It’s time to open the black boxes: Arts and politics join forces

Together with mέta (The Centre for Postcapitalist Civilisation), and Progressive International, we are delighted to announce our decision to jointly endorse and support the ‘It’s Time to Open the Black Boxes’ project.

Initiated in 2012 by the non-profit organization Vital Space and the artist Danae Stratou, ‘Open the Black Boxes’ is an international, collaborative, multilingual, participatory and continuously upgraded platform, offering real-time cultural and statistical material online for public use.

Through visually engaging formats, the open-source platform reflects an ever-changing portrait of contemporary society, eliciting from all over the world one-word responses that highlight collective fears and/or aspirations on any given subject and conjuncture.

The project investigates the space between art, democracy and political action by raising awareness on present challenges, attaining global outreach and by focusing on how society responds directly to its most pressing issues.

It’s Time to Open the Black Boxes’ invites people across the world to submit a single word online in reply to one of two questions: “What threatens you the most?” and “What are you most eager to preserve?”

At a time marked by war, multiple crises, economic uncertainty, and social and environmental disasters, we find ourselves in the midst of heightened fear. We are in need of expression, and digital media offers the most liberating and ecological space for such action.

When put together, these single words help paint an insightful picture of our priorities, offering an opportunity to explore our shared public space, our shared fears, our shared aspirations, thus helping us visualise in condensed form our angst and the hope that springs from it.

Gathered without intermediaries, the words become a valuable record of our time. Combining new technologies with artistic practices can open public dialogue at this critical time to promote direct and advanced democratic practices.

By jointly endorsing and supporting the project, DiEM25, mέta and Progressive International are firstly enabling the project to grow thus gathering vital data on how society responds directly to its most pressing issues and simultaneously they are given a tool to widely disseminate their views, receive valuable feedback and propose concrete news ways of deepening public participation through artistic means.

Since 2016 the project has already offered visual and participatory material presented at many of DiEM25’s events throughout Europe as well as run specific open calls, in synch with particular campaigns by our movement, and presented the resulting artistic video projections at the ΜeΡΑ25 launch events in Athens and Berlin.

We invite you to explore the project’s new and updated website – now available in over 15 languages – and to participate in our two current open calls: our ongoing open call ‘Shape the World with your Word’, along with ‘In the Era of War’ open call, by submitting your own two words.

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