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CODE Programme 2024

Reclaiming Digital Agency

Here you can find a short visual presentation of the past and the future of CODE: 

Watch the presentation

We want to make sure the general audience, politicians and policymakers are aware of the digital challenges of our time. We want big tech companies to be regulated, curb their power, and protect our digital rights. What role should governments play, and how can we make them understand the urgency to act? What can we as concerned citizens, researchers, and artists do to support this process?

CODE was initiated in 2021 as a response to growing concerns that we are losing agency over the digital tools and platforms we use on a daily basis. CODE seeks to bring together artists, non-artists, politicians, policy makers and researchers from Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands to engage in dialogue, critical discussion, and artistic intervention. We hope to be able to influence public policy on a national and international level, by creating awareness for issues at hand, and by defining ways in which we can improve laws and legislation that will protect us as digital citizens and consumers. We want to inspire and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations, which hopefully have the potential to catalyse system change.

Each edition starts with a call for applicants. Selected participants will have the opportunity to work closely together in a co-creation process of three months consisting of a series of events: workshops, a hackathon, an online exhibition and more. The events are spread over several months: from March until June.

During this period, together we develop interventions and awareness campaigns to expose the power of tech companies and to activate politicians, policymakers and citizens to take action.

CODE 2024 is the fourth edition of CODE, and is organised by IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] together with Werktank (Leuven), and NØ SCHOOL (Nevers). CODE 2024 is made possible thanks to the kind support of the gemeente Utrecht Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, the Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie and the Fonds Soziokultur.

Explore our CODE Events:

Open call for CODE participants (closed)

The Open call is closed. But if you want to read more:

Open call CODE 2024

CODE 2024 participants announced

Meet the participants who are selected for the fourth edition of CODE: Reclaiming Digital Agency.

In November 2023 we launched the open call for participants, i.c.w. Werktank and NØ SCHOOL. The open call was open to anyone from Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands who shared our concern about digital rights and the power of big tech companies. Together we will engage in dialogue, critical discussion, and artistic intervention to raise awareness about our digital rights.

We received over 150 applications from artists, researchers and concerned citizens. The participants were selected on the basis of their motivation. The aim of the CODE 2024 programme is to influence public policy on a national and international level, by creating awareness and by defining ways in which we can improve laws and legislation that will protect us as digital citizens and consumers.

CODE 2024 participants

Hackathon - 5–7 April

The hackathon is the first in person meeting moment for the Dutch, German and Belgian participants of the 2024 edition.

After a kick-off meeting in March, this was the first opportunity for the participants to meet in person in the green environment of the German city of Bonn. The focus of this hackathon was for the participants to get to know each other and try to formulate issues which could be addressed during CODE 2024. This was done by stimulating dialogue, following workshops and eventually forming groups. From here on a firm base is laid to continue ideas for the following months of this project.

Workshop 1 - 20 April

This workshop was for the CODE 2024 participants to spell out their ideas, and work towards their project proposals. While at the hackathon participants were encouraged to engage in dialogue, and look at various project angles and concepts, at the workshop they were asked to work towards their concrete project proposal.

This workshop was kicked off by CODE 2023 participant Hennie Bulstra, who talked about his experience with CODE and how we can reach policymakers and a broad public.

During the workshop, the mentors discussed the progress since the hackathon with all the groups, and helped them to really formulate what exactly it is the participants plan to do. We also addressed the political relevance of the projects, and discussed ways to make this clearly visible in the works.

Workshop 2 - 5 May

The second CODE Workshop was aimed at giving the groups feedback on their current projects. For this workshop, our mentors Régine Debatty, Ahnjili Zhuparris and Benjamin Gaulon were joined by new mentor and former EMAP resident artist Dasha Ilina.

The workshop started with a check-in round, before giving the groups more time to work on their project proposals with the help of the mentors. In between these sessions, we discussed different presentation opportunities, in particular the CPDP Conference.

CPDP2024

IMPAKT will again be present at CPDP this year to present CODE. During the conference, 22 – 24 May in Brussels, CODE will be part of the Pecha Kucha Night. Besides that, we will organise a panel on Avatar.fm and exhibit works created during CODE.

During the Pecha Kucha Night on Wednesday 22 May, Arjon Dunnewind and CODE participants Gema Fernández-Blanco Martín and Eva Oosterlaken will give presentations. Together with fellow CODE participant Amber Macintyre, they will also discuss artistic and societal responses to the loss of our digital agency on Avatar.fm. This micro panel will be broadcast on Friday 24 May at 16:00. During the conference, several CODE projects will be presented in the CODE booth.

Read more about CPDP2024 here.

Workshop 3 - 1 June

Workshop 3 was aimed at discussing the feedback every group got on their project proposals and giving everyone some time to rework their project proposals.

This final CODE Workshop started with a little game: we asked everyone to show a random item on their desk, to bond a bit more across the online barriers. Time has passed quickly, so it was a nice moment to get to know each other a bit better. We took a moment during the workshop to consider all the difficulties and hurdles in the project process, and we ended the session with a feedback round, and the promise to meet again when the projects are finished.

PublicSpaces

Under the theme “Taking back the internet”, Public Spaces invited activists, politicians, lawmakers and open source enthusiasts. Mona Hedayati represented CODE at the conference by giving a lightning talk about her group project Free(ze) to Choose.

While the influence of AI on our everyday lives continues to expand exponentially, current scenarios of use are not yet tangible and relatable on an everyday interactional level as AI is yet to be “infrastructural”. Free(ze) to Choose makes these quotidian interactions slided into our online interactions graspable through speculative, yet relatable interactive web scenario to raise awareness about the decisions that are automated. The presentation discusses this intersection to shed light on the increasingly opaque operation of AI pipelines deployed by the big tech and how they are and most importantly increasingly will affect our day to day activities.

 

 

More digital agency? Check out the CODE webproject!

To read more about CODE and discover the results of the CODE project so far, click here: CODE webproject


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