Parallel Polis virtualized its activities and launched live broadcasts for culture in the time of quarantine. Support the studio and its guests. Contribute to maintaining a centre for a free, decentralized and critical thinking society.
Author: Paralelní Polis
The project Parallel Polis is the seventh project of the art group Ztohoven. Since the introduction of two Slovakian hackers, the group has transformed into an interdisciplinary organization with a deeper interest in social phenomena springing from the emergence of the digital underground, the "hacker scene". This encounter opened new perspectives to the group, rendering it more sensitive to gradual changes in societal paradigms. Both hackers were members and operators of the Hackerspace Progressbar in Bratislava, which became a model for the Ztohoven Group. The intention was to set up a similar hackerspace, focused primarily on education and exploration of hacking, particularly encryption technologies.
From its beginnings, the project was based on the ideas of the cyberpunk community, especially the Cryptoanarchy Manifesto by Timothy C. Maye. The name Parallel Polis was chosen to suit the local context. It originates in a set of strategies conceived by Václav Benda, which was gradually formulated at various symposia and samizdats, the most notable source being the book Midnight Cadre Questionnaire and Other Fights. Benda explored these sources as a dissident after the Charter to ensure autonomy and internal freedom. The primary and fundamental idea of Parallel Polis is to create a parallel structure of relationships, alternative to the dominant structures of the state.
The aim is not to fight the government, but rather to create a kind of philosophical counterbalance to it, physically interpreted in the form of an actual building. The house serves as an incubator for the ideas of thinkers, philosophers, scientists, visionaries, technologists and artists who identify with the concept of a parallel community. The platform of the house, the community and the concept within it can serve as a basis for new ideas, introducing possible alternatives to wider society.
From the very beginning of the Parallel Polis project, crypto technologies and cryptocurrencies as functional alternatives to the mainstream state currencies have been a central theme in the new organization of human relations. Parallel Polis does not accept state money in its internal economic structures; the entire internal economy is based on an infrastructure of cryptocurrency. From the outset, Parallel Polis has been conceived as a non-profit organization that supports itself only from its own operations, voluntary or membership contributions. Parallel Polis is state free: no form of cooperation with the state is conceivable, including the use of grants and subsidies.
For more than five years, Parallel Polis has been working as an independent think-tank, running a coworking space, the Institute of Cryptoanarchy, MediaLab, Hydroponic Gardens, and supporting a community centred around its core concepts.
Our goal is simple - to keep Parallel Polis running even when the house is closed. To maintain a quality production program that contributes to a strong, independent, decentralized and critically-minded society, and to provide the maximum resources to those who lack them.
We aim to maintain and fulfil ambitious intentions such as "Decentruck", spreading awareness of internet freedom to all possible corners of (not only) Bohemia and making Parallel Polis a global network of associated communities (as in Bratislava and Vienna).
Although we had to close our physical space, we virtualized our operations without interruption. Sustainability is one of the cornerstones of Parallel Polis. We use a multimedia studio to broadcast our program every evening from the beginning of the pandemic. The program is based on three pillars - science, art and technology. Through our activities, we strive to contribute to a critical discussion of the issues of contemporary time. We provide a space for artists and other creators whose contact with their audience is compromised due to the currently imposed measures.
We want to keep going.
...AND SOMETHING MORE
We want to invite everyone who has not yet found their way to Parallel Polis or was afraid of cryptocurrency payments for a coffee or any other activity on our premises. Once safe, the doors of the Parallel Polis will be opened again.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of artists, hackers and technology enthusiasts who are trying to not only criticize the situation but also bring forward possible alternatives, seek new ways and test them out in our community.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We pride ourselves on the principle of self-organization, where human-made solutions are closer to natural need than power regulations, often detached from reality. With clever use of technology, society can be self-sufficient and self-improving. We want to be pioneers of cyber scouting and make these principles accessible to the general public - especially in these times.