Love, Piracy, and the Office of Religious Weblog Expansion
installation view at LABoral, Gijon; in: Process as Paradigm. photo by Marcos Morilla.
performance, installation, online project, artists’ book
On a censor’s desk lie stacks of identical books awaiting redaction, a file containing proscribed words, black marker pens, rubber stamps, ink pads, and assorted paraphernalia. In each book, a particularly provocative text is censored by hand before being deemed suitable for public scrutiny. The text, entitled Love, Piracy, and the Office of Religious Weblog Expansion, is the transcript of an interview with Iranian philosopher Ali Alizadeh. The censorship scheme is draconian – of the philosopher’s 1,500 word-long responses, only one word is left legible, and it is a different one that survives in each copy of the edition of 1,500.
Process mirrors content: Alizadeh traces the history of censorship in Iran from the ‘79 Revolution to the age of Google, highlighting the polyvalent impact of new technologies on freedom of expression. His is a chronicle of irony and absurdity – of preemptive censorship by librarians and of piracy by the state, of aesthetic crises precipitated by easing restraints, of
the embracing of the web by political hardliners and reformers alike, and of language escaping the control of religious authorities only to be constrained by market forces.
LOVE, PIRACY continues online as an experiment in collective reading. The censored interview is reproduced on the project website. Holders of the book are invited to collude in undermining the censor’s efforts by sharing the unique word of text left visible in each copy. Once a word has been correctly submitted to the website, it is permanently revealed online. The entire text will be rendered visible only if holders of each of the 1,500 books share their words online.
Concept: Manu Luksch & Mukul Patel
Text based on a conversation between Ali Alizadeh and Mukul Patel
Coding: Elke Michlmayr
Supported by Arts Council England, BMUUK
You are invited to the performative book launch
Love, Piracy, and the Office of Religious Weblog Expansion' at a venue near you...:
15 APRIL 2010: BIRMINGHAM. FIERCE
26 JAN 2010: BOMBAY, CAMP
19 JAN, 2010: AHMDEBAD, CEPT
12 DEC NEW YORK eyebeam
10 NOV 09, 18:00-20:00: LONDON. Royal College of Art, Lecture Theatre 1.
29 OCT 09, 19:00: VIENNA. Salon für Kunst Buch, 7., Monscheingasse 11
17 JULY 09: LONDON. Sadlers Wells
as part of the 'Do the Arts Speak Digital' symposium (Arts Council / The Guardian).
3 JULY - 1 SEPT 09: HAMBURG Galerie Caesar & Koba;
as part of 'Massage' curated by Wiebke Gronemeyer
3 JULY 09: HONG KONG supported by Para/Site Art Space and Videotage
8 JUNE 09: LONDON Digital Vision Day, Arts Council England
16 APRIL 09: PARIS 20:00 - 22:00 Centre Pompidou, Cinema 2, alongside films by Manu Luksch