Power and Law. Fluid Manifestations of Protest
A man in a red jacket and black hat. His left eye is connected. He wears glasses and looks at something he holds in his hands. In the background, a large number of people.
Sat, March 29, 2014 , Symposium

As an accompanying program for the major exhibition »global aCtIVISm«, the symposium focuses on global activism as the new art form of the 21st century, from the legal perspective. The emergence of new modes of communication and technologies enables civil social protest to utilize new forms of manifestation and expression. In contrast to the familiar forms of organization and expression, these entail special features which the symposium seeks to approach through the key term “fluidity of borders” − spatial boundaries, centralist / decentralist forms of organization, public / private sphere, art / expression of opinion, minority / majority, assemblies / performance.

While Social Media plays an important role in transporting activist content and also for communication among activists, art is now also shifting away from the ‘White Cube’ of the museum and drifting towards the public and global data sphere of the Internet. At the same time, global activism is being introduced into art − the borders between art and the expression of opinion, assembly and performative artistic forms of expression become blurred.Can hacker attacks and whistleblowing be justified before the backdrop of existing concepts of property and data protection, as well as the protection of business and trade secrets? Do civil liberties also protect virtual forms of protest? Whereas there is a ban on the wearing of masks at demonstrations in real space, the right to anonymity on the Web is currently being debated. This leads to questions about the extent to which state surveillance on the Internet is legitimate. How do the traditional forms of civil involvement in the organization of NGOs operate with respect to the new forms of global activism?

If the law itself is not to become fluid, then it has to reflect these new developments in civil involvement. But is it possible for these fluid manifestations to establish analogies to a law which is aligned to clearly defined institutions? The difficulties can already be seen in attempts at systemization, which are also characterized by fluidity.


10.00−10.15 am Welcome Speech
Peter Weibel − ZKM Chairman
and Prof. Dr. Thomas Dreier − Director of the ZAR at KIT

Das Widerstandsrecht
10.15−10.45 Uhr The Right of Resistance: Legal philosophy Approaches
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Karl-Peter Sommermann − German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer

New Communication Forms
10.45−11.15 am Social media use in activism
Dr. Wolfgang Sützl − Media Theorist and Philosopher

11.15−11.45 Uhr Whistleblowing as global Protest Movement and its relationship to law
Guido Strack − Chairman of Whistleblower-Netzwerk e.V.

11.45 am−12 pm Discussion

Art and Activism
12−12.30 pm Art may that!!?
Dr. Michael Heck − former Cultural Consultant of the city Karlsruhe

12.30−1.30 pm Break

1.30−2.15 pm Guided Tour through the exhibition

2.15−2.45 pm Liquefaction, Art and Law − Recent Developments in the mirror of the right
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter M. Lynen − Director of the CIAM (Center for International Art Management) of the University for Music and Dance Cologne

2.45−3.15 pm Tendencies of privatization of art and the public in the jurisprudence and the emergence of hybrid forms of communication: Blogs − medial Remix − "artistic meetings"
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Karl-Heinz Ladeur − emeritus professor for Public Right at the University Hamburg

3.15−3.30 pm Discussion

Globalization, civil society engagement and right
3.30−4 pm Development prospects of the right of assembly
Prof. Dr. Ralf Poscher − Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg

4−4.30 pm The internet as commonly accessible source of information:
Valves against civil protest
Prof. Dr. Michael Ronellenfitsch − The Hessian Data Protection Supervisor 4.30−4.45 pmDiscussion

4.45−5.15 pm Pause

5.15−6 pm Panel Discussion: Legal clearances for the protest
Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Peter Weibel − ZKM Chairman
Dr. Gerd Leipold − former Director of Greenpeace International
Dr. Jürgen P. Graf − Judge of the Federal Court, Internet and criminal law
Moderation: Gigi Deppe − ARD TV Editorial office Law and Justice


A cooperation of the ZKM | Karlsruhe with the Center for Applied Jurisprudence (ZAR) at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT)