Accountable Networks | 28-30 September 2018

Citizen EX_James Bridle_2015

Accountable Networks expands Manifesta 12 research into regimes of global flows dominating today’s societies, looking at how structures of power adapt, or resist, to this essential condition of fluidity. What is left of the traditional power structure of nation states when the ambitions, plans, speeds and targets on the world stage are manoeuvred by abstract forces, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence, ungovernable environmental processes and ever-increasing inequalities? How can civic society reinvent democratic governance and access levels of global political power? Is there a possible point of convergence between the 20th Century’s social project and the acceleration of technology and the neoliberal economy of the 21st?

Following up on the work developed by the main exhibition, Accountable Networks offers new ways for independent publics to sense, track and access the flows in which politics are embodied today. Through interventions by filmmakers, researchers, visual artists and thinkers, Manifesta 12 aims at making invisible networks tangible, rendering the abstract sensorial, hence accessible and debatable. The public programme acts here as one more table of confrontation, a place to expand ongoing research on the possibility of the political in times dominated by mutability and intangible power systems.

In this case also, Palermo is central in the very identification of these attempts. The Sicilian city– a node embedded in transnational movements, a city subject to decades of criminal exploitation and political neglect – offers us the chance to investigate what space is left for collective, individual, and non-human intervention in today’s regime of global flows.


Accountable Networks configures as a series of interventions of various nature, happening over the three days of the programming. Discursive programme will come together with performance events, listening sessions and its very own 18-hours creative marathon, Manifesta 12 Accountable Networks Hackathon.

Day 1:
Friday, 28 September

Time: 19.30-23.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi

Adam Curtis: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
Screening and Talk with Adam Curtis, British documentary film-maker. Curtis work explores power and how it operates in society

Day 2:
Saturday, 29 September

Time: 11.00-13.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi

Discursive programme
Moderated by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli

With talks by:
Tiziana Terranova, Italian theorist and activist, whose work focuses on the effects of information technology on society through concepts such as digital labor and commons. Tiziana is professor at Università Orientale, Napoli.

So-called social media are result of the incorporation of sociological models into the web primary architecture, and therefore into smartphones operation systems’ such as IOS and Android. The idea that society is a construct of relationships based on action/reaction circuits, involving exchange of forces (influence) and codes (information), has profoundly transformed contemporary cultures in such ways that the talk will attempt understanding through archeo-geological critique of social media.

Gruppo Ippolita, indisciplinary research group active since 2005. They conduct wide-ranging research on technologies of domination and their social effects.

Social networks are extraordinary devices, able to take profit from every micro-movement acted on their platforms. In the illusion to be entertained, or promote our projects, we actually are working on the expansion of a new market: identities commerce and social control. On social platform we all are devoted to radical transparency, a complex of narcissistic practices through which we are reified and segmented into relevant commodity-related niches. Over this talk, Ippolita will explore the backstage of social networks, in order to describe some of the techniques used to manipulate and conform users to new consumptions’ styles.

 + the speakers will respond to the audience and to remote suggestions/idea/questions by Manifesta 12 participating artists

Time: 10.00-15.00
Location: Piazza Magione

Workshop on board of the Manifesta 12 Education Hub, in collaboration with Enel Energia.
During the workshop, participants will build a prototypes of Museo Aero Solar, fossil-free and lighter-than-air sculptural object. More information are available here.

Time: 17.00-19.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi / Piazza Magione
Museo Aero Solar and Studio FolderIn collaboration with Enel Energia

Studio Folder is a design and research agency founded by Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual, and based in Milan, Italy. The studio’s work spans between the cultural and commercial domains and the investigation of autonomous research path, with a specific focus on the emergence of new geographies in response to the combined impact of climate change and technology

The event will consist in

  • Talk by Marco Ferrari (Co-founder Studio Folder) at Teatro Garibaldi. The talk will illustrate the work of Folder, and will give further insight into the project itself + Q&A
  • Launch of Museo Aero Solar air-fueled prototype in Piazza Magione

Following, gigs by Giorgio Poi and COSMO in piazza Magione organised by Enel Energia, and part of Enel Tour.

Time: Starting at 20:00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi
Beginning of Manifesta 12 Accountable Networks Hackathon, 18-hours creative marathon
In collaboration with PUSH and Consorzio Arca

Day 3:
Sunday, 30 September

Time: Ongoing up to 14.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi
Manifesta 12 Accountable Networks Hackathon, working session

Time: 16.00-18.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi
Public presentation results of Manifesta 12 Accountable Networks Hackathon by participants

Time: 19.00-21.00
Location: Teatro Garibaldi

Invernomuto, Black Med, Chapter II

Radio intervention by Jace Clayton, artist and writer based in New York, also known for his work as DJ /rupture.

Clayton recorded a radio show, which investigates the relationship between technology and music distribution in the Black Mediterranean, departing from his field research in North Africa and the refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece.

Listening session by Invernomuto

About Black Med:
Starting from the assumption that Palermo acts today as an ‘archipelago of the global: not a globalised city per se, but rather an incubator of different global conditions’ – the musical programme proposed by Invernomuto rotates around this cosmopolitan idea and focuses on the concept of the Black Mediterranean, first formulated by Alessandra Di Maio. Departing from the theory of the Black Atlantic proposed by the thinker Paul Gilroy, which tells us of a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once – Invernomuto proposes to centre the research on the Mediterranean basin and to some of the trajectories and directions that pass through this multiform area. The sea, once understood as a fluid entity that aided the formation of networks and exchange, is now the scenario of heated geopolitical dispute.

Accountable Networks is produced by ARS – Assemblea Regionale Siciliana.
The event Aerocene has been made with the support of Enel Energia.
The Manifesta 12 Accountable Networks Hackathon has been realised in collaboration with PUSH and Consorzio Arca.