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Stand up for Ricardo Dominguez, Electronic Disturbance Theater, and Academic Freedom

April 5, 2010

Troubling news. Ricardo Dominguez, known for Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT)
is taking heat for a Floodnet action against the University of California Office of the President during the March 4th National Day of Action. It is incredibly inspiring to see a professor stand up for student rights and public education and now it is time for students and everyone else to stand up for Dominguez as the UC system threatens his job and important research.
Below is the latest press release from the bang lab.

Bang.Lab / EDT Update, Call for Accountability and the Criminalization of Research
Update 4/1/2010: Yesterday, March 31st, 2 UCPD detectives showed up at Ricardo’s office at Calit2 to question him, indicating that …Read More
There are two main ways you can show support at this time. Thank you all for the signatures! The showing of support from around the world will surely help our case and hopefully demonstrate to the UCOP how difficult it is going to be for them to continue this repression of us.
Now, here’s what you can do to help:

1. Write a letter expressing your concerns about this issue, supporting our research, calling for an end to the investigations and an end to the harassment of Ricardo Dominguez and bang.lab/EDT members to:
“Kester, Grant” , “Larsen, Kristina” , “Lerer, Seth” , “” , “Rosen, Amy” , “SVC Academic Affairs” , “Ricardo Dominguez”
Please send your letters by April 7th, 2010!
2. Please come to UCSD on April 8th at 10:30am and show your support with a rally outside of the meeting between Ricardo Dominguez and the Vice Chancellor. As of now, we think the meeting will be in Grant Kester’s office, Mandeville 209, on the 2nd floor. A map to the Mandeville building is here: The vice-chancellor needs to know how broad and determined the support for Ricardo is! Let’s fill the courtyard, the stairs and the first floor open area! Please come and bring friends! The Vice Chancellor is pushing to have the meeting at his office on North Torrey Pines road, so please check back at for updates on April 7th!
More background information about what this is all about here:
Thank you for your support,
micha cárdenas, b.a.n.g. lab member and Lecturer in Visual Arts
Read More
How you can help the bang.lab and EDT
* Written by micha
* Posted on April 3, 2010.
* Filed under Uncategorized.
* Tagged as Electronic Civil Disobedience, investigations, March 4th.
* Read Comments (2).
Update 4/1/2010: Yesterday, March 31st, 2 UCPD detectives showed up at Ricardo’s office at Calit2 to question him, indicating that they were investigating criminal charges at all levels, city, county, state, federal. The harassment is increasing in severity.
In the past few weeks, a number of developments have occurred in relation to the art/research practices of b.a.n.g. lab and Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), which we wish to share with the public in accordance with our long history of radical transparency.
– Since November of 2009 the Transborder Immigrant Tool has become a media event with many groups and individuals, such as Congressman Duncan Hunter in his Op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune, calling for the defunding of the Transborder Immigrant Tool. The University of California system began a financial audit of the project on January 11, 2010, in which they requested that every member involved be interviewed by Audit & Management Advisory Services (UCSD). The exact investigations (they claim that there are multiple) under way have yet to be clarified by UCOP or other UC entities, but in the interviews thus far, TBT members have been questioned about the usage of the funds and the originality of the project. The investigation has ‘arrested’ TBT’s developmental process and core research matrix.
– To add injury to injury, due to widespread media coverage of the Transborder Immigrant Tool, members of bang.lab and EDT also have been receiving copious hateful email and paper letters, some including threats of physical violence and murder. The racist, xenophobic, classist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic “excitable speech” of the threats has been as clear as that of the correspondence received in recent weeks by national representatives who voted for health care legislation. Hardly a tea party!
– On March 2nd, publicly declared the resignation of UCOP Mark Yudof in a gesture of minor simulation to encourage the imagining of other possible futures. On March 21st, bang.lab received notice that a faculty member at UC Riverside was being investigated in relation to this action.
– On March 4th, hosted a virtual sit-in against the UCOP website, providing a space for many people concerned with public education to embody their dissent online. As a result, UCSD IT Security shut down our server’s access to the Internet for eight days. Shortly thereafter, we were informed that an investigation of Ricardo Dominguez by the Senior Vice Chancellor (SVC) was initiated by the UCOP to determine if criminal charges were in order for the virtual sit-in, despite the legal precedent that a virtual sit-in is political speech, not a DDOS attack. This investigation–itself in the service of a denial of distributed free speech–has been framed by SVC as potential reason to end Professor Dominguez’s tenure.
These events are of a piece with a number of troubling trends in the current transnational struggle for education (and more equal distribution of resources, generally speaking):
– A disregard for the academic freedom of cultural producers engaging in research trajectories of art, literature and technology (that, for instance, the Visual Arts Department and CALIT2 considered valuable enough to earn Professor Dominguez tenure)
-The use of bureaucracy as a weapon, to prevent the aforementioned research from continuing by bogging down its practitioners in endless meetings with accountants and investigations.
– The criminalization of dissent: across the UC system and the world on March 4th people engaged in actions, including civil disobedience, to try to restore public education, stop the budget cuts and work towards a better future for education. We are among hundreds of people facing charges for engaging in dissent from the very institutions that claim to foster independent thinking (connect the dots–consider the group of students recently threatened with 6 month suspensions).
While we believe that poetry, walking art and queer technology cannot be “spread-sheet Excel-ed,” we, in b.a.n.g. lab, harbor our own concerns for the lack of accountability that enables the UC system to continue transforming a public university for the state of California into a private corporation, accessible to a select few. The selective *lack* of accountability that bedrocks that hubris fails to count the number of deaths tragically enabled by the continuous gerrymandering of international borders, for instance. To perform our own due diligence in the spirit of accounting for the here and now, we seek to “queer the census”: if you feel that you are a part of the bang.lab or have participated in any of our activities in mind, body, spirit (in real or virtual timespace), get up, stand up!, sign your name in a comment here.”
to sign: visit:


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