Examining the intersection of politics, technology, and society, Disruption Network Lab exposes the misconduct and wrongdoing of the powerful.
Disruption Network Lab is an ongoing platform of events and research focused on the intersection of politics, technology and society. We are a Berlin-based nonprofit organisation in Germany (Disruption Network Lab e. V.) that has since 2014 organised participatory, interdisciplinary, international events at the intersection of human rights and technology with the objective of strengthening freedom of speech, and exposing the misconduct and wrongdoing of the powerful. We develop work that advocates for the globally marginalised.
Disruption Network Lab organises inter-disciplinary conferences at the interface of scholarship and politics and local meetups throughout the year.
The goal of the Disruption Network Lab is to present and generate new possible routes of social and political action within the framework of digital culture and information technology, shedding light on interventions that provoke political and social change. We offer a platform of discussion for whistleblowers, human right advocates, artists, hackers, journalists, lawyers and activists to present their experience, their research and their actions – with the objective to share ideas and visions for a free Internet and a modern democracy, and with the aim to strengthen human rights values and freedom of speech.
The Disruption Network Lab takes shape through a series of international conferences at Studio 1, Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin, and at other venues in the world. The curatorial methodology brings together a montage of practices, as well as of fieldwork, to create a network based on the analysis of multiple points of view. The programme is developed through keynote events, presentations, and debates. Our past programme covered topics such as the drone war, whistleblowing, counter-surveillance, and artistic and activist strategies in times of increased geopolitical control. By connecting and bringing in dialogue experts that unfold inner structures of political, economical and technological systems, we promote in-depth understanding of digital culture in everyday life and society.
The “Activation” programme consists of regular local meetups throughout the year at STATE Studio in Berlin and a community conference at the end of the year. “Activation” focuses on extending and connecting our regular programme and network with social and cultural communities active in both Berlin and abroad, highlighting different ways of possible direct participation and engagement with our topics.
The conference programme is run by Tatiana Bazzichelli (artistic director and curator) and the “Activation” programme by Lieke Ploeger (community director), who are working together with their team.
2019: The Art of Exposing Injustice
In 2019, Disruption Network Lab presents a new programme series: The Art of Exposing Injustice, and introduces the first meetups throughout the year. The Art of Exposing Injustice refers to the intersections between art, digital rights, social justice and social accountability. We are interested in analysing the wider matter of self-organised and technologically-based tactics of producing justice and promoting accountability, from grassroots data analysis, to leaking and citizen journalism, and their effects on civil society, politics, and the arts.
The framework in which the Disruption Network Lab operates in 2019 is related to the analysis of the concept of anti-corruption and the empowerment of the people. For reaching this scope, we decided to partner with Transparency International, the organisation that leads the fight against corruption working together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power.
The conceptual framework of the series presents three thematic conference events in April, June, and September 2019 at Kunstquartier Bethanien (Studio 1). Furthermore we are planning a community gathering in November 2019, where the scene of digital rights, investigative journalism, hacktivism, tech-based art and culture will connect with our general conference programme and present some community-based projects. In addition, we will host our regular community meetups throughout the year at STATE Studio.
Conferences: DARK HAVENS (April 2019), and upcoming.
2018: Misinformation Ecosystems
“Misinformation Ecosystems” is the conceptual framework for two thematic conference events, in May and September 2018. Focus is the analysis of hate speech, strategic opinion manipulation, and the emergence of far-right ideologies that reject mainstream conservatism in favor of white nationalism and supremacism. The conference series aims to investigate the strategic usage of media and contemporary visual culture to provoke unpredictable effects on politics and society, based on the creation of misinformation, hate news, and right-wing propaganda.
Conferences: HATE NEWS (May 2018), INFILTRATION (September 2018).
2017: Outer Spaces
The thematic framework in which the Disruption Network Lab operated in 2017 is “Outer Spaces”. Outer Space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, a concept that refers to the principle of horror vacui, from the Greek philosopher Aristotle, questioning the possible existence of a void in space. Applying this concept to a geopolitical and social dimension, and making it plural (outer spaces), horror vacui becomes the fear of the unknown, which needs to be disclosed, investigated, and yet better understood. The first event of the series focuses on prisons as hidden "outer spaces" of repression and detention in the framework of whistleblowing and truth-telling - reconnecting with the 2016 thematic framework. The second event focuses on the media strategy of ISIS, the meaning of cyber jihad and why people enroll as foreign fighters in Middle East and Europe.
Conferences: PRISONERS OF DISSENT (May 2017); TERROR FEEDS (November 2017).
2016: Art & Evidence
“Art & Evidence” is the framework of the second series of conference events (June-November 2016). Inspired by a conceptual exchange of curator Tatiana Bazzichelli with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras, Art & Evidence refers to the act of revealing facts, exposing misconducts and wrongdoings, and producing awareness about social, political and technological matters. Alongside, the thematic framework introduces artistic explorations, through which the issues of whistleblowing, leaking, disclosing, and knowledge production are investigated in their imaginative potential, by questioning the concept of “evidence” itself. The goal is to encourage the exploration of critical models of thinking and understanding, as well as to generate art as a mean to investigate issues and translate information.
Conferences: DEEP CABLES (June 2016); IGNORANCE (September-October 2016); TRUTH-TELLERS (November 2016).
2015: Disruption Network Lab
The first series of conference events (April-December 2015), under the name "Disruption Network Lab", focuses on media practices at the borders of hacking, art and activism covering a wide spectrum of political, cultural and economical issues: from the use of drones in political conflicts, to the emergence of social media practices shaping our everyday life, causing critical consequences on our privacy; from the critical reflection on identity, pornography, and sexuality in post-digital contexts, to the upcoming frontiers of bio-hacking; from whistleblowing as a way of exposing sensitive facts and information, to political stunts and tactics of disruption to reveal bugs in economical and business systems from within.
Conferences: DRONES (April 2015); CYBORG (May 2015); A GAME OF YOU (August 2015); SAMIZDATA (September 2015); PORNTUBES (October 2015); STUNTS (December 2015).
2014: Year of Foundation
The Disruption Network Lab was founded by Tatiana Bazzichelli in April 2014. It became a registered nonprofit organisation in Germany, Disruption Network Lab e. V. (gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein), in September 2016.
Disruption Network Lab in the World
The Disruption Network Lab establishes local and international cooperations with other projects and institutions in Berlin and in the world. The first conference of this international programme was held in London at the Somerset House in April 2016, focusing on the political and artistic consequences of the usage of military and technological bots.
Conferences: BOTS (April 2016, London, UK).
Panels: CAPTURING NETWORK TRAFFIC (May 2016, Linz, Austria).