Creating opportunities to allow the exploration of the themes underpinning the Aesthetics of Protest project was an important element of the research process. We wanted to work with others to demonstrate the potential of extending the boundaries beyond the core social media data set and survey findings created by the project, and to incorporate creative and critical responses to its wider themes in modes other than written ones.
Artists and digital media practitioners were invited to advance the ideas developed during the project and to interpret and communicate them to a broad international public. The brief was to work with either still or moving digital images and to create a gallery or film.
The three works created are very different in their approach and scope yet all add meaning and texture to our understanding of what the aesthetics of protest might mean and the forms it may take.
Things We Learn from Ali
Anıl Olcan: Things We Learn from Ali
Artist Anıl Olcan travelled to Hatay in southern Turkey to visit the family of Ali Ismail Korkmaz (1994-2013). He considers the art works created to remember the young activist and explores the acts and silences of memory that translate the collective dynamics of protest to a quieter yet no less powerful register.
Anıl Olcan graduated from the Department of Photography and Video at Bilgi University. He took classes in Sociology while studying Photography and Video. After his graduation, he participated in many collective exhibitions. He held his first solo exhibition titled ‘Out of Rooms’ in 2017. He continues to work on language, public space and conflict solutions; nowadays he produces art work for a project related to forced disappearances in Turkey.
Maybe we will benefit from our neighours’ good fortune: an exhibition on collectivity
The Curatorial Process
These films document the work of the collectives invited by Işıl Eğrikavuk to take part in the project ‘Maybe we will benefit from our neighours’ good fortune’. The collectives discuss the processes of working together and the importance of shared creative work in the context of contemporary Turkish politics. The films were produced by media students at Bilgi University with the artists and exhibited alongside the collectives’ work at Halka Art project Istanbul in September and October 2017.
Işıl Eğrikavuk studied Western literature at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) then went to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago with a Koç Foundation scholarship for her MFA in Performance Art. She taught art and media at Istanbul Bilgi University between 2009-2017. She also wrote a weekly column, Güncel Sanat Kafası (High on Contemporary Art) for the national newspaper Radikal for three years, commenting on the intersection of daily news and contemporary art. She currently lives in Berlin and is part of the faculty of Universität der Künste (UdK), Media Department.
Six Mosaics of Participation for Gezi
Ivo Furman: Six Mosaics of Participation for Gezi
Originating from data analysis research, Furman switched attention from the content of social media messages to those who sent and circulated them. In this way, he seeks to visualize not the content of tweets sent during the Gezi Park protest but the patterns that represent the multitude of participants behind their circulation.
Ivo Furman is assistant professor of media at the Faculty of Media and Communication Systems at Istanbul Bilgi University. His current research interests include computational methods focusing on Twitter, data visualization, the political economy of data and digital sociology. He has recently completed a research project funded by the Turkish Science and Technology Foundation (TUBITAK), building a data monitoring / collection platform for those interested in undertaking Twitter research.