OTOKA launched on 10th November 2022 in Nottingham where it will reside until Feb 2023.
Episode 1: Privacy Techtonics
11 November - 4 December 2022

Artists: Tara Kelton, Ben Grosser, Forensic Architecture, Yuri Pattison
Online: Joey Holder, Libby Heaney, James Bridle
OTOKA acts as a nomadic & fluid research, exhibition, residency, online platform & studio space.
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With an episodic programming structure, sites become spaces for contemplation and interdisciplinary collaboration, expanding methodologies through a symbiotic & symbolic language forged out of the ether.  Extracting data and knowledge from the collective subconscious and attuned minds of the bodies we inhabit, the boundary between artwork and curation collapse into a black hole, transporting us into new ways of thinking & being.
Un-attached to the necessity of needing long-term space, OTOKA responds to and reacts against the infrastructures we might feel we are embedded within, to work outside of and slide between, gaps in the system to create actions that can act as Temporary Autonomous Zones, zones of activity that act within their own rules, to provide what they need to whom they serve in new & unique ways.
OTOKA has been established by artist Candice Jacobs since returning to Nottingham during the Pandemic and becoming a mother.

EXHIBITION

Episode 1: Privacy Techtonics

DATES:

11.11.22

-

4.12.22

LOCATION:
Broadway Gallery

Artists:

Tara Kelton, Ben Grosser, Forensic Architecture, Yuri Pattison

Online: LIBBY HEANEY, BEN GROSSER, JAMES BRIDLE, JOEY HOLDER

“Privacy Techtonics” is curated by Candice Jacobs in collaboration with Phillipa Williams & Lipika Kamra, researchers from QMUL who are currently writing the book “Privacy Techtonics: Digital geopolitics, WhatsApp and India” - a critical take on how ‘privacy’ is designed, talked about, regulated and experienced by WhatsApp/Meta, governments and ordinary people.

The exhibition  showcases artists & multi-media works that explore the intrinsic & unequal relations between data, tech & people to provoke questions about our digital futures, how sustainable or desirable they are & what the alternative worlds might be that we might want to, or need to create.

VIEW PRESS RELEASE

Privacy Techtonics is an exhibition taking place within OTOKA during its gallery take over of Broadway Gallery with support from Near Now.  

An Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, Near Now is Broadways studio for arts, design and innovation, working nationally with pioneering artists to create bold new work and drive innovation through use of emerging technologies, helping develop and showcase the skills of Nottingham’s growing arts and tech community.

Broadway is based in the heart of Nottingham and is nationally recognised as a cultural lead organisation for independent cinema, arts and technology in the Midlands, offering creative learning, talent pathways and excellent customer experience to inspire creativity and future generations to have a lifelong love of film.

Over four weeks, four different artworks & artists or "scenes" will take over the Broadway Gallery in Nottingham. Each scene comprises a series of storylines and conversations that explore the relationships between digital technologies, data, identity, people, power and privacy. Online works will contribute towards the conversations of each scene and will be live every Friday.

Scene 1: Black Box (2018) TARA KELTON

11.11.22
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Online
13.11.22

Scene 2: Platform Sweet Talk (2021), BEN GROSSER

18.11.22
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Online
20.11.22

Scene 3: Digital Violence (2021), FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE

25.11.22
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Online
27.11.22

Scene 4: 1014 (2015), YURI PATTISON

2.12.22
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Online
4.12.22

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

DOWNLOAD CATALOGUE

The Privacy Techtonics exhibition catalogue weaves together artist interviews, artworks, and research articles to animate and reflect on this Episode of Otoka including storylines on Design cultures, Silicon Lives, Digital-state infrastructures and post-truth, post trust. This will be available for download on Otoka’s website.

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“Privacy Techtonics: Digital geopolitics, WhatsApp and India”

BUY BOOK

The global dominance of the Meta owned messaging app WhatsApp, and the recent ideological and policy shift by big tech towards digital private spaces raises important questions about the balance between public and private interests in a digital age. Privacy Techtonics examines how as an idea and a practice, digital privacy is infused with power relations, from intimate spaces of everyday life to the board rooms of big tech and the policies of state governments. Drawing on extensive research in India, WhatsApp’s largest market, Privacy Techtonics shifts attention away from western experiences of digital technology and privacy, and decolonises privacy studies by centring the ‘digital peripheries’ and ordinary digital technologies. In this crucial context it asks who has a right to digital privacy, how is privacy constructed and regulated by different actors and stakeholders, and what are ordinary ‘citizens’’ expectations and experiences of digital privacy? It examines how and why digital privacy is designed through end-to-end encryption, the legal and regulatory landscapes produced through relationships between big tech and government, and the digital lives of ordinary people. The book concludes that whilst WhatsApp is intended to enhance democratic life, in its largest global market, it is also implicated in undermining everyday democracy.

For more about the book and wider project see https://whatsapppolitics.com/ 

“Privacy Techtonics” is funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Collaboration and Strategic Impact Fund, Queen Mary University of London 2021/2.

ONLINE

1. LIBBY HEANEY - “Classes”, 2021

11-13TH NOVEMBER

2. BEN GROSSER “Order of magnitude”, 2019

18-20TH NOVEMBER

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A critical supercut that examines what matters to Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the world’s largest online social network.

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3. JAMES BRIDLE “Under the cloud”, 2020

25-27TH NOVEMBER

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Click here to listen

Read more about the programme on James Bridle's website

The cloud is a fantasy, an idea of connectivity formed from Silicon Valley’s early idealism and the Cold War militarisation of computer networks – freedom and surveillance, respectively – wrapped around the physical networks that came before it: railway tracks, sewer lines, undersea telegraph cables, television circuits. Now it’s the metaphor that dominates an internet of algorithms, machine learning and big data. 

How does our haziness about the cloud - what it does, where it is & who controls it – impact our own agency in the digital world?

Author and technologist James Bridle navigates the history and politics of the cloud, exploring the power of its metaphor to guide us back down to earth.

Featuring contributions from cloud historian and former network engineer Tung-Hui Hu, Google’s strategic negotiator of global infrastructure Jayne Stewell, urbanist and digital interface designer Adam Greenfield, Wired editor Amit Katwala, political theorist Martin Moore, Greenpeace technologist Elizabeth Jardim and Ian Massingham, global director for Amazon Web Services.

Produced by Simon Hollis

A Brook Lapping production for BBC Radio 4

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4. JOEY HOLDER - “Adcredo”, 2018

2ND-4TH DECEMBER

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Taking a fictional data-analysis company called Adcredo (Latin word meaning to put trust in, to believe in, or to give credence to) as her starting point, Holder explores the role that online networks can play in the construction of belief. The work develops a series of avatars that Holder has worked with across the project. CGI talking heads stand in for Kanye West, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Peter Thiel alongside otherworldly creatures drawn from the artist’s online research into conspiracy theory and synchromysticism. 

The work exists against a techno-socio-political backdrop of fake news, conspiracy theory, cyber-espionage and political populism

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LIVE

Privacy Techtonics Podcast

This series of podcasts are led and facilitated by Dr. Phillipa Williams & Dr. Lipika Kamra from Queen Mary University London who are currently writing the book “Privacy Techtonics: Digital geopolitics, WhatsApp and India” - a critical take on how ‘privacy’ is designed, talked about, regulated and experienced by WhatsApp/Meta, governments and ordinary people. Excerpts from these conversations will feature alongside newly commissioned texts in a downloadable Privacy Techtonics PDF catalogue.

RESIDENCY

Every year, OTOKA takes up residence on the crystal waters of the Croatian shore where invited guests consolidate thoughts & lasting legacies from the project to become an "Act" of escapism.
Candice Jacobs set up OTOKA as a fluidly transitioning temporary autonomous support structure for her research & practice; an attempt to break out from the established modes of expectation applied to artistic practice which often tend to favour the white male over a working artist-mother.

As an artist her work explores a world that exists as a mode of interrogation, drawing attention to aspects of reality that require further review and consideration, seizing and documenting behaviours that participate in spatial disturbances to create a shifting of place into angelic sphere (of exhaustion), which involves the manipulation of symbols (which are also things) and people (who are also symbolic); archetypes that supply a vocabulary for the processing of private epiphanies that shape our sense of self through contemporary capitalist frameworks, technological innovation and political modes of thought.

ABOUT

Candice Jacobs

info@otoka.org
Candice was nominated for the Jarman Award 2022, she co-founded One Thoresby Street, the New Midland Group & Moot Gallery in Nottingham; and she has exhibited across the globe at 56th Venice Biennale; FACT Liverpool; Camden Arts Centre; Artnight 2020; VITRINE; Seventeen Gallery; the Eternal Internet Brother & Sisterhood in Sri Lanka for Documenta 14; and the Material Art Fair in Mexico City amongst others. She is an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins & Chelsea College of Art in London.