Open call: Techno-disobedience worksession


This is an open call for the worksession Techno-disobedience

This worksession looks at techniques of disobedience as a means to question and resist the paradigm of an all-controlling and regulating technology.

If civil disobedience illustrates how one can and should disobey a law they consider unjust, technological disobedience is posed here as a question: what obligations do we feel are put forward by Big Tech and what it could mean to disagree, refuse, disobey them?

In everyday life, one can already notice tiny forms of defection from the unspoken but deeply felt obligations to consume, to keep up to date, to be connected, to produce, to pose oneself as a data-subject. But...

  • Do you sometimes enter or exit from the open doors of the metro without scanning your transport card?
  • Do you keep a little manual lid covering your camera on your laptop or phone?
  • Do you always try to repair your devices before buying new ones?

From mundane individual acts to collective coordinated acts of refusal, techno-disobedience is multiple and pervasive.

Every time period carries its own need to disobey, but how is this knowledge transferred? As this worksession will dig up previous tools of resistance to revitalise the ground, we will consider how to best reclaim tech and recognise this push to be about labour, care, anti-racism, queer life and trans*feminist techno-politics.

To be able to write our own ustopias (combined utopia and dystopia, as each contains a latent version of the other) we’ll look into the knowledges and practices of unruliness and misconduct, as means to deviate tech from its determinist and solutionist path and reappropriate it as a partner in constructing intersectional, solidary futures.

•••▶ One strand of this session considers communication methods, languages and organising strategies with origins out of the dominant understanding of technology, in complicity with directly concerned communities. Past techno-feminist initiatives will be brought in relation to current and future ones, to refresh the circulation of knowledge and celebrate the inevitable intersections, contaminations and frictions.

•••▶ In parallel, we will study ways of doing, testing, trying: slowing down, jamming, delaying, reversing, future-speculating, feminist manoeuvres, experimental intersections, joy and killjoy, being lazy and inefficient, nonsensical approaches, situated curiosity, ’good enough’ tech, (k)notworkings and many others we don’t know of yet.

The collective research that arises aims to connect and cross-pollinate, find new pathways to circumvent, detour and resist the social and political expectations that come with the authoritarian turbo-capitalist frameworks of Big Tech.

Let’s jam together sinuous paths of entangled and liveable techno-lives.

About Constant & worksessions
Constant is a non-profit artistic organisation that investigates the relation and effects of media and technologies on our society and everyday life through the lens of feminisms, multiperspectivity and the values of F/LOSS culture : to know more about Constant

This worksession is organised in the framework of Constant’s program that turns this year around ’techno-disobedience’. A second worksession will follow in October in Graz (AT), organised by esc medien kunst lab: There is no obligation to attend both sessions, but if you are interested in doing so, please mention it in your application. Details of that session will be specified further after the first session has taken place. An open call will be published in July.

Constant’s worksessions are transdisciplinary collective residencies for about 25 people condensed in an intense week. We create a temporary working environment where participants from different backgrounds come together to develop projects and research ideas. They offer a mix of presentations, workshops, hands-on moments, collective brainstormings and experimentations, and sometimes public moments such as visits, debates, screenings, etc...

Practical info
This worksession will take place from the 5th till the 10th of June 2023 in Brussels in the shared working space that Constant and allies recently started rebuilding and inhabiting at Chaussée de Jette | Jetsesteenweg 388, 1081 Koekelberg.
Participation is free of charge. Constant will cover costs of transportation, breakfast+lunch, and lodging for all participants.

If you are interested in joining, please send us an email at: with a short introduction of yourself. We also ask you to send us a description of a jamming device, existing or imaginary, that relates to the questions and topics of the worksession. Jamming devices are normally used to interfere with and disrupt communication systems such as mobile phones or GPS tracking, but we suggest to use it as an analogy or metaphor for other type of disturbances, so a jammer can also be a hand-tool, a body-movement, a text, a language, a building, a cloth, a verb, etc.
The deadline for sending your application is Thursday 4th of May 2023.

Constant’s Collaboration Guidelines have been conceived in regard to all our activities. These guidelines will be brought up and activitated during this worksession too. Please read them carefully before applying:

Image description: A picture showing a smoke detector mounted to the ceiling of a hotel room, clogged with paper mash.

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