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McKenzie Wark and Trebor Scholz in conversation with Richard Barbrook

Monday, April 18, 6pm
Room 316 Graduate Faculty
New School University
65 5th Ave
(between 13th & 14th Sts)

'Imaginary Futures'
In the modern world, our understanding of the present is often shaped by sci-fi fantasies about what is to come. Ironically, the most influential of these visions of the future are already decades old. We are already living in the times when they were supposed to have come true. In his presentations, Richard Barbrook will analyse the origins and evolution of three imaginary futures: artificial intelligence; the information society; and the gift culture. By showing that the future is what it used to be, he will argue that it is time for us to invent new futures.

Richard Barbrook is one of the most radical critics of the neo-liberal cyber-elite. In contrast, Barbrook thinks that the importance of the latest wave of technological innovation lies precisely in its ability to challenge the ideologies of the self-proclaimed opinion leaders. The Net allows for the emergence of spontaneous and flexible virtual communities, defining themselves less by market exchange than by social convention.
Richard Barbrook was educated at Cambridge, Essex and Kent universities. During the early-1980s, he was involved in pirate and community radio broadcasting. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, Richard worked for a research institute at the University of Westminster on media regulation within the EU. For the last few years, Richard has been coordinator of the Hypermedia Research Centre at the University of Westminster and was the first course leader of its MA in Hypermedia Studies. At present, Richard is preparing 'Imaginary Futures' for publication as a book.

Trebor Scholz is a media artist, writer and organizer who works in the fields of media art, event-based cultural practice, education, and network culture. His work has been exhibited at the Sao Paulo Biennial, the Venice Biennial (with Martha Rosler/ The Fleas), the Web Biennial of the Istanbul Museum for Contemporary Art and many other venues. Scholz has facilitated several large scale programs such as "FreeCooperation" (with Geert Lovink),  "Right2Fight" (with Dominique Malaquais), "Aestheticization of War" (PS1/MOMA), and Kosovo: Carnival in the Eye of the Storm. He has lectured at ISEA 04 (Helsinki, Tallin), Transmediale 04 (Berlin), Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Conference (Singapore), Stanford University, New York University, University of California Los Angeles, and Dartmouth College. He is professor and researcher at the Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo. In 2004 Scholz founded the Institute for Distributed Creativity.

McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard 2004) and several other books. He co-edited the nettime anthology Readme! (Autonomedia 1999). He teaches media studies at New School University.

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