Selected Courses on Digital Art-UOWM

13 Απριλίου 2013

Filed under: Notes — admin @ 17:31
he Future: Then and Now

Wednesday 24th April 2013

This month’s Cybersalon is looking at how new media have inspired new forms of activism over the past two decades and will explore the transformative possibilities of the next wave of technological innovation. 

In his 1996 ‘Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace’, John Perry Barlow announced the coming of a hi-tech utopia where rugged individualists would escape from the stifling controls and onerous taxes of national governments into a borderless and deregulated virtual world. Over the past two decades, this seductive mix of hippie and entrepreneurial libertarianism codified in the Californian Ideology has dominated our understanding of the political impact of the Net. Left or Right, mainstream and alternative, mass connectivity is still celebrated as the technological antidote to the multiple failings of Westminster politics from voter apathy to out-of-touch MPs. While deep scepticism is required about the predictions of dotcom boosters, no one can deny that the rapid diffusion of social media has enabled much more participatory forms of campaigning, organising and mobilising. From the Arab Spring to the Five Star Movement in Italy, citizens have bypassed the old party structures to create their own autonomous groups. As in Athens, Madrid or New York, London’s anti-austerity protesters are tech-savvy and always on-line. In Bitcoin, hackers now believe that they have discovered a way of liberating money from the clutches of the power elite. The Net is still only a toddler, but it has already established itself as the people’s forum for political debate and decision-making. With the status-quo seemingly no longer viable, the collaborative experience of social media should now inspire an emancipatory vision of what it means to be a citizen in 21st century Europe. What are the lessons of Then and Now that we can apply confidently when we’re anticipating the future of Net Politics?

Richard Barbrook – Westminster politics lecturer and author of Imaginary Futures – will trace the evolution of dotcom neo-liberalism from the techno-utopian early-1990s to today’s more austere times.

Amir Taaki – former professional gambler turned open source programmer – will explain how Bitcoin challenges the monetary hegemony of both big banks and big government.

Clare Solomon – the ex-president of ULU during the 2010 student protests who now runs the radical Firebox cafe in King’s Cross – will describe how the participatory structure of the Net is inspiring new methods and ideas of political campaigning.

Jamie Bartlett – the Head of Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the Demos think-tank – will describe how the electoral success of the Five Star movement in Italy was achieved through the intelligent use of on-line campaigning.


Paolo Gerbaudo teaches at Kings College, University of London and is author of Tweets and the Streets: social media and contemporary activism.

Tunes: Wildlife Display Team.

See you there!

Entrance is free but please book on
6.30pm: doors open and drinks
Discussion: 7.00 – 9.00 pm.
Followed by drinks in the pub: The Slaughtered Lamb.

The Arts Catalyst,
50-54 Clerkenwell Road,
London EC1M 5PS

Tubes: Old St/ Barbican
Barclays Bikes: Right outside the venue
Arts Catalyst is next to Foxtons on Clerkenwell Road.

Audio recordings, tweet timeline and transcript of the discussion will be available after each event.

About Cybersalon

A monthly meeting of minds on how the Internet is shaping society for artists, entrepreneurs, techies, activists, academics and designers.
— Speakers, discussion, exhibits, presentations and performances — and a cheap bar.

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