(English) Moving cartographies: Bodies in alliance* and the collective mapping of political dissent

15 de Fevereiro de 2017

An Erehwon project workshop

This workshop is part of the Seminar Bodies, Disorders and Democracy, curated by ARTEA and hosted by Matadero Madrid, in collaboration with the MA in Performing Arts Practice and Visual Culture (UCLM).

9th March - 11:30 to 17: 30 

(keywords: moving cartography, building community, collective digital archive, data visualisation, design)


Erehwon is an on-going research project which is being developed through an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in Aesthetics, Performance studies and Interaction Design. Focusing on exploring the possibilities of digital tools as enablers and supporters of sociopolitical interventions, we are developing an online platform that intends to be a connecting hub for the people who initiate these interventions, and enable them to create collectively a digital archive. Its purpose is to share knowledge, good practices and methods and to provide space for exchange. Although the platform aims to bring interventionists together, the focus is not on connecting the users directly but connecting the projects the users add to the platform by uploading information and relevant material.

The central part of the Erehwon platform is an interactive digital visualisation. A moving cartography of the different projects that are added. The cartography on the landing page of the platform, makes visible certain details of the projects and the connections between them. The movement of the cartography should also be informed by other parameters that can translate the impact of their activity inside of the digital community. The projects are added to the visualisation by users, usually those who initiate or participate in them, and their position within the map is determined by different parameters some of them determined by the project owner.

The platform is being co-designed with interventionists through a series of ongoing workshops with different thematics. We have run workshops in Belgrade, Lisbon, London and Berlin, in areas such as user interface design, data visualisation, security, and privacy.


We invite artists, activists, citizens collectives, researchers, hackers, and anyone involved in socio-political projects, who has a special interest in discussing strategies and formats of intervention on the physical and digital public space in a hands-on participatory design  workshop to

  1. discuss strategies for creating and maintaining an online community drawing on  examples, of scientific, political, social, and scholarly use of online platforms as tools for community building

  2. collectively identify design parameters that will improve and refine the modeling of the movement in Erehwon’s  cartography, and make visible the displacements, contaminations and transformations of the projects across time and space.

Discussion starting points:

  • Can bodies in alliance be reflected in, and drive the formation of an online community (digital platform), such as that of Erehwon?

  • What are the singularities of the different bodies, the artist, the activist, the citizen and the similarities and differences in their modes of intervention? What can these tell us about interactions in an online community?

  • How to build a digital commons throughout the singularities of its users?

  • How can the movement of the bodies in action be translated into a visual moving cartography  that surfaces and sketches out their kinetic narratives of dissent?

Languages of the workshop: Spanish and English

To apply please fill in this short Typeform  by  1st March 2017

Teaser:  https://vimeo.com/182601651

Project website: http://www.osso.pt/en/adrift/erehwon-3/

If you have any questions or need further information contact us. Below we have put together an introduction of the project.

An introduction to Erehwon project:

The initial idea of the Erehwon project was created by observing the spread of the contestation movements across the globe, and particularly within Europe and beyond. We studied over a long period of time the format and content of the sociopolitical interventions, their cross-contamination, transformation and displacement across territories and the assertion of their potential as ‘experimental labs’ for envisioning new and fairer societies, through the creation of new models of direct democratic practices.

The majority of these interventions had the tendency to either rapidly disappear or go unnoticed by the general public, losing momentum, because they were being silenced by state powers and mass media. Equally, they are often rendered obsolete through the rapidly shifting priorities that characterizes communication through social networks, which are normally their channels of dissemination. The Erehwon platform aims at empowering these movements and interventions by foregrounding them on a digital commons, before they become invisible and forgotten.

Among the growing number of online tools and apps for community awareness and collaboration, Erehwon’s unique contribution is the inclusion of an interactive real time visual cartography of socio political performative projects taking place in the physical public space and the global digital public space. By gathering past and current interventions across territories the platform seeks to contribute to their resilience over time beyond physical constraints, and to create sustainable forms of collaboration and mutual support. It can also be a powerful tool for shaping memory through time, and mirror communities back to themselves giving them the necessary tools for analysis and thinking through the different strategies and modes of intervention. Erehwon’s urgency as a critical tool resonates with Negri and Hardt’s perspective that, at the face of these challenging times, it is fundamental to ‘rethink the most basic political concepts, such as power, resistance, multitude and democracy, before we embark on a practical political project to create new democratic institutions and social structures, we need to ask if we really understand what democracy means today (or could mean today)’ (Negri and Hardt, 2004, p.7).

We envisage that the Erehwon platform will provide the possibility for a sharable utopian territory of resistance, an ‘experimental laboratory’ where the multiple interventions interconnect and create new or resurrected narratives for the commons, empowering the involved communities for effective societal change.

*See Judith Butler: ‘Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street’

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