Hack Back! Hacking Publicity and Counter-Publicity
At present new ways of making a city, of sharing and working in a community are being explored. Districts, streets and public spaces are places with great potential for learning. At the same time, hacker and maker methodologies intrude upon education processes, open code production and collaborative work, making it possible to forge new ways of thinking, creating and transforming our cities.
Hiria Hackeatu [Hack the city] is aimed at young people between the age of 12 and 17 and takes place during school holiday periods. Departing from the hacker and maker philosophies, it is developed in collaboration with Hirikilabs, Tabakalera’s digital culture and technology laboratory. With the group of young people who participate in each workshop, we shall look into the environment from a critical point of view and propose transformations with devices created collectively, aided by digital technologies.
Ads, publicity images, posters and other graphic supports take over the streets, façades and walls in urban spaces. Through publicity messages, brands invade the public-urban space in an abusive fashion, unconsciously plunging us into a circle of consumption, exhorting us to buy, to eat at a particular place, not to do this or that. Furthermore, if we stop to analyse these messages, we will see that most of them show a standardised image of bodies and identities.
But who are the people behind these messages? What interests are driving them? Where are they? And, furthermore, how can we hack these advertising messages?
Given that counter-publicity has taken hold of publicity techniques to invert the meaning of commercial messages; since it destroys, subverts and transforms those messages, this will be the tool we shall use to think, hack and express our opinions about the advertising messages that invade our lives.