22 Mar '19, 7:00PM

Are you ready?

Margareta Kern

Cafe/Gallery Space

Are You Ready? performance-lecture by Margareta Kern speculates on possible future scenarios where imaginaries of sovereignty and freedom have taken the shape of a sprawling, privatised ‘city-state’ on the ocean.

Presented as a Ted-talk style business ‘pitch’ of a fictional tech-conglomerate named Ocean Global that is building its first island in Plymouth Sound, the performance confronts us with a privatised world where governments compete for ‘seatizens’ by becoming ‘service providers’ in a floating world whose only organising principle is free market and competition.

Drawing on a range of existing libertarian proposals for the new floating ‘city-states’ or ‘seasteads’ that promise techno-social freedom on the ocean (imagined as the ultimate ‘terra nullius’) the performance explores how narratives of ‘freedom’ promulgate crypto-fascist tendencies and neoreactionary imaginaries, from the tech industry of Silicon Valley into our everyday.

Are You Ready? is a provocative meditation on our contemporary moment where fantasies of exit continue to disrupt and fragment. It is also a powerful and hopeful search for a resistant algaerithm pulsating under the surface of our vision.

The first wireless communication sent by Marconi over the open sea asked ‘are you ready’?

Supported by the Arts Council England Project Grant, 2018-2019 and RIO.

Margareta Kern is a visual artist working in photography, film, performance, drawing and installation. Current projects deal with the politics of making visible new systems of power and violence emerging from a techno-military-corporate complex.

Kern is currently an artist-in-residence at Birkbeck School of Law and a lecturer at Falmouth University. She holds BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and MA in Visual Anthropology, UCL.

Her works have been shown extensively including at the Tate Modern, Photographers Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, Rivington Place, Photomonth Krakow, Cultural Centre Belgrade and many others.

Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kern migrated to the UK in 1992 at the outbreak of war. She currently lives in Cornwall.


Free, no booking required.