How Platform Cooperativism Can Unleash the Network

The distrust of the dominant extractive economic model is growing. Labor companies in the “sharing economy” like Uber have been criticized for operating illegally as well as eliminating democratic values such as accountability, dignity, and rights for workers. Using various examples, Scholz will introduce what he calls platform cooperativism, an Internet based on communal ownership and democratic governance. Silicon Valley loves a good disruption; let’s give them one.

How to Organize Political Campaigns in the Age of the Internet

Ideas, such as direct democracy and basic income, strengthen the importance of the open platform in comparison to access-restricted concepts of society. They try to distribute power fairly within a given group. The „agency to overcome capitalism“ is promoting such concepts by building user centered open campaigns. One of those is „My basic income“, where donations are collected via permanent crowdfunding. Once 12.000 € are collected, they are raffled out as one year basic income to a randomly selected individual.

Exponential Design

This lecture will look at the increased resolution fabric of design, leading to greater designability and radically distributed agency beyond just human. With automated scripting (AI code writing itself), new forms of reasoning are emerging. The next programming language will be the Natural Language, dissolving present boundaries between human creativity and code. Inhuman agency is found in automation in both design and construction. New architectures are emerging through massive populations of autonomous agents, embracing volatile and contingent states within design ecologies. Never before have designers had the access to the scale of dust particles or algorithmic profiles of matter. Design search is performed beyond human cognition, by dipping human and inhuman intelligence into the ocean of of data. Amidst such complexity, design’s superpowers in pattern recognition and synthesis are the key for uncovering Unseen phenomena, Awe and Wonder.

Becoming Adroit: Adrona’s Synthetic Thoughts on Transhumanism and the Network City

Urban spaces and our daily metropolitan practices are pervaded by discourses of seamless technologies and actual sensor-driven activities. Referring to theories of foresight and anticipation, framed in design and cultural mediation, this talk will be voiced through the persona of a rogue female drone called Adrona who is more than a little miffed by being deployed to police civilians. Once steered by remote software and joystick operators, she has evolved a synthetic eye of her own, reorienting her gaze and her sensorial sensibilities towards transhuman communitarianism.

Toward the Labor Market 4.0? Six Scenarios

The digital transformation of our economy changes the way we work. These changes are already the subject of fierce public debate under the keywords “Big Data,” “Industry 4.0,” and “Internet of Things.” It is still impossible to determine all the possibilities and consequences of the ever greater integration of digital technologies in our work environment and their impact on employment and the labor market by means of quantitative models. This is why studies of the technological change tend to prefer an approach that is based on how experts see things. The presentation will introduce six scenarios developed by experts ranging from scientists, labor market specialists in politics and administration to union representatives and all the way to founders of start-up companies, investors, and employees in large technology corporations.

The Flying Proletarian: Working Fictions, Speculative Designs

Maybe it is time to return to the factory – as site of intervention, as future terrain of collaborative design, as figure of thought. In the vision of an informatization of production (Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet), the factory is no longer an anachronistic reference to a bygone industrial era but the stage of a new machinism. As designers put faith in the power of predictive analytics, develop cyber-physical and semi-autonomous systems, and create a mise en scène featuring collaborative robots engaged in self-organization, they cannot but reframe the role of the human. Returning to the factory as a site of storytelling and social innovation, the talk offers an invitation to coauthor fantastic factographies and organize tektology transfers.

Mr. Peel Goes to Cyberspace. Resisting Digital Colonization

Venture Capital will never deliver luxury for all. In order for our dreams of technological emancipation to come true, we must overcome Capitalist strategies of monopoly and lock-in with Technological Disobedience, counterpolitics and counterantidisintermediation, paving the way for Venture Communism!

The Mystery of Technology

In this talk multiple examples of artistic works and designs relating to the subject of mysterious technologies will be discussed, representing my vision and interpretation of technology and design.
Wi-Fi Bunker, an inflatable cubicle capsule made from a light isolation material, is a design originating from a personal fascination for invisible technologies. Made of a Mylar blanket and a separate mesh, the capsule effectively fends off Wi-Fi signals and can be used by the wearer as a shield. The capsule increases personal space by punching a hole into the Wi-Fi saturated urban landscape.
In another current project, I am trying to create an artistic artificial afterlife, using multiple technological/electronic instruments as a medium. A lifeless animal is used as a power source and is therefore a vital element in an electronic circuit, generating glitches onto a monitor screen.
Exposing invisible technologies such as Wi-Fi signals and translating them in an artistic fashion, is a result of my personal curiosity about the mystery of technology. As an Interactive Designer I try to add a mysterious layer to technology and dream of a world where technology turns into magic and designers into magicians.

Polycommunism, a Tale of a Distributed Algorithmic Governance

TeknoKomrades, it is time to scale Communism! Our program: one territory, multiple Communisms.

You have now to decide which decentralized government you will abide by for the next five years. Will it be Libertarian Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Troskyism? Each of our algorithmic governance is led by an artificial intelligence embedding a variant of our victorious ideology. As our most precious common, Blockchain has been chosen to be the key of distributed Communism; supporting controlled transparency as well as personalized laws. However remember, whatever government you will prefer, they are all concurring to successfully maintain proletariat as a social dream and serve our planned economy.

Playbouring Cyborgs: Humans & Algorithms Collaborating for Science

The path to post-automation economy is not so much paved with robots as it is with cyborgs of all kind. The cyborgs introduced in this talk are a symbiosis of humans, machines and algorithms entangled in a data net, pursuing their playful and labourious quest to evolve science. While thousands of humans play online games, combining molecules (Eterna) or detecting “bizarre” particle tracks (Higgs Hunters), algorithms keep learning from their behavioural patterns. But the playbouring cyborg manifests itself not only amongst the cyber proletariat of the unskilled citizen scientist players. It also lurks into the world of the algorithmic literates; the cyber professionals, who interpret the data served by the players and digested by the algorithms. The other side of the Higgs Hunters is occupied by high-energy physicists of CERN (Centre Européen de la Recherche Nucléaire), where Anne ethnographically observes their daily routines enhanced by the digital calculating and simulating machines.

Age of Computation – The Shifting Role of the Architect

The last decade showed an almost hysterical re-emergence of the long lasting fascination of architects for innovation in industry and science. Mass-customization through individualized digital fabrication and biotechnical material innovations are increasingly connected in an intricate web of mutually shaping relations. The talk will examine how these advancements challenge the heroic role of the design architect and can lead to new design strategies which make consumers co-producers – of complex spaces specific to the user, the location and the context.

STOP THE PRESS: Teknokomrades hijacked

In spring 2015, I joined a London based research team Bodies of Planned Obsolescence to visit the electronic waste dump in Lagos, Nigeria. Sheltered behind the Alaba electronic market is a self-appointed, open-air e-waste processing factory nicknamed ILETRONICS where boys, young men, elders, dealers, buyers, sellers engage with each other – unscrewing, hammering, sorting, pounding, weighing the electronic parts that are deemed ‚junks‘. These are current-day teknopirates, resurrecting the dead to Naira’s worth. Here, a landscape fictionalized – cows fed on the e-waste roam the hills, intestines of butchered cows feed the hard working laborers. The obsolete outlives its life span, returns to haunt us. The smart contracts left unsigned. Oops, we crash the Net.

Enter the BioNet –  the Genome Corporation takes human bodies hostage to initiate BioNet,  a network made up of red blood cells (erythrocytes) as micro-computing units, activated to recondition our desires. Consider this (science) fiction scenario – the transhuman the marionette, the virus the hackers,  the body a network node, self-powered,  seeking comrades for the next move.

H.I.T. – Evening Program

In this performance, Max Dovey & Manetta Berends invite audience members to compete against one another to perform human intelligence tasks (H.I.T’s).

H.I.T’s is the term given to describe the micro-work conducted on online marketplaces such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. To investigate how data from micro-tasks can produce and alter computer software, H.I.Ts adapts the production of an image recognition application into a participatory game show. During the show two teams compete to identify the different types of human labour involved in the development of an image recognition application. By the end of the show two image recognition applications are developed that can identify different forms of immaterial labour. The show turns the discreet forms of digital labour into live entertainment and critically examines the social and economic production of digital software.  

Opening Address

Luxury Communism on a Dollar a Day: Ecological Limits, Dangerous Technology and Human Survival.

I’m going to talk about what we can do for the poorest 5 billion people and how blockchains can enable mass collaboration at the scales required to bring transformative technologies to the villages and one acre farms all over the world: health care, engineering, education.

The Geopolitical Unconscious of Luxury Communism

I’ll talk about some major hurdles and strategies that stand in the way of the agenda of Luxury Communism, focusing particularly on the strategies adopted by global capital (from trade treaties like TTIP to the smart city propaganda) to lock us into a very different politico-economic regime. In doing so, I am going to point at the shortcomings of the idea of Luxury Communism. I am going to show why its somewhat localist flavor misses the superb organizational and institutional power of the adversary.  This  should also help us understand why the blockchain *revolution* is only likely to make things worse…

Do not Enter, This is not an Exit: Sexodus and the Gig Economy

This talk grapples with and locates the male fantasy of exit as it pervades the contemporary moment. I argue that this dream of exit poses a significant problem for feminism and the future of a post-gender/post-work politics. Exit lurks within the market, the technologies of the sharing economy, rightwing Men’s rights movements and the leftist refusal of work paradigm.

Common Good(s)

Through a lens of the 1950s we’ve been looking through the home not ‘at‘ it. Luxury and convenience was sold to (mostly) women by energy companies in the form of electrically-powered products that promised to give them more freedom. Freedom from the thought that they once held a job helping the war effort perhaps. Now in 2016, we work all the time thanks to our mobile phones but we still have the same homes and we still hear the same stores. Even if we rent out our home on Airbnb, we don’t cook much anymore and we share our apartment even in adulthood. Our idea of luxury has changed. Yet the story told by designers, architects, interior designers, white goods manufacturers and now technology companies is a story of a nuclear family still living in the 1950s. Old habits that are dying, at last have not died in the creative imagination of the creative industries. I’ll discuss in this talk how we can respond to people’s changing values and behaviours in the home both in design and technological terms and how we can use the home to anchor an important conversation about the common good(s).

Designer Communism

Contemporary capitalism privatises design, associating it with the production of elite commodities. Yet capitalist society is anything but designed. As the neoliberal project disintegrates, amidst a whole series of systemic pathologies – widespread economic collapse, desocialisation, existential devastation, aesthetic poverty and looming eco-catastrophe – it’s time to definitely reclaim design as a communist value. Neoliberalism’s official claims to have increased ‚freedom‘ and ‚management‘ are examples of negation by simulation. The real aim of the neoliberal project has been to cede practically all agency to the blind automatism of capital. The concept of a designed society entails the return of a different kind of agency, and the raising of forms of consciousness that neoliberalism has deflated. What would such a society look like, and how can it be created?