The Black Chamber
10. 3. 2016 - 1. 4. 2016

Jacob Appelbaum & Ai Weiwei, Zach Blas, James Bridle, Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Simon Denny, Jill Magid, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Metahaven, Laura Poitras, Evan Roth

How did the internet go from the utopian free-for-all, open source heaven, libertarian last frontier to the current state of permanent surveillance, exhibitionism and paranoia? The Black Chamber exhibition is a selection of some of the most significant works by a generation of artists and activists who devise technological and social tactics to peek into contemporary phenomena of surveillance and paranoia, including the ambiguity of massive voyeurism and actual systems of corporate or state control.

Adding the precision of investigative journalists or hackers to the passion of explorers or superusers, the artists and activists invited to The Black Chamber translate problematic histories associated with the governance of networks infrastructure and the control over people’s imagination into subtle visual forms.

They know that no existing map can be fully trusted.

Operating occasionally at the center, though more often at the periphery, of this huge, mysterious, always slippery, and constantly changing patchwork of forces, we find the post-studio artist as well as the political dissident, the unruly technologist or the unconventional journalist. This passionate tangle of people sets out to suggest alternative and always ephemeral ways of disseminating information and countering automatic processes of control over bodies and collective fantasies.

* For centuries, nations around the world have operated Black Chambers, secret rooms where they tried to decode the messages being sent by their rivals: these were the precursors of the modern Intelligence Agencies. This project is an attempt to peek into the Black Chamber

Curated by: Eva & Franco Mattes, Bani Brusadin



Kino Šiška, Komuna

Moderator: Bani Brusadin


  1. 3. 2016 / 18:00 – 21:00

Session 1: Independent militias in and out of surveilled networks

Participants: Marko Peljhan, Simona Levi, Evan Roth


  1. 3. 2016 / 18:00 – 20:00

Session 2: Voluntary prisoners of the cloud

Participants: Émilie Brout & Maxim Marion, Zach Blas

Final conclusions drawn by all guests, moderated by conference curator Bani Brusadin.


Curated by: Eva & Franco Mattes, Bani Brusadin
PRODUCTION: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana; Drugo more, Rijeka, 2016

COPRODUCTION: d-i-n-a/The Influencers, Škuc Gallery, Kino Šiška

PARTNER: Link Art Center

The Black Chamber is realized in the framework of Masters & Servers, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), AND (UK), Link Art Center (IT) and d-i-n-a / The Influencers (ES).

SUPPORTED BY: the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipality of Ljubljana, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Slovenia.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

MEDIA SPONSORS: Mladina, Radio Študent