Text, Regulatory Art, by Paolo Cirio. 2018-2020
Regulatory Art accounts for public policy by engaging with regulations. As such, artists creatively work with law and governance as a form of Regulatory Art. This art addresses, envisions, and practices regulation when institutions fail to fairly regulate the fields that constitute society such as trade, labor, healthcare, technology, media, education, and the environment.

Regulation as art material takes form through the creative, critical, and dynamic propositions from artists that propel democratic governance through works of public engagement, scrutiny, oversight, policy-making, legal drafting, and legislative activism.

Beyond representation, provocation, and discourse, critical art must address real change in regulations to minimise the consequences caused by deregulation, which is driven by speculative finance, technolibertarianism, mass surveillance, civil rights suppression, and environmental depletion.

Such politics of deregulation coupled with the lack of public policies and corporate lobbying define the neoliberal age. Democracy is being stripped by private actors and the state that together shape globalization, financialization, privatization, and monopolization through both deregulations and ad hoc regulations for trade agreements, bailouts, taxation, austerity, and pollution permits. These market-oriented policies produce a wide range of social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological problems.

Deregulation policies take away democratic agency from citizens. Neoliberalism, denoted as reducing state functions to foster the economy and personal freedom, is actually often driven by an undemocratic and illiberal state that economically and legally supports bankrupted private economies. Along with being an economic program, neoliberalism is about the political decline of civil society and citizens’ rights. Furthermore, regulation by governments is often politically motivated, dysfunctional, and slow.

Only democratic and reflexive regulation can be an efficient response to deregulation, neoliberalism, and state malfunction. Regulatory Art aims to foster this democratic process with the necessary intervention, engagement, and vision.  

Regulatory Art by Paolo Cirio
 
In the following list of artworks I address regulation using conceptual models, provocations, writing, and research. My creative regulatory proposals aim to investigate, resolve, and inform on issues in the areas of privacy, free speech, financial inequality, intellectual property, climate policy, and generally in economics, politics, and social justice.

Financial regulation
- Text project campaign, Derivatives, 2021
- Text project research, Derivatives, 2020
- Text project recap, World Currency, 2014
- Text project recap, Art Commodities, 2014
- Text project recap, Loophole for All, 2013
- Project recap, P2P Credit Cards, 2010

Privacy regulation
- Project recap, Capture, 2020
- Text project recap, Obscurity, 2018
- Text project recap, Overexposed, 2015
- Text project recap, Persecuting, 2012
- Text project recap, Street Ghosts, 2012
- Text project recap, Face to Facebook, 2011

Content moderation regulation
- Text project recap, Attention, 2019
- Text project recap, Right to Remove, 2018

Technology regulation
- Text, Bodily, 2020
- Text, Ban Facial Recognition, 2020
- Text project recap, Sociality, 2018
- Text on the Aesthetics of Information Ethics, 2017

Intellectual property regulation
- Project recap, Proprety, 2019
- Text project recap, Daily Paywall, 2014
- Text project recap, Amazon Noir, 2006

Environmental regulation
- Text projects recap, Footprint Justice, 2024
- Text projects recap, Climate Class Action, 2023
- Text projects recap, Flooding NYC Claims, 2023
- Text projects recap, Climate Tribunal, 2021
- Text project recap, Extinction Claims, 2021
- Text project manifesto, Drowning NYC, 2010

Regulation design
- Text project recap, Global Direct, 2014
- Project recap, Open Society Structures, 2009

 
A short Art Law history and biography.
In my art practice, I first encountered the law in art through tactical media, street art, and anti-copyright projects during the nineties. At the time, my relationship with the law was antagonistic and expressed through a punk and Dadaist attitude using illegal art to challenge the illegitimacy of conservative laws. Later in life, I discovered the Legislative Theatre of Augusto Boal that, in the seventies, suggested addressing the law as a participatory process for social change. Using these ideas, I integrated this approach in some of my own works. Public policy has always been my interest, however, sophistication with the use of law as material in my work began with the project Loophole for All. Later, I formalized more law as art when I learned about the artists' contract by Seth Siegelaub in the sixties, which I still consider one of the first instances of art law. My personal trajectory was also enriched by the several art activists I have encountered in my life fighting for change in public policy, for instance, Liberate Tate when I was in London and Legislative Art by Laurie Jo Reynolds when I was in the United States. I initially coined the term Regulatory Art from projects related to the regulation of technology in 2018 as a response to the technoliberalism of the Silicon Valley, which was a source of controversy when social media became an instrument of social control, and decentralized technology began to be used for abuse and social manipulation. In 2020, I realized how Regulatory Art was a common denominator among many of my works, and how relevant it is to discuss it as an art strategy.



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