Covid has flooded our lives with online encounters and interactions. We work, minding our image on screen, or struggle to socialise in a hall of mirrors. Geert Lovink considers what we have lost and how we can reclaim our bodies, relationships and shared physical spaces.
Dutch media theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012) and Social Media Abyss (2016). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The centre organizes conferences, publications and research networks, such as Video Vortex (online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search) and MoneyLab (an internet-based revenue models in the arts). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism.
Comment on cancel culture
Social media users can be forgiven for feeling dissatisfied. ‘Old media’ news, based on the perpetual celebrity comeback, has hit a conceptual impasse with new cancel culture. Geert Lovink calls for the renewal of social networking tools giving users a constructive voice.
Exploring online hyper-sensibilities
Can we rethink bots and algorithms so that they become tools that work for us, instead of an invisible, oppressive system that tries to deceive us? How can we redesign the ‘social’ in a way that doesn’t allow trolls to permanently disrupt our thinking and behaviour?
While classical melancholy was defined by isolation and introspection, today’s tristesse plays out amidst busy social media interactions. Geert Lovink on ‘technological sadness’ – the default mental state of the online billions.
Ebbs and flows in social media sensibility
Disillusion with social media only stimulates the search for ever more refined techniques of manipulation. Detoxing won’t help, writes Geert Lovink: it is collective action, not will power, that can free us from the permanent state of distraction.
Reinventing our culture in the Internet age
Without a proper understanding of the way the global (data) economy actually works, we can’t effectively reinvent our culture. So says Geert Lovink in conversation with István Józsa. Lovink’s solution: while building independent infrastructures remains of primary importance, net criticism needs updating and upgrading, before it becomes subject to deletion.
A conversation with Spanish social critic César Rendueles
Let’s not confuse contemporary social atomization with freedom as a complex project that requires some degree of cooperation and mutual support, says César Rendueles. And reject, once and for all, the technological ideology that extols cooperation and community building only when these are mediated by digital technologies.
A conversation with Astra Taylor
The Internet and the World Wide Web were designed with a combination of academic, public service and even countercultural values, says Astra Taylor. So why do we accept that corporate values should now take precedent? Introducing the “people’s platform”.
Vindictive, politicized, conspiratorial, reckless: one need not agree with WikiLeaks’ modus operandi to acknowledge its service to democracy. Geert Lovink and Patrice Riemens see in WikiLeaks indications of a new culture of exposure beyond the traditional politics of openness and transparency.
The colonization of real-time and other trends in Web 2.0
The neurological turn in recent web criticism exploits “the obsession with anything related to the mind, brain and consciousness”. Geert Lovink turns the discussion to the politics of network architecture, exploring connections between the colonization of real-time and the rise of the national web.
A tribute to Joseph Weizenbaum
“There is only one way to turn signals into information, through interpretation”, wrote the computer critic Joseph Weizenbaum. As Google’s hegemony over online content increases, argues Geert Lovink, we should stop searching and start questioning.
Media theorist and Internet activist Geert Lovink formulates a theory of weblogs that goes beyond the usual rhetoric of citizens’ journalism. Blogs lead to decay, he writes. What’s declining is the “Belief in the Message”. Instead of presenting blog entries as mere self-promotion, we should interpret them as decadent artefacts that remotely dismantle the broadcast model.