Disobedient Objects and The Big Data Virality of Protest

Finally got to see the Disobedient Objects exhibit housed in the V&A.
It is very refreshing encountering this exhibit in amongst so many obedient objects of power – all that hegemonic marble and stone, wedding dresses and fine jewelry set against the insurgent reappropriation of raw material and junk. Great example of the appropriation of the desire for change by social invention.

Here’s a link to review in the Guardian, which also picks up on the irony of this encounter with the art of protest in the V&A.

Readers of this blog might also be interested in John Beieler’s contribution (more hi tech than raw material); an example of big data virality (see below and for a much better version click here).

Other highlights amongst the placards and papier-mâché puppets include the inflatable cobblestones used in Barcelona, Andy Dao and Ivan Cash’s Occupy George, Carrie Reichhardt’s Tiki Love Truck, and video projections of key protests like the Battle for Cancun. Recommended.


About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, due 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK, a co-founder of Club Critical Theory and Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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