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? This duplicity is the underlying thread that links the artists, activists, and researchers in The Black Chamber, an exhibition, a symposium, an urban intervention and a publication.

The Black Chamber aims at discussing the delicate and often awkward role of art and imagination in the age of mass surveillance, stressing the multiple connections between post-studio art and independent research, grassroots reverse engineering, and new forms of political activism in the age of networks.

Not just an exhibition catalogue, this book is also an attempt to show the exhibited works as part of larger research processes. With works and original contributions by Jacob Appelbaum & Ai Weiwei, Laura Poitras, Metahaven, Zach Blas, James Bridle, Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Simon Denny, Jill Magid, !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Evan Roth.

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