Birigitta Jonsdottir is an anomaly in European politics. Think of her as one of our own fabled poet/revolutionaries of 1916 who were both artist and politician. She is a poet yes, first and foremost. A dreamer, as is the nature of poets, a creator of new worlds in the words she writes on the page. But a politician also, the legislators of words that so often confine worlds.
There is a tension here yes, but the founder of the Pirate Party in Iceland is also a coder, who communicate through a language on functioning systems. It’s quite a strange language coders use, one that’s express purpose is to convert sequences of digits to carry out a function. Its signifier the surrounding code in the surrounding system, its language does not radiate with meaning like previous communicative languages. A lie would be rejected by the system.
It’s this other language, this other world that Birigitta often inhabits, a world that few artists, never mind politicians have previously inhibited. The landscape of this language is the internet, a landscape that twenty years ago had few frontiers in sight.
This is quite a weird space to exit within. The endlessness of the internet’s frontier, the promise of promise upon promise, that could be realised in the highly structured, and rigid language of code.
In this new communicative space, life was not so mediated by relentless consumerism and the ‘news’ that exists on television and radio. One had access to a means of communication that existed beyond consumption.
Watch this video of Birigitta Jonsdottir below as she talks of the Pirate Party, democracy and surveillance. Will transcribe this hopefully at a later date.