Throughout August 2013 Hack the Barbican took over the Barbican’s cavernous foyer spaces and filled them with 100 discipline-bending installations, performances, workshops and discussions.

A half-size recreation of the Barbican’s biggest penthouse provided a social hub and stage for performances and talks. Site-specific projects hijacked areas of the Barbican’s brutalist interior and converted them into games, performances and installations. The projects brought together theatre performers, computer scientists, sculptors, hardware hackers, teachers, musicians and everything in between.

Marking a radical departure from conventional arts events Hack the Barbican was organised without any central curation or commissioning.

Taking inspiration from hacker culture the project was developed over a period of six months through weekly sessions open to everyone. The project community grew to 300 people spanning all disciplines, ages and backgrounds. Each project hosted at Hack the Barbican was completely self-resourced, with its creators acting entrepreneurially to secure the materials and skills they need.

Hack the Barbican was like a slowly growing city that is gradually taking over the Barbican’s public spaces, with many imperfections, but also many moments of unexpected magic.


Hack the Barbican is grateful to the following sponsors for their support:

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Hack The Barbican was produced by  The Trampery in association with The Barbican Centre, and hundreds of contributors helping out in small and big ways.