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Critique, Democracy, and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society
Towards Critical Theories of Social Media
Uppsala University. May 2-4, 2012
The Fourth ICTs and Society-Conference
Abstract Submission Deadline: Wednesday, Feb 29th, 17:00 CET
Submission guidelines: http://www.icts-and-society.net/events/uppsala2012/
With plenary talks by Vincent Mosco, Graham Murdock, Andrew Feenberg, Catherine McKercher, Charles Ess, Christian Christensen, Christian Fuchs, Gunilla Bradley, Mark Andrejevic, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Peter Dahlgren, Tobias Olsson, Trebor Scholz, Ursula Huws, Wolfgang Hofkirchner.
This conference provides a forum for the discussion of how to critically study social media and their relevance for critique, democracy, politics and philosophy in 21st century information society.
Mobilizing and Organizing From Below
June 1st - 3rd, 2012 Baltimore, Maryland * 2640
Mobilizing and Organizing from Below will be a gathering of activists and organizers, workers and parents, revolutionaries and militants and radicals and dissenters, dedicated to increasing our ability to come together and challenge the systems of exploitation and oppression that have taken hold of the world. The conference will be a weekend of intensive, horizontally-organized political education, in which we can share skills, analyze the problems we face, and pose difficult questions. It will also provide a space for people from different traditions to come together and recognize the depth of our similarities and the richness of our differences; a space for reflection and discussion, distinct from both the chaotic excitement of spontaneous mass actions and the intense demands of long-term organizing work.
Deleuze and Guattari and Occupy
Sat 25th Feb 2-5pm Occupy LSX / School of Ideas
Featherstone Rd Islington EC1Y 8RX
An afternoon of talks, about the relevance of Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas to Occupy.
Deleuze and Guattari’s writings are considered, by political activists, philosophers, artists and writers to provide the most insightful analysis of the crisis we face today. It is claimed that the rhizomic, nomadic and creative nature of Occupy is inherently DeleuzeoGuattarian. This afternoon of talks tests these claims and asks; does Deleuze and Guattari’s conceptual apparatus scythe right through to the heart of capitalist production: do they provide vitalist, non-paranoid, (entirely pragmatic) systems of thought around which both a world can be torn down and a new one built?
Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons NYC February 16-18
The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need to combine renewed engagement through direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of Making Worlds* is inviting Occupy supporters, sympathizers, and other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons: a third form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.
The Making Worlds forum starts today in Brooklyn and runs until Saturday (with additional events Sunday). The following is the schedule of events which will take place at: The Church of the Ascension 122 Java St. (Greenpoint) Brooklyn, NY
Activist Technology Demo Day NYC January 28th
Saturday, January 28 3-6pm
Urban Research Group Eyebeam Art + Technology Center
540 W 21st, New York, NY
From Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, technology has played an important role in shaping contemporary resistance and the representation of these events in the media. What new tools of protest and occupation have emerged over the past year? How does their use help to shape tomorrow’s democracies? The Urban Research Group @ Eyebeam and The Public School New York have invited activists, technologists, artists, designers, and community organizers who have a working prototype of an activist technology to occupy a worktable at Eyebeam and share their work with the public. Drawn from proposals submitted through an open call, we have selected a group of projects and communities that extend the creative use of technology and its social implications. Our interest is in creating a platform for encounter, conversation and collaboration. Visit http://demo-day.org/projects for participating project information.
This public event will culminate with a panel discussion at 5pm with special guest Stephen Duncombe, Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York University and co-creator of the School for Creative Activism; Mary Mattingly, Eyebeam Fellow and the creator of Waterpod; and moderated by Taeyoon Choi, Eyebeam Fellow and member of The Public School New York committee.
Global General Strike, May Day 2012
5 DAY WEEKEND
Friday APRIL 27 – Tuesday MAY 1 , 2012
GLOBAL GENERAL STRIKE
While the mayor brags about the NYPD being his own private army, working people's indignities multiply. At work, under constant surveillance, we struggle for a daily wage, simply to increase the profit margins for our bosses. Previously, the ruling classes had slaves and indentured servants, forcing labor relations through brute force. Today they still have us as slaves and servants through wage labor contracts and fraudulent notions of debt. As we have all seen, debt can be forgiven, in the trillions, to those who own society; but for the rest of us debt is inexcusable, and our lives, our time, our futures, are always negotiable.
Reading: Richard Gilman-Opalsky “Spectacular Capitalism”
Friday, January 13th Bluestockings @ 7PM – Free
172 Allen St. New York, NY 10002
The ideas and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International have become a constant reference point for those involved in radical politics, the arts, and cultural theory. Drawing on the work of Debord, Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s latest book Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by social upheavals that do the work of philosophy directly. Reading, with discussion following.
Crisis of Everything Everywhere January 7th-15th
Crisis of Everything Everywhere is the potential name for a small scale / molecular / modular / horizontally organized effort to think, speak about, and speculate upon our present.
It will unfold over a period of 9 days, between January 7th and 15th. It will involve various groups and individuals who have explored or been directly involved in the movement of the squares, encampments and occupations of 2011.
It will involve artists, thinkers, writers, activists, occupiers, poets, programmers, workers, revolutionaries, students, debtors, laborers and laborless of all kinds into a focused yet open-ended conversation, collective research and analysis of our contemporary social-political movements / struggles.
Given the fact we are in New York, we will make a special effort to address and consider how those movements have impacted the political and cultural landscape of this city, region and country. And by connecting to other histories and places, to begin to build up an image of what kinds of struggles and challenges may lay ahead in the coming weeks, months, even years.]
Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons: A Community Gathering
A crisis in capitalism is stalking the world. Greed, ecological plunder, famine and displacement off the land increasingly mark the battle lines between the rich and everyone else. Enforced homelessness, social service cuts, and environmental disasters have become regular occurrences. But today we also see people in every corner of the world rising up against these injustices. We are inspired by this “indignant” moment, but we want to understand what lies beyond our collective “no!” to a future foreclosed by dispossession, debt and ecocide.
Fighting for safe food and housing, decent health, clean air and undeveloped spaces in nature have long given common cause to communities around the world. The “commons” refers to relationships based on shared resources, collective management, networks of mutual aid, respect and dignity. But these commons have either been captured by the market or are increasingly at risk of it. Taking back the commons means reclaiming community control over the parts of our lives that have been colonized by governments, markets, and corporations.
Can we recognize, reclaim and create alternative social realities that the elite tell us cannot possibly exist? A gathering is being organized to help us answer this question. The gathering will cover the themes of systemic crisis, economics, land, food, water, health, education, media, ecology, decolonization, migration and the history of the commons.
Situationist Aesthetics: The SI, Now
University of Sussex, Brighton, UK – Friday 8th June 2012
Keynote: McKenzie Wark (The New School, NY), author of The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International (2011), Gamer Theory (2007) and Hacker Manifesto (2004).
Since the beginning of the movement there has been a problem as to what to call artistic works by members of the SI. It was understood that none of them was a situationist production, but what to call them? I propose a very simple rule: to call them ‘antisituationist.’ We are against the dominant conditions of artistic inauthenticity. I don’t mean that anyone should stop painting, writing, etc. I don’t mean that that has no value. I don’t mean that we could continue to exist without doing that. But at the same time we know that such works will be coopted by society and used against us. Our impact lies in the elaboration of certain truths which have an explosive power whenever people are ready to struggle for them. At the present stage the movement is only in its infancy regarding the elaboration of these essential points. - Attila Kotányi at the Fifth Conference of the SI, 1961
Is it oxymoronic, heretical or just plain wrong to talk about Situationist aesthetics? The Situationist International (SI) condemned attempts to discuss its work in terms of aesthetics, but perhaps it is now time to brush the SI against the grain.
When it first announced its programme, the SI insisted that ‘There is no such thing as Situationism’. A few years later, before expelling its members deemed to be too invested in artistic production, the SI declared that in an age of spectacle any work of art produced by a Situationist must necessarily be ‘antisituationist’. The SI’s tactical intransigence regarding the political value of the aesthetic, and its refusal of the possibility of a specifically Situationist aesthetic, threw up problems that remained unresolved by the time of the SI’s dissolution. Since 1972, particularly in Anglophone contexts, Situationist practices have penetrated an array of cultural spheres, and much cultural production which the SI would have dismissed as spectacular has claimed some Situationist influence.