Katja van Stiphout

At the end of the 20th century, hacking was bleeding edge. When the ideas, practices and pranks of this experimental niche of technophiles attracted the attention of a handful of activists in Italy, they understood that information and communication were what would give shape and voice to social, political, and cultural processes in the near future. +KAOS is a cut and paste of interviews, like a documentary film transposed on paper. It describes the peculiar relationship between hacktivism and activism, in Italy and beyond, highlighting the importance of maintaining digital infrastructures. While this may not sound as glamorous as sneaking into ...

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Beyond ICT4D: New Media Research in Uganda is a collection of ethnographic reports from diverse perspectives of those living at the other end of the African ICT pyramid. Crucially, these texts refocus on the so-called “ICT4D” debate away from the standard western lens, which depicts users in the developing world as passive receivers of Western technological development, towards Ugandans whose use and production of technologies entail innovations from the ground up. It is this ‘other’ everyday point of view that is too often missing in the ICT4D debate: valuable voices that put technologies, projects and organizations into their proper context. Conducted ...

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How to conceptualize online sociability in the 21st century? To answer this question, Communities at a Crossroads looks back at the mid-2000s. With the burst of the creative-entrepreneur alliance, the territorialisation of the internet and the commercialization of interpersonal ties, that period constituted a turning point for digital communitarian cultures. Many of the techno-libertarian culture’s utopias underpinning the ideas for online sociability faced systematic counter evidence. This change in paradigm has still consequences today. Avoiding both empty invocations of community and swift conclusions of doom, Annalisa Pelizza investigates the theories of actions that have underpinned the development of techno-social digital assemblages ...

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Creative Networks explores the dawn of the Internet culture in the age of network society from the perspective of Eastern Europe. From a theoretical angle the networks are introduced and interpreted as complex socio-technical systems. The author analyzes the development of these networked self-organized formations starting off with ‘virtual communities’ of ‘creative networks’, which emerged during the early phase of the Internet, up to the phenomena of today’s online ‘social networks’. Along with the translocal case studies of Nettime, Syndicate, Faces and Xchange networks (as well as with the other important facets of the 1990s network culture in Europe), the ...

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For millions of internet users around the globe, the search for new knowledge begins with Wikipedia. The encyclopedia’s rapid rise, novel organization, and freely offered content have been marveled at and denounced by a host of commentators. Critical Point of View moves beyond unflagging praise, well-worn facts, and questions about its reliability and accuracy, to unveil the complex, messy, and controversial realities of a distributed knowledge platform. The essays, interviews and artworks brought together in this reader form part of the overarching Critical Point of View research initiative, which began with a conference in Bangalore (January 2010), followed by events in Amsterdam (March ...

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Culture of the Selfie is an in-depth art-historical overview of self-portraiture, using a set of theories from visual studies, narratology, media studies, psychotherapy, and political principles. Collecting information from various fields, juxtaposing them on the historical time-line of artworks, the book focuses on space in self-portraits, shared between the person self-portraying and the viewer. What is the missing information of the transparent relationship to the self and what kind of world appears behind each selfie? As the ‘world behind one’s back’ is gradually taking larger place in the visual field, the book dwells on a capacity of selfies to master ...

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Depletion Design suggests that ideas of exhaustion cut across cultural, environmentalist, and political idioms and offers ways to explore the emergence of new material assemblages. We, or so we are told, are running out of time, of time to develop alternatives to a new politics of emergency, as constant crisis has exhausted the means of a politics of representation too slow for the state of exception, too ignorant of the distribution of political agency, too focused on the governability of financial architectures. But new forms of individual and collective agency already emerge, as we learn to live, love, work within the ...

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This study examines the dynamics of critical Internet culture after the medium opened to a broader audience in the mid 1990s. It is Geert Lovink’s PhD thesis, submitted late 2002, written in between his two books on the same topic: Dark Fiber (2002) and My First Recession (2003). The core of the research consists of four case studies of non-profit networks: the Amsterdam community provider, The Digital City (DDS); the early years of the nettime mailinglist community; a history of the European new media arts network Syndicate; and an analysis of the streaming media network Xchange. The research describes the search for sustainable community ...

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Global gaming networks are heterogenous collectives of localized practices, not unified commercial products. Shifting the analysis of digital games to local specificities that build and perform the global and general, Gaming Rhythms employs ethnographic work conducted in Venezuela and Australia to account for the material experiences of actual game players. This book explores the materiality of digital play across diverse locations and argues that the dynamic relation between the everyday life of the player and the experience of digital game play can only be understood by examining play-practices in their specific situations.

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From the fast-food industry to the sharing economy, precarious work has become the norm in contemporary capitalism, like the anti-globalization movement predicted it would. This book describes how the precariat came into being under neoliberalism and how it has radicalized in response to crisis and austerity. It investigates the political economy of precarity and the historical sociology of the precariat, and discusses movements of precarious youth against oligopoly and oligarchy in Europe, America, and East Asia. Foti covers the three fundamental dates of recent history: the financial crisis of 2008, the political revolutions of 2011, and the national-populist backlash of ...

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How do global audiences use streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix and iPlayer? How does the experience of digital video change according to location? What strategies do people use to access out-of-region content? What are the commercial and governmental motivations behind geoblocking?

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Moving away from the strong body of critique of pervasive ‘bad data’ practices by both governments and private actors in the globalized digital economy, this book aims to paint an alternative, more optimistic but still pragmatic picture of the datafied future. The authors examine and propose ‘good data’ practices, values and principles from an interdisciplinary, international perspective. From ideas of data sovereignty and justice, to manifestos for change and calls for activism, this collection opens a multifaceted conversation on the kinds of futures we want to see, and presents concrete steps on how we can start realizing good data in ...

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This reader is a collection of essays written by Turkish graduate students between 2003 and 2010 for Andreas Treske’s seminar ‘Image, Time and Motion’ at Bilkent University in Ankara, revised and actualized in 2010. Coming from a wide range of disciplines they had studied before, very rarely media or cultural studies, these students brought in their various viewpoints and methods, and tried to integrate their observations and understandings in a seminar related to cinema and new media to discuss and sometimes just to describe the influences of digital media technologies for themselves and their colleagues. Starting from the premise that ...

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If we recognize that copyright is unfeasible, and unjustifiable, what should our response be? Immediately comes to mind that copyright provides an investment protection to blockbusters, best sellers and stars. It distorts cultural markets and pushes a wide variety of cultural expressions out of sight. At the same time, cultural conglomerates controlling copyright dominate cultural markets by owning the means of production, distribution, marketing and reception of cultural expressions. From the perspective of democracy and fair competition this type of market control is not to be tolerated. Thus, let us imagine what abolishing copyright would accomplish, while we do not ...

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Internet on the Outstation provides a new take on the digital divide. Why do whole communities choose to go without the internet when the infrastructure for access is in place? Through an in-depth exploration of the digital practices occurring in Aboriginal households in remote central Australia, the authors address both the dynamics of internet adoption and the benefits that flow from its use. The book challenges us to think beyond the standard explanations for the digital divide, arguing that digital exclusion is not just another symptom of social exclusion. At its heart, Internet on the Outstation is a compelling examination ...

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This PDF / Print-on-Demand issue brings together a selection of texts in which the media theoreticians and nettime founders Pit Schultz and Geert Lovink jointly formulated the main features of the network critique concept between 1995 and 1997. At that time published in German in scattered publications and largely forgotten in the meantime, they are now published for the first time collected. They provide a glimpse into the early stages of the development of the Internet and the beginning of a critical debate characterized by a particular joy in discussion and speculation. The Internet was not yet a ubiquitous reality, but its future ...

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MoneyLab is part of a global movement that demands the democratization of the design of our financial futures. Audacity is essential in times of crisis. And so we must engage constructively with hackers, entrepreneurs, and other creators who take up the call for economic alternatives. One first step is a map of the present: What works and what doesn’t? What is worth pursuing and what must be left aside? Which histories bear on the present moment? And what are the limits of our economic imagination? The MoneyLab Reader brings developments in crowdfunding, currency design, technologies of payment, and other economic ...

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My First Recession starts after the party is over. This study maps the transition of critical Internet culture from the mid to late 1990s Internet craze to the dotcom crash, the subsequent meltdown of global financial markets and 9/11. In his discussion of the dotcom boom-and-bust cycle, Geert Lovink lays out the challenges faced by critical Internet culture today. In a series of case studies, Lovink meticulously describes the ambivalent attitude that artists and activists take as they veer back and forth between euphoria and skepticism. As a part of this process, Lovink examines the internal dynamics of virtual communities ...

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The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006. This two-day conference sought to bring the trends and tendencies around the creative industries into critical question. The ‘creative industries’ concept was initiated by the UK Blair government in 1997 to revitalise de-industrialised urban zones. Gathering momentum after being celebrated in Richard Florida’s best-seller The Creative Class (2002), the concept mobilised around the world as the zeitgeist of creative entrepreneurs and policy-makers. Despite the euphoria surrounding the creative industries, there ...

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In On Editorialization: Structuring Space and Authority in the Digital Age Marcello Vitali-Rosati examines how authority changes in the digital era. Authority seems to have vanished in the age of the web, since the spatial relationships that authority depends on are thought to have levelled out: there are no limits or boundaries, no hierarchies or organized structures anymore. Vitali-Rosati claims the opposite to be the case: digital space is well-structured and material and has specific forms of authority. Editorialization is one key process that organizes this space and thus brings into being digital authority. Investigating this process of editorialization, Vitali-Rosati reveals how ...

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From Mah-Jong, to the introduction of Prussian war-games, through to the emergence of location-based play: maps and play share a long and diverse history. This monograph shows how mapping and playing unfold in the digital age, when the relations between these apparently separate tropes are increasingly woven together. Fluid networks of interaction have encouraged a proliferation of hybrid forms of mapping and playing and a rich plethora of contemporary case-studies, ranging from fieldwork, golf, activism and automotive navigation, to pervasive and desktop-based games evidences this trend. Examining these cases shows how mapping and playing can form productive synergies, but also ...

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Looking up something online is one of the most common applications of the web. Whether with a laptop or smartphone, we search the web from wherever we are, at any given moment. ‘Googling’ has become so entwined in our daily routines that we rarely question it. However, search engines such as Google or Bing determine what part of the web we get to see, shaping our knowledge and perceptions of the world. But there is a world beyond Google – geographically, culturally, and technologically. The Society of the Query network was founded in 2009 to delve into the larger societal and ...

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This book examines the most recent shifts in contemporary art practice. By working with artists and closely observing the way in which they relate to urban space and engage other people, locally and globally, Nikos Papastergiadis provides a critical account of the transformation of art and public culture. He shows art has sought to democratise the big issues of our time and utilize new information technologies. While the concept of the everyday highlights the potential for transformation at the level of the individual, at the same time it has to be seen as a critique of broader structures; in this ...

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In The Dark Side of Google Italian writers’ collective Ippolita provides a thorough, fresh analysis of what is behind the universe of Google and the metadata industry. In recent years Google has established itself as a major point of Internet access. We have progressively adapted to its sober, reassuring interface and its advertisements (discretely off to the side, yet always present). We have adopted its services and the habit of using it to the degree that ‘googling’ has become a form of behavior: ‘If you don’t know what it is, Google it!’ Google shows mastery in taking advantage of our need for simplicity. ...

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In their new work research collective Ippolita provides a critical investigation of the inner workings of Facebook as a model for all commercial social networks. Facebook is an extraordinary platform that can generate large profit from the daily activities of its users. Facebook may appear to be a form of free entertainment and self-promotion but in reality its users are working for the development of a new type of market where they trade relationships. As users of social media we have willingly submitted to a vast social, economic and cultural experiment. By critically examining the theories of Californian right-libertarians, Ippolita show ...

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