The Autonomous Territories of Chicago, organized by Ben Rubin, Nato Thomson, and Josh Macphee, included Autonomous Territories of Chicago (ATOC) and other political and artistic radical groups from Chicago.
Through a combination of heavy and light industry, meat packing, the railways and migrant workers, Chicago has always been the crossroads of the nation. The 2000 census rated Chicago as one of the most diverse cities in the country, and yet Chicago is gravely segregated, with the underprivileged finding them under increasing attack by the city government, the police, and the ruling class. Chicago is a rich ground where art and life have and will continue to merge into creative ideas and movements that challenge the hegemony of corporate and political influence. The Festival for ATOC held its eighth annual conferences for radical aesthetic producers at the Hyde Park Art Center. Artists, activists, radicals, graffiti crews, community groups, and educators from all over Chicago came to present their work and exchange ideas.
The Festival included a series of booths hosted by different autonomous territories of Chicago including the Stockyard Institute, DSLR, Temporary Services, and the University of Hip Hop. The main staged housed the presentations, discussion panels, music and slide presentations. The festival functioned as a means to fuel momentum for the production of socially conscious works, and the networking of activists, radicals and artists.