Ctrl-i Blog

Invert and subvert information control

We are ctrl-i, a group of people with a clear intention: inform. This collective has been created from one of those many situations of labour precarity on which Barcelona's culture life is now-a-days based. Those situations where creation, treatment and transmission of information become a main source of production and power.(1)

We are a collective of young women that after finishing our university studies related to arts, we would like to work in this sector. Intermediary companies rule this sector transforming something that could be enriching for us into something that aggressively and progressively makes our lives more precarious. We intend to inform(2) on how in a not-so-questioned ambit -culture- there are methods taking place that are closer to an unscrupulous neoliberalism based not only on labour exploitation but also on the exploitation of our knowledge, our hobbies and our free time. We denounce how cultural institutions are running methods to blackmail our lives, given a cynical sense to the sentence “trabajar por amor al Arte”(3). There are also mechanisms of repression of those dissident voices, evidencing the contradictions between the speeches and the official practice.

Ctrl-i offers different ways of action to put together experiences, weaving nets to evidence situations of exploitation and alternative management models for cultural work. With this purpose we are creating an audiovisual file with people faces, voices and experiences. We are supported by a legal advising service that informs us about labour rights that remain hidden during our university studies or while working in companies in this sector.

Articles published in different media (Massala, Derive Approdi, Catalunya, Onnirik.org, Indymedia.org, Radio Riereta...) allow us to spread the actions and events we are part of. The first action took place in the Barcelona Contemporary Museum of Art (MACBA), in which the same institution hired us under precarious conditions(4). They were offering a meeting about the Chainworkers, an Italian collective working against precarity that is made by new ways of cognitive capitalism. Since that first contact with Chainworkers we wrote the so-called “i-Manifest”, that was read in their conference at the Macba. As a consequence of this action any of us are not longer working for the museum. In the aftermath of this action we had the intention to take this little subaltern story to be heard and spread in other spaces. Consequently ctrl-i started a process of collaboration with the Barcelona Mayday'04. To fight against new forms of exploitation and control, it is necessary to experiment new ways of action and make new alliances(5). Showing that other ways of fight are also possible and neccesary.

In the action that took place on the 18th of may, International Museum Day, we were standing in front of many different cultural buildings of Barcelona informing the visitors about those facts hidden by museums to the public.

The creation of web space is a node for this net, in wich everybody could access the file of experiences or our new proyects/proccess. Two of this proyects are: The mapping of "cultural Barcelona" that will show the contradictions in the sector, and the campaign "instinto prekario" that makes the individual to rebel against daily situations of submission, uncertain and fustration that lead him to subversion.


(1)M.Castells, La sociedad red, 1999. taken from the chapter of Genesis and subersion of informational capitalism to cognitive capitalism, Ed. Traficantes de sueños,2004.

(2) As matter of fact the name of the collective answer to this intention, we recycle the i of information that we were impose in our job to reconvert, adding ctrl (key of control in a computer), in a computer command that some design programs use to invert the image. So, in ctrl-i, we like to invert the image that we receive from many museums, invert/subvert control information.

(3) You can find and extensive reflexion about precarity in artistic ambit, in the article wrote by Maria Ruido -Mama, quiero ser artista!-. Precarias a la deriva "a la deriva por los circuitos de la precariedad femenina". Ed. Traficantes de sueños, Madrid 2004.

(4)The conditions that we are working under in ciut'art could be found in: http://www.gencat.net/diari/3823/03027165.htm

(5)Contact>>ctrl-i@sindominio.net For more information:





*Many thanks to Jaume, Xavi, Vicente, Luis, Daniel y Gisela.