Fair Tech and Virtual Fun

CODE: Reclaiming Digital Agency

IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] (NL), School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe (DE)

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Towards better policies for the digital public sphere

As our lives are increasingly taking place online, digital rights are important. But what are our online rights? How can we influence policies? CODE brings together artists, non-artists, politicians and policymakers in a dialogue to implement and improve laws and legislation that will protect our rights as digital citizens and online consumers. For 5 months we worked closely together in a series of workshops, a social hackathon and a symposium about issues of privacy and freedom in our digital public sphere. At Ars Electronica 2021, we present the results of the program and a talk by Frederike Kaltheuner, tech policy analyst, researcher and data-justice advocate. The talk will be moderated by Friso Wiersum (European Cultural Foundation, Expodium).

Everywhere we see initiatives trying to get to grips with issues of privacy and freedom in our digital public sphere. Political parties like VOLT, who heavily focus on better digital agency, just got into the Dutch parliament and popular Dutch broadcast shows highlight the lack of digital literacy in the government. But how do we proceed from here? Which systems need to be put in place — and by whom?

CODE is a collaboration between Utrecht-based IMPAKT and the Berlin-based School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe. CODE shows the potential of cross-disciplinary collaborations to catalyze systemic change. After a first phase centered on the Netherlands and Germany, in the coming years we will expand the scope of the project to other European countries.

IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] (NL): IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] is an organization that explores how developments in media and technology impact our lives, our societies and our democracies. We address the influence and power of technology companies on the consumers that use their products. We feel that we need critical, knowledgeable and vocal politicians to push forward changes in legislation and culture that can support a healthier relationship between the providers and the users of technology, between governments and citizens, in open, strong and pluriform democracies. www.impakt.nl

School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe (DE): School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe is a uniquely curated school born in Berlin, Germany in 2014, keen on inventing one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experiences in the areas of art, technology, design, and human connection and centered around the idea that we are all lifelong learners. Our students leave our programs activated: not only equipped with technical and hands-on tools and skill sets, but also critically-minded, more deeply engaged with their surroundings and with themselves. www.schoolofma.org


CODE is made possible with the generous support of Fonds Soziokultur, Cultural Participation Fund, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Goethe Institute and Creative Industries Fund NL.