[NetBehaviour] Situation Room by Hackitectura

Olga olga.panades at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 17:28:45 CET 2009

“Situation Room explores how the combination of hacktivists or artists
medialabs, participatory cartography and emergent free software, data
mining and visualization technologies, could empower social action."


The project is not new and it might be well known already by the
members of this list. However, I read an interview today with two of
the members of Hackitectura and found it really interesting. I had
heard of them but never really spent time looking into their work. The
interview gives a very thorough insight of their work. I'm pasting
some info here and some links. If you've seen it just ignore this


The project Situation Room is the distillation of the experiences of
Hackitectura.net since 2003 in the design and implementation of
various temporary media-labs: "Pure Data Beta Rave" at the abandoned
Ave train station in Seville; "Okupa Futura: Ciudad Disidente" (Future
Squat: Dissident City) at the Centro Cívico Federica Montseny in
Corvera de Asturias; "La Multitud conectada" (Connected Multitude),
media-lab with satellite connection in La Rábida Huelva; or Fadaiat:
freedom of movement, freedom of knowledge to both sides of the
Estrecho de Gibraltar.

Situation Room is the continuation of the temporary lab designed and
implemented by Hackitectura called Emergent Geographies. Emergent
Geographies mimics the control site of a nuclear power station and it
hosted a week of conferences and workshops precisely on the
surroundings of the abandoned Valdecaballeros nuclear power station.

The project situation room simulates the procedures of a control room
taking Asturias as a case study. Acting as a central hub for networked
data the projects aims to explore the potential of the use of these
media-labs as a motor for social movements.

"Situation rooms are on the one hand, devices connected to complex
contexts, where processes are non-linear. In order to take decisions
and act in these situations, the different agencies (military staff,
governments, business, police...) need to continuously monitor reality
and establish a permanent feedback loop between it and their actions.

The processing of sets of data extracted from complex systems needs
new ways of processing and evaluation, which have to do with
cartography and data visualization. On the other hand, situation rooms
are only meaningful if we understand them as embedded in networks,
which comprise at least two main areas, a sensors area (that captures
data) and an actuators area, which allows for strategies and decisions
to be performed.

Our ideas where to use Situation Room as a space and time to discuss
these issues, and particularly the possibility of turning them into a
"multitudinar" device, that is the possibility to use them to empower
the action of social networks, rather than central powers. How could
situation rooms enhance distributed control. How could they be used to
generate socially useful knowledge and to increase coordination
between social movements."*

* From an interview to the members of Hackitectura published in We
Make Money Not Art, see

Other links:


Here is a link to the section in the website of Hackitectura where to
find texts related to the Situation Room. Some of them are in English
and some are waiting for translation.

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