The Bike Bloc was an experiment put together by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination from the UK, with the Camp for Climate Action, which aimed to draw on their creativity and the history of the many forms of creative politics, from the Dutch Provos to Ya Basta, to engineer a new tool and practise of civil disobedience for the day of Climate Justice Action (CJA) at the COP15 Climate summit on 16th December 2009.
They used Copenhagen’s most plentiful and recyclable resource, discarded bikes, and reverse-engineered them into 'machines of creative resistance'.
A large collective of bike hackers, welders, artists, activists, designers, mechanics, and general enthusiasts began working together for a week in Bristol and another week in Copenhagen to make it happen.
Bike Bloc aims to create anarchy and disruption to bring attention to global matters.
The Bike Bloc room aims to recreate the noise, the confusion and the excitement of the protest.
It’s a circus, an art project in disguise. With multiple happenings around the same city simultaneously, you don’t know where to go, where to look, or what you’ll see when you get there.
Probably the most intense of all the sensory rooms.
It uses the most technology to match and recreate the atmosphere of the demonstration, with its soundtrack and a five-channel pirate radio station they built on a specially constructed double bike.
All the bicycles had different ways to receive and playback the radio channels and the sound work created especially for the route.
The Bike Bloc room shows actual footage across multiple screens of the demonstrations that took place in Copenhagen.
The sound also uses audio from the time: distorted voices coming from loud hailers, shouting and chanting and the sounds of police presence along with the pirate radio broadcasts.
Walkthrough: Describing the key points and visual features of the room
Above: The way in, through a brake-calliper archway referencing the original flyer from the Candy Factory.
Above: A representation of the room from the entrance, a 3/4 view showing the screens across the back wall and ceiling, along with the large-format display wall at the opposite side of the room.
Above: Side view of the entrance wall, the sound wall, filled with active loudhailers.
Above: Side view of the back wall showing headlines, quotes and statements from the days of the protest.