Freedom of information, privacy and the internet are three things that we’ve been hearing a lot about in the last few weeks.
New exhibition Information is Currency, which opens at London’s The Book Club at the end of the month, may have been inspired by a different internet furore – the release of US Embassy cables by Wikileaks last year – but the issues are still as relevant.
The exhibition’s artwork has been inspired by the cables and the large questions raised after the fall out, and how designers could meaningfully respond to it.
Up Creative’s Jamie Balliu suggests that the exhibition was born out of frustration among his contemporaries about engaging directly with social and political issues that arise through news and current affairs.
Balliu says, ‘We’re active in conveying a message for brands but not expressing our own feelings about things.’
Balliu teamed up with former Research Studios director Jeff Knowles to curate the show, which includes pieces by Barnbrook, David Shillinglaw, Marco Ammanati, Erkut Terliksiz and We Buy Your Kids.
‘We set a broad democratic brief,’ says Balliu. ‘We wanted to stay in the vein of freedom of information, responding to the internet being a democratic platform, which is questionable in itself.’
The pieces range in theme from the power of information, the online world and privacy issues to direct responses to specific cables.
The print campaign for the project, itself a collaborative process between Balliu, Knowles and 10 Collective’s Sarah Boland, features the exhibition’s name semi-redacted and hidden in code, a reference to encrypted data stored by organisations on the web. It’s been printed on newsprint, as a sly nod to the move from print press to online news, say Balliu.
Information is Currency runs from 29 June at The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, EC2A.For more information see www.information-is-currency.com.