Over the last 25 years, the World Wide Web has expanded our concept of the public sphere from the physical to the virtual. For the second chapter of our recurring programme The Public Domain, Delfina Foundation is interested in exploring the collapse between these two realms through the use of technology. We are also interested in current debates on security versus surveillance, privacy versus privatisation, and autonomy versus anarchy.
To frame our second programme of The Public Domain, we are initially proposing three sub-themes: Grey Areas, Game Theories and Covert Ops.
Within Grey Areas we wish to explore the legalities of public space and ‘fair use’ of digital or public property, from open source data to rights-of-access over private land. We will particularly focus on the concept of loopholes that become a creative way to circumvent set rules and produce alternative possibilities.
Game Theories will playfully consider the decisions we make in The Public Domain where civic and digital spaces are filters of public and private information, from Facebook ‘likes’ to public art campaigns. With an eye on economic theories such as the ‘tragedy of the commons’ and the ‘price of anarchy’, we are curious about how public opinion and identity are affected when our behaviour and tastes are tracked and predicted.
Covert Ops will expand on the previous sub-themes to consider ways in which the public domain is controlled and/or contravened, from flash mobs to kettling, from drone surveillance to deep packet inspections, and from social networks to the darknet and other forms of architecture used to mask, encrypt, perform or reinforce identity.