Art, Tech & Culture

Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics

Art, Tech & Culture
23 Oct, 2017

Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics

Society has become deeply affected by advanced distribution systems of information. The social fields of law, economics, and politics are increasingly interconnected, while social norms, relationships, and identities shift at fast pace. In this context, examining art from a broader social context means working with a multiplicity of social systems and processes that the Internet activates. Socially-engaged Internet-art should maximize both social and artistic efficacy by distinguishing qualities, means, and ends of generating reactions from the audiences and subjects of the artworks.

The ethics and aesthetics of working with online piracy, leaks, identity theft, privacy, fake news, algorithms, big data, and hacking deal with questioning boundaries, responsibilities, and the consequences of reconfiguring, exposing and altering social relations within the risks of challenging institutions and compromising morals for artistic and social agendas.

About Paolo Cirio

Paolo Cirio is an artist, hacktivist, and cultural critic. His art embodies the conflicts, contradictions, ethics, limits, and potentials inherent to the social complexity of information society through a critical and proactive approach.

Cirio’s artworks engage power structures, global mass media, and the general public in Internet art performances that examine contemporary social, political, and economic processes. As a result of his performances, Cirio has often been subject to investigations, legal and personal threats by governmental and military authorities, powerful multinationals, global banks and law firms, as well as crowds of ordinary people. For instance, his artworks have unsettled institutions such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, VISA, Pearson, Cayman Islands, and NATO, among others.

Cirio has exhibited in museums and art institutions worldwide with presentations of his research and intervention-based works through installations, prints, videos, and public art. His controversial artworks are often covered by global media outlets and he has won numerous art awards, including Golden Nica first prize at Ars Electronica, Transmediale second prize, and the Eyebeam Fellowship, among others.

More information can be found at:

About the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium

Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.


This year, we are excited to present Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics with Paolo Cirio as part of the following series:

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities


09/25 World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Frank Foer, Journalist, New York
In partnership with the Graduate School of Journalism

10/23 Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics
Paolo Cirio, Artist, New York
In partnership with the Department of Art Practice

11/6 We must conjure our Gods before we obey them
Michael Rock, Designer, 2X4, New York
In partnership with the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning


01/29 Indexical Ambivalence
Kris Paulsen, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Ohio
In partnership with the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series

02/05 Connectivity as Human Right
Nicholas Negroponte, Architect, MIT, Massachussetts
In partnership with the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

03/19 Yugoexport Is the Name of this Oral Corporation
Irena Haiduk, Artist, Belgrade, Serbia
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/09 new art, flag art, good art, portal art
Ian Cheng, Artist, Los Angeles
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/16 Regents Lecture 2018
Angela Davis, activist & scholar, UC Santa Cruz

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