“We have a situation!” is the subject of a chapter on cyberformance and civic engagement in post-democracy, recently published in “Convergence of Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Global Civic Engagement“, ed. Ryan Shin, (IGI Global, 2016; ISBN 9781522516651).
The chapter, written by Helen Varley Jamieson, discusses how “We have a situation!” uses cyberformance to provoke conversations around urgent contemporary issues. Through heterarchical co-creation processes and real-time online events, temporary networked communities emerge and engage in creative problem-solving. The fifth “situation,” created at Multicidade Festival in Rio de Janeiro in November 2015, addressed the problem of water pollution in the context of the approaching 2016 Olympic Games. This chapter chronicles the process of creating and presenting this event and proposes that cyberformance fosters an intimate proto-political form of online engagement as a positive alternative to increasingly commodified activism in commercialised internet spaces. The chapter concludes that networked arts projects – in social, artistic and educational contexts – have an important role to play in the post-democratic reconfiguration of civic engagement, agency and activism.