The Internet platform t0 – Public Netbase in Vienna and the magazine Mute in London both have an emphasis on critical media discourse and both came into being about twenty years ago. Both played a pioneering role in their respective contexts as regards the emergence of a diverse Net culture and the discourse accompanying it. Both have been exposed, in different ways, to the upheavals and turning points of the ensuing era. More than enough reason then to reflect on developments in the field and track parallels and divergences in various locations, as well as to look into future prospects. To which end, representatives from both platforms took part in the following roundtable. They remain active today in the World Information Institute, which grew out of Public Netbase, and in the online medium metamute.org.
Cultural producers should be relaxed about digital technology’s erosion of copyright, writes Felix Stalder. A weak copyright regime offers a chance to re-embed cultural production in concrete, personal relationships out of which new economic models can and do emerge.
As the culture and the institutions of the Gutenberg Galaxy wane, Felix Stalder looks to commons, assemblies, swarms and weak networks as a basis for remaking society in a more inclusive and diverse way, which expands autonomy and solidarity at the same time.
WikiLeaks’ series of exposés is causing a very different news and informational landscape to emerge. Whilst acknowledging the structural leakiness of networked organisations, Felix Stalder finds deeper reasons for the crisis of information security and the new distribution of investigative journalism.