Re(de)fining the Interface Between Business and Society
Tensions between global corporations and digital artists who use business as an artistic and activist medium reveal rough edges in the interface between business and society. This interaction can be seen as a space where the interface between business and society is being challenged, with artists performing online art that raises awareness about hidden aspects of business practices. As digital artists place the spotlight on activities and business strategies that are not part of corporate plans for communicating their “transparency,” they also work to reconfigure and re(de)fine this interface. To set the scene for understanding digital activism, this chapter examines a partial history of digital artist activism focused on ®™ark and etoy, two artist collectives that were networked and cooperated on some projects in the late 1990s. The focus is on two projects and their impacts: Toywar and Vote-Auction. The chapter moves on to look at later projects from the two artist duos emerging from them—the activist group The Yes Men, emerging from ®™ark, and the actionist2 group UBERMORGEN, which includes one of the founders of etoy. Projects by these artist groups are examined through a lens based on dimensions of transparency.3 These dimensions allow for a critical examination of transparency and demonstrate some inherent tensions between what is revealed and concealed in communication between business and society. This, in turn, addresses the notion of knowledge that leads to new possibilities for understanding and action.
Cyberactivism on the Participatory Web, 2014
Activism; Business; Digital Artists; Macro Socio Technical Design