CODE Programme 2023

Reclaiming Digital Agency

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: three workshops, a hackathon, various presentations at inspiring festivals, and an online exhibition. The events are spread over several months: from March till June, with presentations of the project’s outcome expected in September.

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 2023 is the third edition of CODE, and it organised by IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] together with Werktank (Leuven), Privacy Salon/Privacytopia (Brussels) and transmediale (Berlin). CODE 2023 is realised thanks to the kind support of Gemeente Utrecht Stimuleringsfonds and Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie.

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 2023

CODE 2023 participants announced

Meet the 29 participants who are selected for the third edition of CODE: Reclaiming Digital Agency.

In Ocotober 2022 we launched the second CODE open call for participants, i.c.w. Werktank , Privacy Salon/Privacytopia and transmediale. 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 100 applications from artists, researchers and concerned citizens. The participants were selected on the basis of their motivation. The aim of the CODE 2023 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 participants

Kick-Off Meeting - 21 January

On 21 January the CODE 2023 participants got the chance to meet each other for the first time.

This first kick-off was mainly about getting to know each other. The participants all joined an online meeting, and got the chance to briefly introduce themselves. Everyone was able to share why they joined the programme, what issues they hoped to address in their potential project, and what skills and background they could offer to a potential project. It was a fun and informal chance for the participants to see each other, and have a chat.

Proof-of-Scale: CODE panel at transmediale festival in Berlin - 2 February

Can blockchain technologies like smart contracts and DAO’s (decentralised autonomous organisations) enhance the democracy process? On 2 February, we talk about the opportunities and limitations of these decentralised technologies in the panel Proof-of-Scale at the transmediale festival in Berlin. Speakers include: anthropologist Miriyam Aouragh, researcher Nick Houde, curator and researcher Paulien Dresscher, and political theorist at The New Institute and Humboldt-University of Berlin Rahel Süß.

Read more

Hackathon - 3, 4, 5 March

Read more about the CODE Hackathon

Click here

Workshop 1 - 1 April

This workshop was about concretizing. 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.

During the workshop, which was held in a hybrid format, with spaces being open in various participating countries, participants worked in groups on their project proposals. They worked on the proposals which they were handing in one week later, in which they would describe their project, their planning, what materials they would need, and more. 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. This exercise was very helpful, since it allowed the CODE participants to get a lot more focus, which makes it easier for them to move forward. We also addressed the political relevance of the projects, and discussed ways to make this clearly visible in the works.


Workshop 2 - 29 April

More info soon.

Presentation at the CPDP Conference in Brussels

CPDP is an annual three-day conference devoted to privacy and data protection. The 16th edition of CPDP will be held on 24-26 May 2023 in Brussels.

Workshop 3 - 10 June

More info soon.

June 2023 onwards

Presentations at (international) festivals and events

IMPAKT Festival 2023: Reclaiming Digital Agency

Taking place in the first week of November, the IMPAKT Festival 2023 Reclaiming Digital Agency will address our digital rights, the control we have over our data and our lack of agency over the online platforms and devices we use.

The IMPAKT Festival 2023 will connect with CODE, a co-creation project on digital agency that IMPAKT initiated in 2021 and has been organising for two years with partners in Germany and Belgium. CODE refers to an ethical code of conduct that we feel needs to be discussed and developed, with basic principles for governments and the industry to adhere to. To give the discussions we have been fostering in CODE an even bigger platform, the IMPAKT Festival 2023 will put our digital agency centre stage.



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


Residencies & projects archive

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