You can create art and beauty with a computer. We are proud and happy to announce that the jury for the Digital Communities category of Prix Ars Electronica 2010 selected the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) for the Golden Nica.
Since its founding days the CCC is an organization, where hackers, artists and people interested in shaping the future and politics of the new digital domain meet and cooperate. Never the stereotypical "hacker club", the creation and facilitation of art and beauty has always been a core aspect.
Art has always played a vital role in the CCC community. The Chaos Communication Camp in 1999 was a groundbreaking event by combining the logic of hacker conferences with open air art installations. On September 11th, 2001, the CCC redefined interactivity in media art projects dealing with public space by creating Project Blinkenlights that turned the now famous Haus des Lehrers in Berlin into a huge display where everybody could contribute content and play games on using the mobile phone. Blinkenlights has inspired hackers around the world and ignited a torrent of art projects in the hacker scene.
The CCC is organized in dozens of decentralized local clubs, each is running its own rooms for meeting, sharing, socializing and creative work – a concept that recently got known to a wider audience as Hackerspaces. With more than 2,300 members – mainly in the German speaking countries – the club is the largest association of hackers and digitally creatives in Europe. With its wide network of local hackerspaces, the CCC has been an inspiration for many other hackers, makers and artists worldwide, who were encouraged to found their own digital creative space in the real world.
In the political sphere, the CCC is a crystallization point for a broadening community of people whose daily life is increasingly being supported but also dominated by technology. Its technical expertise helped building the foundation for a number of groundbreaking decisions of Germany's constitutional court. The most important ones were the ban of voting computers in Germany, the new constitutional right to integrity and confidentiality of computer systems which blocked the government's wish to install trojan horse programs on suspects' computers, and the repealing of the data retention laws. Club members exert considerable influence on current digital policy debates like those on privacy, copyright and net neutrality.
An important aspect of the CCC's activities is the organization of large events, that have evolved to be among the most important European meeting points for everyone active in the digital domain. We will keep up the good work!