iMAL, Center for Digital Cultures and Technology, Brussels


So, what about Politics? - #SWAP

So, what about politics? looks at initiatives that could be seen as the avant-garde of a new political era. In a critical period of crisis in our political systems, we welcome artists, activists, academics using innovative technological tools to reclaim political processes or to shape new forms of organisation, from local collectives to global movements.

As  Rebecca Solnit says, “It’s equally true that democracy is flourishing in bold new ways in grassroots movements globally”, and “There is far more politics than the mainstream of elections and governments, more in the margins where hope is most at home.” How does this apply to the margins of our technological imagination? Which tools and practices are being dreamed of, tested and explored?

In short, what is the impact of today’s Internet-inspired post-institutional thinking on the practice of political action? For this we focus on tactics, tools and visions of grassroots initiatives, as well as on changing government policies and strategies.

The symposium revolves around questions such as: What are the politics of a P2P society? How can we perceive a network as a real “distributed agora”? What can we learn from artist- or activist-led experiments focusing on collectivity and political agency?
And most important: What are the concrete tools and initiatives today that really try to facilitate and use new forms of agency such as liquid democracy, e-governance, civic intelligence, platform cooperativism and autonomous self-organisation?

Digital culture and technology. But what about politics?

Day 1: FRI 3 November
Lectures and Debates, 10:00-18:30

Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation), Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam) & Alex Foti (Milano), Lieza Dessein & Sandrino Graceffa (SMArtbe, Brussels), Xavier Damman (, Virgile Deville (, Saya Sauliere (Medialab-Prado/ParticipaLab, Madrid), Arianna Mazzeo (DesisLab, Barcelona), Khushboo Balwani (Civic Innovation Network, Brussels), David Potocnik (, Lanzarote), Lauren Lapige (unMonastery, Athens), Penny Travlou (University Edinburgh), Monica Garriga (Decidim, Barcelona), David Gómez (Texeidora, Barcelona), Emmanuele Braga (Macao, Milano), Panayotis Antoniadis (NetHood, Athens-Zurich), Sanna Ghotbi & Vanessa Metonini (DigidemLab, Gothenburg/Madrid), Barrett Brown (, USA).

Detailled Programme Day 1.

Day 2: SAT 4 November
Workshops and Participative sessions, 10:00-17:00

Sanna Ghotbi & Vanessa Metonini (DigidemLab, Gothenburg), Arianna Mazzeo (DesisLab, Barcelona),  Civic Innovation Network (Brussels).

Detailled Programme Day 2.