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Autonomous Republic

The Autonomous Republic of Creative Practitioners was established in January 2009 by Blaithin Quinn,
Ruby Staunton, Deirdre Glenfield and Lorna O’Neill, with the intention of preserving creative autonomy and artistic freedom. This ongoing collaborative project involved the creation of an independent Republic in real and virtual space.
The inauguration of the Republic took place on the 19th February 2009 and the artists claimed temporary ownership of a public space in Dublin City through the creation of a Temporary Autonomous Zone. An extract from the declaration of independence read: “ We declare the right of the creative practitioner to the ownership of a mapped section of this world and to the independent control of this territory.”
The Temporary Autonomous Zones may re-occur at future dates in other locations globally. The zones are located in view of existing live webcams and have a web presence to invite public participation and transmit information globally. Real engagement on the street can occur in parallel with virtual participation online. 


Webcam Images of the Inauguration, February 2009

The following feedback is in response to an indymedia article entitled “Autonomous Republic Declared in Dublin” and posted online by an anonymous source:

“FOR UNITY:  The artist shows what everyone is thinking. The government wants people to feel isolated and alone. A stencil in a public place says, YOU ARE NOT ALONE”    Tao Guerrilla

“The Republic is brilliant. It’s a great statement of rebellion against the powers of money, media and collective mind control. The struggle is in the mind and the collective consciousness.”   
Mark O’Neill  (Sculptor, Australia)

“Great to see some sort of imaginative initiative such as this flowering in the grey wasteland…”   
Fred Johnston (Director, Western Writers Centre)  
 
“Does this new artistic initiative derive any inspiration from the Situationist movement of France and elsewhere that flourished around the 60’s and 70’s?”    P. Casso

This image, Freedom to Write, was created by a member of the public within the temporary autonomous zone in Dublin.


'Freedom to Write', 2009


Tactic Project was established in March 2009 by Ralph Borland and Seodin O’Sullivan as, in their words "a cross national laboratory for tactical art making: investigation, discovery, testing and application." It was envisaged as a space for artists and activists to meet in Dublin and inform each others practice, develop projects and invite public engagement. As part of Tactic, The Autonomous Republic were invited to participate in an Open Space workshop facilitated by Aine Ivers. The format of Open Space supports engaged group work and a cross fertilisation of ideas. All participants can run a discussion forum. I held one entitled “Collaboration and Beyond- Inviting global participation” which investigated the use of existing systems and technologies to assist dialogue and provide feedback to the artist. We also discussed the use of a format exported worldwide and translated across cultures. The Autonomous Republic also made a presentation at Tactic and exhibited documentation of the Temporary Autonomous Zone in Dublin in February 2009. We invited audience feedback and discussion in this context.



Autonomous Republic exhibit at The Lab, 2009


Links:

Autonomous Republic

Tactic Project

Indymedia