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Some mem­bers of the AZ Labs com­mu­nity have been gathe­ring in artis­tic resi­dency in Gui­ma­rães once more, the topic for this resi­dency is Cre­a­tive Poli­tics, mea­ning to come up ideas and pro­jects con­nec­ting the citi­zens back with the poli­ti­cal sys­tem. Com­plai­ning is easy, pre­sen­ting solu­ti­ons is har­der. Citi­zens feel dis­con­nec­ted with poli­tics and disen­gage them­sel­ves from these issues. We are trying to coun­ter that with artis­tic or otherwise use­ful pro­jects and proposals.

During the first wee­kend we had run­ning at LCD a paral­lel event named Antro­po­code, part of the Atlan­tic Arc Sum­mer of Labs 2012. During the wee­kend over a dozen artists and hac­kers from Por­tu­gal and Spain were gathe­red deve­lo­ping con­cepts and pro­jects in a hac­ka­ton about the bor­der­line of body and tech­no­logy. Some of the pro­jects were also rela­ted to the cre­a­tive poli­tics theme.

The hac­ka­ton is now over but the Cre­a­tive Poli­tics artis­tic resi­dency con­ti­nues with a dozen other folks, mos­tly folks from Por­tu­gal but also inclu­ding some foreig­ners. The first days have been focu­sed on brains­tor­ming pro­ject ideas. You can find more infor­ma­tion on our wiki.

Some exam­ples of pro­jects cur­ren­tly being developed:

  • Reclai­ming Data
    Rese­arch and docu­men­ta­tion of open data ini­ti­a­ti­ves in Por­tu­gal, the end goal is to deve­lop a viral video cal­ling for more active par­ti­ci­pa­tion and invol­ve­ment from the citi­zens or a web­tool to request mis­sing data.
  • Hac­king Urban Resour­ces
    Rese­arch and docu­men­ta­tion of ways to hack urban resour­ces to improve the way of life at a local level in Gui­ma­rães, brin­ging back the con­trol of the city to the citi­zens. A sam­ple book on how to re-appropriate, re-use local resour­ces and also on how to re-learn use­ful old skills.
  • Poli­ti­cal Mana­ger
    A web based game where you play the role of a rising poli­ti­cian and have to improve your skills to build your career without suc­cum­bing to the pres­su­res of the dark side.
  • Com­pa­ra­tive News
    The goal of this pro­ject is to help citi­zens unders­tand the trends and ten­den­cies in the poli­ti­cal dis­course that the media pre­sent to them every­day. The stra­tegy is to com­pare dif­fe­rent sour­ces of infor­ma­tion, like news­pa­pers, radio and tele­vi­sion using data visu­a­li­za­tion. The intui­tion behind this pro­ject is that com­pa­ring sour­ces ena­ble peo­ple to see the big pic­ture, to iden­tify what’s impor­tant and what’s not.