lecture

Fours Theses on Cultural Commons

This is an edited version of a presentation given at the “TCS Philosophy & Literature Conference 2019” (29 May – 2 June 2019) as part of a panel called “Creating Commons”, with Jeremy Gilbert and Tiziana Terranova. At this panel, my task was to present our research project Creating Commons. Given the short time for the presentation (20 minutes), I focused on four library projects, Ubu, aaaaarg, Monoskop, and Memory of the World (MotW) and I tried to distill some of the things we learned through them into “four theses on cultural commons”. So, here they are:

1. Infrastructure is politics
2. Copyright is so broken that few are left to enforce it.
3. Care is core
4. Appropriation is better than participation

Read the full text over at the Creating Commons research website.

Knowledge, Confusion, and Manipulation (Talk, HKW, Berlin)

In this talk, I try to make sense of our current techno-cultural moment in which reality is disappearing and reappearing in confusing ways. I point out two major developments relevant here. First, as capitalism expanded, it has created a system of communication that cannot, and does not want to, deal with meaning. And, second, as the complexity of the socio-techno-biological connections of society increases, the old ways of organizing knowledge have become increasingly unable to provide an accurate understanding of the world we are living in. In their place, a new type of knowledge regime is emerging that produces its own form of meaninglessness.

I use the analysis of the crisis of meaning as a starting point to also think about some of the "counter-measures" that might be appropriate to overcome this crisis.

Anyway, here's the talk which I gave as part of the "New Alphabet: Opening Days" event (10-13.01, 2019) at HKW in Berlin.

Following this was a great presentation by Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen on how machines are trained to "see" and how this creates what they call "predator vision". You can see their talk (starting at 00:33:00) and the discussion (starting at 01:05:00) on HKW's Facebook page.

Datensouveränität - jenseits des Datenschutzes

Radio Organge: Sendung vom 29.10.2018:

Katja Mayer und Felix Stalder auf der PrivacyWeek #3

Datensouveränität wird oftmals mit Datenschutz gleichgesetzt, dabei öffnet der Begriff vielfältige Möglichkeiten den Umgang mit Daten neu zu gestalten. Besonders interessant sind Ansätze die neue Institutionen hervorbringen um kollektiv Daten zu nutzen und so eine gemeinschaftliche Form von Souveränität zu stärken. Die Soziologin Katja Mayer und der Kultur- und Medienwissenschaftler Felix Stalder erörtern die Thematik anhand von Beispielen aus den Bereichen Open Science und Gesundheit sowie städtischen Technologieprojekten.

Im Website-Player abspielen (pop-up)
Archivierte Sendung im cultural broadcasting archive

Was neu ist, nervt, von Katrin Passig und Felix Stalder

09.06.2018 | 55 Min. | Quelle: Deutschlandfunk Nova

Neue App, neue Smartwatch, neuer Sprachassistent - manche von uns begeistern sich für jede technische Entwicklung. Aber dann gibt es auch die anderen, die Veränderungen sehr skeptisch gegenüberstehen.

Zwei Präsentationen im Rahmen der Veranstaltung "Internet und seelische Gesundheit" (10.05.2018)

Technopolitics: New Paradigms. Transmediale Panel (3.02.2017)

With its Timeline project, premiered in Berlin as part of transmediale festival, the Vienna based Technopolitics Working Group set forth the task of analyzing and visualizing the current paradigm and emergence of Information Society. The panel New Paradigms discusses the changing role and place of humanity in a world shaped by rapid progress in areas such as AI, machine learning, robotics, algorithmic trading, and Biocomputing. By examining the past, the group looks for ways to overcome the structural crisis of Information Society today, questioning: Which historical tendencies might gain added significance in the immediate future? How can we avoid conceiving of paradigm change as just another economic expansion? In which ways can artistic practice meaningfully intervene and point towards a new political ecology?

Watch the discussion or listen to the audio only of the panel discussion.

Speakers: Gabriele Gramelsberger, Gerald Nestler, Felix Stalder, Jutta Weber

Algorithms we want

This is my talk at the Unboxing: Algorithms, Data and Democracy. It starts in German but the talk itself is in Englisch.

If you prefer to read, here is the manuscript of the talk.

Algorithms we need

Initially, I wrote this talk in German, but decided in the last minute to give it in English. However, I hate to translate my own texts. So the English you hear now is 85% machine translation and 15% corrections by me. Perhaps you can tell which is which. The accent is 100% me. Or should I say, Canadian English filtered through Swiss German? It's hard to draw boundaries, these days.

Anyway, let me start with three assumptions. First, we need algorithms as part of an infrastructure that allows social complexity and dynamics to meet our real challenges. Second, many of the algorithms are made poorly. I think, in particular, of those that shape day-to-day social practices, algorithms that do what sociologists call "social sorting" (David Lyon) or "automatic discrimination" (Oscar H. Gandy). However, this will be the third point, these issues of poor design are only part of the problem because there is no autonomous technology, even if it is called "intelligent" or "self-learning".

We need algorithms
When I talk about algorithms, I do not mean isolated computer code, but socio-technical systems and institutional processes that automate parts of decision-making.

Monkeys, Profiles and Collectivities of Difference

This is a bit of an experimental format. The audio of the talk delivered last October is set to the slides. Since the slides are quite visual and should produce another layer of meaning, I hope this is more interesting than simply the audio. Let me know, what you think. More information on the conference (re)constructing authorship" at Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Lecture: Knowledge for all: from public to free

This lecture is from October 2014, held at the Public Library Conference in Stuttgart. But it has only recently been put online, together with all other lectures.. I think the entire conference is still very relevant.

In this lecture, I try to untangle the differences between resources that are managed as "public" and are thus connected to notions of the state and citizens and those that are managed as "free" and are thus based on notions of the commons and community. The differences are subtle, but in their consequences far reaching.

Politics of Data – Between Post-Democracy and Commons

The presentation at the conference Data Traces was in German, hence also the slides. Below is unedited live written english translation created by Felix Gerloff. It's a impressive on-the-spot summary, but don't parse words.

Felix Stalder: "Politics of Data – Between Post-Democracy and Commons"

– culture as "trade floor" of meaning / interpretation
– topic: how the structure of theses processes of debating meaning in culture changed
– significant change today: big data sets instead of small data
– the quantitative change quickly becomes a qualitative change, because it needs different approaches to deal with big data

Solidarity In The Euro-Crisis (Slow Politics Conference, Berlin 11.2014)

SLOW POLITICS investigated perspectives for a precarious generation that is deeply concerned about its rights, liberties and privileges: How can a communal feeling arise in Europe if national self-interests prevail? How can we practice transparency if secret services are booming beyond public control? How can our mobile societies restore inner peace if migrants are always "the others"? How can we save the environment if consumerism and economics remain rampant? 

What happens to free access to culture and knowledge if public institutions continue crumbling? On its third day of Public Talks SLOW POLITICS dealt with these future concerns in five panels and explored the common denominator linking all these issues.


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