CJA – 2020 – Abstract
The Covid Joggers Act (CJA) recognizes the implications that the coronavirus pandemic has on democracy and human rights. CJA was born from the Privacy-Free Zone project (*2011) which was established to question the relation between the law and the right of expression. The coronavirus has tested governments’ abilities to react and avoid social, economic, and political tragedies. In response to this crisis, governments have constrained democratic rights. Manifestations have been banned, elections postponed, surveillance has increased while privacy has decreased. Additionally, journalists and human rights defenders have been detained which restricts information dispersion. The red dots that characterize CJA are a form of mimitised rebellion towards the strict regulations. They are also used as markers and connectors of spaces to create a dialogue between the artist, society, and space. The dots act as ‘psychological and visual viruses’ because they remain in an individual’s unconscious but once they become repeatedly noticed they become part of the perceived reality and something that progressively receives greater conscious attention. To further broach our audience’s selective perception to this crisis and the restriction of rights around the world and issues related to privacy, surveillance, etc. this platform will be used to share articles and other expressions that have recently been published.
The Privacy-Free Zone
The Privacy-Free Zone (#PFZ) is an interdisciplinary project that began in 2011 as a progressive appropriation. It was born to defend the freedom of artistic expression and contrast in a world of increasing regulations. During this development, the project has adapted to different social situations and contexts. The aim is to promote the integration of expressive minorities by giving them a voice and supporting the mission of a pluralistic society. #PFZ acts as a new stage/agorà and medium.
In 2012 the red dot, which comes from censorship, was used to criticize the information society and establish a link between art and the law. The project which has been published and explained in multiple publications has nothing to do with the countless cases of artistic research of concealment and deletion or use of red dots. This work is formally distinguished from an infinity of research and works, even visually similar, of other artists who have made, or are making, use of these elements (such as, Fromanger, Bacon, Butler, Cockburn, Magritte, Mirò, Stezaker, Baldessari, etc.).
The prequel entitled “Good morning, Lugano” evolved in 2016 with #PrivacyFreeZone. And then #CovidJoggersAct (CJA) in 2020, as a reaction to the lockdown and desire to establish a certain relation with the pandemic. The City of Lugano endorsed the project (#PFZ) with a municipal resolution on 15 October 2015. In 2016, the research was developed by choosing to remove the red circle from the subjects (people) to bring out their identity (for re-appropriation). From this, a red circle became a public installation in Rivetta Tell in Lugano. It is still there. When people stop on this circle article 28 of the Civil Code, on the protection of personality, in exchange for the protection of artistic freedom, enshrined in article 21 of the Swiss constitution ceases to exist.
CJA is a vast interdisciplinary research project between psychology, art and, rights for the defence of free expression in favour of a pluralistic society. It creates visual laboratories (Actions) to study perceptive behaviour and influence (Jung). CJA aims to inspire a debate on some of the themes through blogging. The work includes the preparation of a manuscript to publish a book. On the following page we have included a small part of the contents that are being developed.