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Cuba’s « Technological Disobedience »

 

 

In this video, Cuban artist Ernesto Oroza discusses his theory of “technological disobedience” which he has also outlined in his book Rikimbili: Une étude sur la désobéissance technologique et quelques formes de reinvention. (A rikimbili is a motorized bicycle). The term refers to the response by the Cuban people to the devastating shortages during the ‘Special Period in Time of Peace,” the extended period of economic crisis following the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the inventions, improvisations and repurposing of basic appliances and household equipment in the face of shortages.    According to Oroza, people disrespected the ‘authority’ or external unity of contemporary objects.  Under such extreme pressure during the crisis, they devised ways to break through technological, legal and aesthetic limitations which he describes as a moral liberation. Oroza has amassed a collection of this objects in Miami where he now lives.

 

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