Kingdom of Piracy

  • 22 February 2003 - 26 March 2003

Kingdom of Piracy (KOP) is an online workshop exploring the free sharing of digital files - often condemned as piracy - as the internet's ultimate art form. KOP features 14 commissioned works and four new projects: Last.FM (2002), NINE9 (2003), Frequency Clock (1998/2002) and BURN (2003).

KOP focuses on shared networks and collaborative production. Artists and writers reflect on the definition of Intellectual Property (IP) in a digital networked environment, which has emerged as one of the central struggles to shape the culture of the information society. 

Information (defined as musical compositions, movies, software, genetic codes for agricultural crops and even human DNA patterns) has never been more valuable or more freely available. To stem the global flow of free information, content industries employ armies of lawyers to erect new digital and legal fences around information. The costs of access for educational, scientific and artistic institutions and practices are becoming prohibitive - and innovation is often limited.

The rigid enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights meets growing resistance by a loose alliance of people who use the net as a shared workspace. In this space - known as the digital commons - products of the imagination can be exchanged freely, enabling new kinds of collaborative and creative production.


KOP pays tribute to those new practices in its exhibition at FACT. It adds to its online exhibition three new works that use the net collaboratively to apply, remix, and manipulate existing material into something new. Instead of stressing the issues of sampling and piracy, KOP@FACT is dedicated to the furthering of collaborative platforms, shared networks ad cultural techniques in different commuities for artistic and cultural purposes.

KOP challenges it's audience to question, contribute to, analyse and otherwise address this growing Kingdom, a place in which all productions are part of an innately collaborative and intimately interconnected environment. Workshops, discussions, presentations, a booklet and a CD-ROM offer audiences a wide range of opportunities to engage with key topics and issues.

*Commissioned works are engaged in artistic acts of piracy as a strategy for intellectual discourse and poetic intervention, but not as any endorsement of piracy as a business model.