The Bike Bloc

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 own 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.

Bike Bloc

“The bicycle became nothing less than a freedom machine, a tool for radical, creative resistance”

They used Copenhagen’s most plentiful and recyclable resource, discarded bikes, and reverse engineer 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.

“You mean you’re going to break the law?” 

Room Concept

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. Multiple happenings all at once around the same city you don’t know where to go first, where to look first or what you’re going to 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, which had its own 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 which 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.

Room Experience

Walkthrough: Describing the key points and visual features of the room

1. Visitors enter the room along a narrow corridor, taking them close to the sound wall. The sounds and light patterns follow them into the room.
2. At the end of the corridor, they enter the room. For the first one in, nothing is happening. The only things to see are the shapes lighting the pressure-sensitive floor.
3. When visitors step onto the floor lights, the film clips start to play. Each spot controls a different screen.
4. More people means more screens. To represent the chaos intended by Bike Bloc, the film plays out of sync from each spot; visitors will have to concentrate on their own clip to follow the story.
5. Opposite the sound wall is a single large-format digital display showing a series of headlines quotes and statements from the articles and films about the protest.
6. A Bike Bloc machine exhibit sat in a dark corner at the back of the room acts as a lure to draw the visitors away from the screens.

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.

Creativepool 2022 Shortlisted Nominee

People's Choice 2022

©1973–2023 Tony Clarkson
&Something Studio is a design studio based, but no way trapped, in Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury has trains and roads which lead both in and out.