geertlovinkevaluatingalternatives

Nettimes: Evaluating Alternatives - a Lecture by Geert Lovink

Published on Feb 2, 2016

Speaker: Geert Lovink
Recording date: 28 January 2016
Location: Bureau Europa
Title: Evaluating Alternatives: a lecture by Geert Lovink

Description:

Renowned media theorist Geert Lovink visits Bureau Europa to talk
about currency design, technologies of payment, and the role of the
designer in economic experiments. In the aftermath of multiple
financial crises, a growing number of developers, hackers,
entrepreneurs, and other creators are preoccupied with the design of
our financial futures.

On 28 January Geert Lovink will visit Bureau Europa to talk about
currency design, technologies of payment, and the role of designers in
economic experiments.

In the aftermath of multiple financial crises, a growing number of
developers, hackers, entrepreneurs and other creators have occupied
themselves with the design of our financial future. Disillusioned by
‘the system’, they have turned to information technology and the idea
of users who arrange their own rewards in peer-to-peer systems.
Especially the advance of ‘cryptocurrency’ Bitcoin has been in the
spotlight, but in fact the list of alternative platforms is endless
(e.g. Amazon Coins, Linden Dollars, BerkShares).

In this lecture, Lovink will take a closer look at the, often
ambitious, promises and aims of these economic alternatives. Many
models express a desire to remove all political control of finance
through the mediation of technology. However, it is unclear if design
choices stand the test of real-world implementation. Bitcoin, claiming
to be free, anonymous, secure, and politically neutral by design, has
received severe criticism on all those aspects. Similarly, the
Internet itself was once promoted as a technology that automatically
expands democratic practice. Because such linearity is rarely the
case, scaling up globally seems to be a common challenge for economic
‘alternatives’. Should they try to find a more local, ‘complimentary’
function? How and on which scale can these new techniques create
economic and social value?

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, Internet critic and author of Zero
Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012), and Social Media
Abyss (coming up). From 2004-2013 he taught in the new media Master
program at Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. In his current role
as director of the Institute of Network Cultures, Geert Lovink has
co-organised various conferences on critical media theory and
contemporary media culture. He is also a leading scholar in the
Moneylab Project, bringing together artists, activists and
 researchers.

This lecture is part of the series ‘Evaluating Alternatives’, in which
Bureau Europa discusses alternative revenue models for and by
designers and the creative industry.