Piratbyrà¥n and Friends traces the stories of cultural sharing and affinity-building among the activities and values of the members of Piratbyrà¥n (The Bureau of Piracy), a Swedish artist/activist group established to support the free sharing of information, culture and intellectual property. The exhibition presents screenings, installations and artworks by various members of the group, including a newly commissioned work by artists Geraldine Juarez and Evan Roth. The show also features a new networked audio project which mediates their rich archive and foregrounds the role of piracy as an agent of innovative disruption and cultural transmission.
Piratbyrà¥n have always resisted clear definition. Created on the Internet as a loose friendship group with a shared commitment to media and piracy in the shifting ecologies of digital copyright law, Piratbyrà¥n operated through a number of different identities. From the #discobeddienti IRC chatroom, to the infamous Pirate Bay, to the determinedly analogue SX23 bus trip to Manifesta 8, and their subsequent disbandment in 2010, Piratbyrà¥n consciously cultivated an air of mystery and intrigue around their diverse range of activities.
Their political agenda has always been consciously enigmatic, and their identity wilfully plural and complex in character. As the members of Piratbyrà¥n have scattered and morphed into new configurations, what remains clear is their dedication to the strategy of friendship. Piratbyrà¥n have always had a particular commitment to the value of friendship as a shelter for culture and a space to understand, imagine and experiment as a community from the edges of the Internet.