What is a Pirate Project?

We like to call the set of experimental practices that are pushing a system towards a qualitatively new state: pirate projects.

They are no longer interested in expanding a known world or building out new topologies of probability within an existing overarching emergent logic. Pirate projects develop from probes with the explicit goal of world disruption.

Examples of Probes and Pirate Projects

Probes can take endless forms — they are responding to specific contexts. Here are some examples (we strongly suggest digging into these.

Good examples of this can be found in interventionist art such as the work of the Yes Men Bhopal Project, or in the Fluxus art of Alison Knowles - Make a Salad, and Yoko Ono Cut Piece.  Or the crawls of PopeL.

The limits of these art projects as probes is that they do not involve carefully following and working with what emerges.

The sit-in movement of the 1960’s is a good example of a probe that pushes a system to reveal its various states and propensities.

The founding and early work of GreenPeace (this is a great documentary on how they developed out of a series of experimental probes). Their early work combines both forms of probes.

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