Series of Talks:
Futures and Options

Salt Beyoğlu

March 15 – March 16, 2012

Futures and Options                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Fotograf: Joseph Redwood-Martinez, 2012
Photo: Joseph Redwood-Martinez, 2012

SALT Beyoğlu, Walk-in Cinema

Situated throughout, SALT Galata, and SALT Beyoğlu, “One day, everything will be free…” consists of a series of projects that engage with the promises of free economies, contemporary finance, and the cultural institution. This much is known: the task at hand is to implicate the relationship between SALT and the funding institution. But in order to do this, the project begins with a detour, a direct detour, directly into that which is made to disappear from view: associative histories and certain technical aspects of the job; knowledge economies, cultural piracy, class relations, and structural contradictions.

Matteo Pasquinelli, Laurel Ptak, Özgür Uçkan, Caleb Waldorf, and Eva Weinmayr have been invited to give lectures and research presentations for a program titled FUTURES AND OPTIONS, scheduled for March 15th and 16th at SALT Beyoğlu. This series of talks will allow us to hear from a range of protagonists who have variously engaged with the topics under consideration in the long-term research project, “One day, everything will be free…” This program will also provide a setting to invite the range of responses that will carry this project forward, or perhaps derail it entirely.


18.00 Eva Weinmayr, The Piracy Project
19.15 Laurel Ptak, Publishing In Process: Ownership In Question


16.30 Özgür Uçkan, Big Brother v. Little Brothers
17.45 Coffee break
18.00 Caleb Waldorf, Interface and Labor
19.15 Matteo Pasquinelli, Surplus and the Common

All the talks will be held in English.

Eva Weinmayr
The Piracy Project

The Piracy Project, run by artists Andrea Francke and Eva Weinmayr, is an international publishing and exhibition project exploring the philosophical, legal, and practical implications of cultural piracy and creative modes of reproduction. Building from an open call to establish a collection of pirated book projects, the project aims to develop a critical and creative platform for issues raised by acts of cultural piracy.

Eva Weinmayr will be in residence throughout the month of March and The Piracy Project will come to İstanbul in the form of a temporary reading room at SALT Research. In her presentation, Weinmayr will reflect on her residency thus far and discuss unauthorized approaches to the re-contextualization of cultural works—focusing not only on artists and writers, but also on publishers, programmers, academics, and business people who are challenging existing structures and authorities as well as ways of producing and redistributing cultural products and values.

Eva Weinmayr, who has exhibited internationally at Zacheta National Art Gallery Warsaw, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, and Rodeo, İstanbul, is also the co-director of AND, a platform for experimental publishing.

Laurel Ptak
Publishing In Process: Ownership In Question

Now is a moment when the distribution between what is privately owned and publicly shared in society is being fundamentally scrutinized, questioned, and protested in many parts of the world. It is a basic thread that connects Occupy Movements, the Arab Spring, the Chilean Winter, the European Debt Crisis, and numerous other sites of struggle. As such, it is clear—it is time to ask and collectively rethink what notions of property, ownership, exchange, and value mean to us.

To what extent can the context of art provide us with space to propose, discuss, or test new models and theories around such terms? After all, what is the relationship between public and private that the art world itself proposes? How does it construct narratives of property, ownership, exchange, and value inside its mechanisms? What might be a more ideal scenario?

As part of FUTURES AND OPTIONS, Laurel Ptak will share her curatorial observations, strategies, research, and projects, which attempt to navigate the difficult terrain between artistic practice, knowledge economies, class relations, intellectual property, and open culture in various ways.

Laurel Ptak is curator at Tensta konsthall in Stockholm where her current projects look at questions of intellectual property, art’s relationship to labor, and the possibilities and limits of online space as a deterritorialized form of public space.

Özgür Uçkan
Big Brother v. Little Brothers

In his recent book, Wikileaks: Yeni Dünya Düzenine Hoş Geldiniz (with Cemil Ertem; Nesil Yayınları, 2011) [Wikileaks: Welcome to the New World Order], Özgür Uçkan describes the confrontation and continuous battle between Big Brother (i.e., governments and corporations) and the little brothers. He looks specifically at those groups and individuals who disseminate dissident information by using and adapting the technologies of the very organizations they seek to disrupt. Uçkan will present this subject in relation to the war between the global surveillance industry and lurker communities behind hi-tech “invisible internet projects.”

Özgür Uçkan teaches, publishes, and consults on subjects relating to knowledge economy, network economy, innovation economy, creative industries, urban economics, information design and management, and communication design.

Caleb Waldorf
Interface and Labor

Caleb Waldorf will examine the contemporary relationship between interface and labor, with a particular focus on the role of current social networking systems in facilitating a “free” exchange of information, ideas, and affects, while simultaneously acting as structures of subjectivization and self-management under the guise of our contemporary form of capitalism. Through looking at projects such as The Public School and Occupy Everything, Waldorf will discuss other strategies and tactics to deal with the inherent contractions in the tools we use and mobilize as instruments of resistance.

Caleb Waldorf is an artist currently living in Berlin. In 2007, he co-founded and is currently the creative director of Triple Canopy, an online magazine, workspace, and platform for editorial and curatorial activities. Since 2008, he has served on the committee for The Public School, an open framework for pedagogy started in Los Angeles by Telic Arts Exchange. He is also an active contributor to Occupy Everything, an anti-capitalist platform dedicated to militant research, critical pedagogy, and public practices.

Matteo Pasquinelli
Surplus and the Common

The February 2010 issue of The Economist reported that digital information is growing out of measure, out of the storage and computing capacity of the current network infrastructure. The article appeared to be very optimistic and comfortable about new business opportunities of such a trend, but some data provided by the report itself point to a structural contradiction. The question for us is whether the technological limits of the Turing universe will unveil a political limit: if the excess of social cooperation and communication feeding the mediasphere may turn into a sort of political singularity. Indeed, the current debate on network economy and new immaterial commons appears to have obliterated any notion of surplus or excess and to be dominated by metaphors of horizontal, linear, and symmetrical cooperation. Moving from the critique of the Marxian law of value advanced by Hardt and Negri in Commonwealth (Harvard University Press, 2009), Matteo Pasquinelli will discuss the political models that are employed to describe the notion of surplus and how this should affects any politics of the commons.

Matteo Pasquinelli is a writer and theorist. He wrote Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers / Institute of Network Cultures, 2008) and edited the collections Media Activism (2002) and C’Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader (2007). Together with Wietske Maas, he developed the art project Urbanibalism and he is a member of the international collective Uninomade.