. Three different cultures: visual/performing arts, social activism and the culture around experimentatiion with digital technologies began to converge on common ground. THE INFLUENCERS aims to present and empower this emerging scene where "artists" work with communication.
During the three-day event artists, hacktivists and internationally recognised experts will present their projects based on media performance, independent soft/hardware modifications and direct intervention on the products, icons, styles and strategies of popular culture.
The invited projects go much further than just criticism or counter-information. They share an ironical, surprising and sometimes surreal attitude that enables them to target one of the most potent hubs of collective attention and awareness in western societies: media as entertainment. THE INFLUENCERS are about performing a new kind of radical entertainment by subverting common expectations and continuously reappropriating ideas and techniques.
The variety of approaches used by THE INFLUENCERS (guerrilla communication, music plagiarism, media performance, hacking of digital technologies, etc.) reflect conscious and strategic choices made by the initiators of these projects. Their practices show that more effective results are obtained when knowledge and resources from different fields are brought together and connected in unexpected ways.
For this reason, THE INFLUENCERS don't fetishize digital technologies as high-tech gadgets. The guest artists or groups sense that the real change made possible by the Internet, peer-to-peer protocols and the mass availability of digital communications technologies in general is their potential to filter directly into daily life, and create a radically new type of public arena, and new potential and desire to act within it. "
The Influencers festival took place at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, on April 1st-3rd, 2004.