World of Street & Outdoor Arts
59.9K views | +0 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Kuniko
onto World of Street & Outdoor Arts
Scoop.it!

Aaron Swartz & Bradley Manning street art: Are free information icons a good thing?

Aaron Swartz & Bradley Manning street art: Are free information icons a good thing? | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it

“…and dimness would darken the entire sky of our freedom…”
-Anders Chydenius, 18th century free information activist

On Saturday in New York City, one could have been fooled into thinking that the city was in full bloom, though we’re still in the last long breaths of winter. As I strolled through Brooklyn with a friend, we relished the sunbeams beating down on our faces. We stopped a few times to direct our heads toward the sun and close our eyes. Those moments were beautiful.

And then we rounded a corner and came across a newly painted street art portrait of Aaron Swartz, and I was brought back to political reality. The artwork is located on a building next door to a shop on which a Bradley Manning portrait was painted shortly after his detention a couple years back. The spell of spring was broken for me. With Swartz’s death and Manning’s sysiphean effort to regain his freedom, it’s been something of a winter of discontent—at least in the world of free information.

It would be an understatement to say that the media and internet users have made symbols of Swartz and Manning. I must admit, I’ve had my fair share of engagement in this process. But since January Swartz’s life has undergone something more: martyrdom. In viewing Swartz and Manning nearly side by side on those building walls, the martyrdom became complete, to my mind. It was the iconization of free information rebels. A cult of personality is clearly visible.

We’ve seen cults of personality before: Che Guevara on the walls of Cuba and elsewhere. Subcomandante Marcos in Chiapas, Mexico and beyond. And, more recently, Anonymous’s Guy Fawkes image, which is unique in that it doesn’t simply exist statically on some wall, but bursts into three dimensions in the form of masks. This technique isn’t limited to Anonymous. I recall a Manning and Julian Assange masks being worn at some protests in 2011. I’m sure we won’t have to wait too long for a Swartz mask, if there haven’t been some already.

Which has me thinking about this iconization process in general. Is it necessarily a good thing for the free information effort? I’m not so sure.

I do admit that icons and martyrs have a way of catalyzing change, and in that way they can be useful for greater social efforts. And so in that respect the iconization of Manning and Swartz is useful. But I also think it serves to reduce the lives these two men lived outside of activism, and reduces the free information effort to a few leading lights; when in fact the effort is much bigger than them.

It seems to me that Swartz would be rather embarrassed or even disheartened to learn that he’d become a symbol, a tool. Manning is likely too busy mounting a defense to dwell much on his icon status, but I suspect he probably has felt similar sentiments. He noted in a recent courtroom statement that he wanted to start a debate about the US’s international relations. He reminded us all that it was never about him, but about making democracy actually function.

In a country of 300 million people—granted, many of whom are not of voting age—is it not a little absurd that we wait for a Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, or a small band of Anonymous activists, to “liberate” information? Shouldn’t we all be making similar demands on a consistent basis, and use whatever skills we have to do so?

Not to reduce the efforts of Swartz and Manning or any other free information activist, but I now realize that it will take far more than their brave efforts to see this thing through to the end—if, in fact, there is an end. It took street art for me to see the clear reality. Part of this came about in a series of interviews I did for a Makeshift magazine article entitled “Open the World.” In researching the various non-hacking methods of liberating information, I saw that it wasn’t just about taking information from an unwilling government, but about making enough noise with a critical mass to get information in the first place.

We cannot wait for the next Bradley Manning or Aaron Swartz to arise. All of us have that sort of potential. We may not have Swartz’s galvanizing creative genius and social activist zeal, or Manning’s access to military intelligence, but many millions of us share their passion. The difference is that Swartz and Manning took action, while the majority of us are content to watch TV, surf the internet and take 40 photos of ourselves daily, and leave the functions of democracy to the political classes.

This is, to borrow Captain Hook’s phrase, bad form.

If the iconization of Aaron Swartz and Bradley Manning, or even Julian Assange, can teach us anything, it is that we are embarrassingly  inactive and apathetic as a whole. So where does this leave us?

I recently interviewed community organizer scott crow (longer interview available at Medium), and what I gleaned from him is this: every great change in the world has come about because of culture shift. People shift radical ideas from the margins to the mainstream. But here’s the thing—free information is not a radical notion but a mainstream notion. Talk to almost anybody about whether they feel government should be more open, and they will tell you that people do have a right to know how their government operates.

more...
No comment yet.
World of Street & Outdoor Arts
Expression of freedom, for the freedom, by the free-minded artists : Street Art, Outdoor installation, Public Art, etc. StreetArt daily at Paper.li >> https://paper.li/vagabond60/1351716375
Curated by Kuniko
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

12-03-2016: Street Artist BLU Is Erasing All The Murals He Painted in ‪‎Bologna

Street Artist ‪#‎Blu‬ Is Erasing All The Murals He Painted in ‪#‎Bologna‬ #Blu cancella i pezzi dipinti a Bologna nel corso di quasi vent’anni http://www.wum...
Kuniko's insight:
Bravo BLU, what a decision you've made... extremely sad...but we're on your side to fight against the capitalist who wanted to make money out of your artwork.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Iskola, ahol sört csapolnak

Iskola, ahol sört csapolnak | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
This Pin was discovered by Gloria. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest. | See more about Budapest, Street Art and Art.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

1680x1050 street art, south american arts, south american street art Wallpapers and Pictures 83606

1680x1050 street art, south american arts, south american street art Wallpapers and Pictures 83606 | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
wallpaper 1680x1050 street art, south american arts, south american street art on the desktop to quickly download 83606
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Brooklyn Street Art

Brooklyn Street Art | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Brooklyn Street Art is a resource for fans and friends of the dynamic and explosively growing street-art scene in New York. Featuring an ever expanding rich
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

5 of my favorite cities for street art | Solo in Spain

5 of my favorite cities for street art | Solo in Spain | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
The 5 best cities in Europe for catching a glimpse of amazing street art.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Zio ziegler @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium

Zio ziegler @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Zio ziegler @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

103 Pieces of Marvelous and Cool Street Art That Make Your Eyes Wide Open | FreeYork

103 Pieces of Marvelous and Cool Street Art That Make Your Eyes Wide Open | FreeYork | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Street art has a magic power to shock your heart for the ordinary scene. It can give the commonplace a bright spot to stay rest and enjoy. Even for the tin
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Roman street art | Euromaxx

For more Euromaxx, go to: http://www.dw.com/en/program/euromaxx/s-7555-9798 Triumphs and Laments is a huge riverside street art project in the Italia
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Street art in Medellín, Colombia

Street art in Medellín, Colombia | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Street art in Medellín, Colombia, by artist WOSNAN (for Pictopia Festival). Photo by WOSNAN.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Miron Milic paints a large mural in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Miron Milic paints a large mural in Ljubljana, Slovenia | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
This Pin was discovered by Gloria. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest. | See more about Slovenia, Murals and Paint.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Street Art Blog - Der italienische Aktivist BLU... | Facebook

Street Art Blog - Der italienische Aktivist BLU... | Facebook | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Der italienische Aktivist BLU unterstützt mit seinem neuesten Werk den mittlerweile gut 25 Jahre andauernden Protest gegen den Bau der Treno a
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Violant - "Gaia" New Mural — GORGO Magazine

Violant - "Gaia" New Mural — GORGO Magazine | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
{:en}Let's have a look at the newest painting signed by Violant, the talented Portuguese artist has finished in recent days a new piece through which he reflects on the nature.{:it}Andiamo a dare un occhiata all’ultima pittura firmata da Violant, il talentuoso artista Portoghese ha nei giorni scorsi realizzato un nuovo lavoro attraverso il quale riflette sulla natura.{:}
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Voted BEST #Graffiti #StreetART Blog in the WORLD with LIVE DJs

Voted BEST #Graffiti #StreetART Blog in the WORLD with LIVE DJs | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Daily news on all things Graffiti & Street Art related while listening to Graffiti Kings Radio LIVE with some of the world's very best underground DJs
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Agostino Iacurci @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium

Agostino Iacurci @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Agostino Iacurci @ The Crystal Ship Festival - Ostend - Belgium
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

5 Cities Full Of Captivating Street Art Around Europe

5 Cities Full Of Captivating Street Art Around Europe | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
For long-term travelers like me, finding out beautiful hidden spots in a destination abroad by chance is more rewarding than checking touristic places by ranking on other websites.. When it come
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Global Street Art • Big and colourful wall action from @camemoreno ​...

Global Street Art • Big and colourful wall action from @camemoreno ​... | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Big and colourful wall action from @camemoreno ​ in #Mexico. (http://globalstreetart.com/came-moreno) #globalstreetart #walls #spraypaint https://www.instagram.com/p/BEl_miXgENg/
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Creative Street Art Wall Murals by Etam Cru

Creative Street Art Wall Murals by Etam Cru | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Downgraf is a Design Inspiration blog for designers. We regularly update it with Art, Graphic Design, Web Developing & other Inspirational stuff & articles.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Quand le street art s’anime grâce aux gifs !

Quand le street art s’anime grâce aux gifs ! | World of Street & Outdoor Arts | Scoop.it
Comme je le dis souvent sur ce blog, les images animées sont de plus en plus utilisées dans notre quotidien et notamment le format gif qui a littéralement modifié notre façon de communiquer. En effet, plus qu’une photographie, le gif permet de raconter une histoire, rendre compte de l’envers du décor…   C’est donc tout…
more...
No comment yet.