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Tag Archives: Hacktivism

The Entire Net


JANUARY 20 & 21, 2012


New media technologies are leading to the emergence of vibrant public spaces in countries like China and Tunisia, facilitating previously restricted dissent and political deliberation. Similarly, scholars, journalists, and activists are using networking and social media to organize coalitions and mobilize resistance in contexts as diverse as the Wisconsin protests, the Wall Street protests, and the so-called “Arab Spring.” In an ironic self-critique, smartphone applications like the newly released “Phone Game” are even exposing the global working conditions and problematic material production of contemporary consumer technology through their very gameplay. With the implicit resistance to hegemony and material critique in these examples, Marxism offers both methodological and interpretive tools for interfacing with new media, not least among them a dialectical analysis of the global relations of production. However, writing in the Nation, Chris Lehmann has recently argued that the Internet is less the harbinger of post-capitalist cyber-Utopia than a “digital plantation” in which unpaid digital labor and leisure time become transmogrified into ad revenue. In their article, “The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism,” John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney likewise argue that the Internet and related media signify not the suspension of the laws of capitalism, but rather their final perfection.

It seems, then, that a number of unresolved questions linger concerning the ways new media both participate in and creatively resist institutional power. As such, we hope to provide a fresh articulation interrogating the intersection between the theories and practices of new media technologies and Marxist critique. For example: how should we consider the economic, environmental, and human costs incurred in the production of new media technologies? How might resistance and radical change emerge among the ongoing institutionalization, and the incumbent conservatism, of both Marxism and new media studies? How will we navigate through the internal divisions of an academy that has eagerly appropriated new media as a strategy to “reinvigorate” the humanities through renewed funding and (often) corporate partnership?

We invite both papers and creative/artistic work that address these issues and others that deal with the engagement of Marxist thought and the study of media technologies. Papers may intervene at points of seeming incompatibility, address the current place of this convergence in one or many institutional and cultural settings, or perhaps look forward to emerging discourses relating to this intersection.


Possible paper, project, and panel topics might include:

* New Opportunities for Resistance, Wikileaks, Hacking and Hacktivism, Pirate Culture, the Arab Spring, the Jasmine Revolution, and Anonymous

* Immaterial Labor, User-Generated Content, the Knowledge Worker, Affective Labor, Precariousness and “the Precariat,” the DigitalPlantation, and the Attention Economy

* Intellectual Property, Copyright,Creative Commons, Open Access and Open Source Practices, and Virtual Property

* New Forms of Collectivity, Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing, Flash Mobs, Smart Mobs, and Partcipatory Journalism

* New Regimes of Control, Censorship, Filtering, Firewalls, and Search Engine Rankings

* New Media Art

* Critical Code Studies

* Critical Game Studies

* Biomedicine and Biometrics

* Energy, Ecology, Tech Trash

* The Open University

* ‘Re-Visualizing’ Marxism

* Ideology, Contact Zones, and Interfaces


Please send a 250-500 word abstract to by October 30, 2011.

Zach Blas
Gerry Canavan
Amanda Starling Gould
Rachel Greenspan
Melody Jue
Lisa Klarr
Clarissa Lee
John Stadler
Michael Swacha
Karim Wissa


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The Island


GAIA – Global Alliance for Immediate Alteration
New Transnational Social Network Union to Crack Capitalism and Protect Life, Peace and Justice on Earth

This space is an experiment for constructing a new type of transnational social network union that aims at bringing individual industrial and non-industrial workers in the Global North, the precariat in the Global South; peasants, domestic, immigrant and jobless workers together with social movement activists from other struggle fields, activist/researchers and many others who has to work in order to reproduce his/her life and to provide an open space where we can connect our networks and struggles to each other.

GAIA project is an open invitation for inventing a world wide, common, grassroots, wiki social movement union that will aim an immediate alteration of capitalist social, cultural, and political order. Hundreds of millions not if billions of workers in the world are out of reach for the established trade union mechanisms and structures, they do not have any protection at all. Peter Waterman calls them ‘Labour’s others’, for some others they are the new working class; the precariat composed of people who hold  no property and even secure job.

What kind of trade union structure will be able to go beyond the ongoing problems, and the crisis of unionism that had been born out of those well known problems, and will become the change maker of our time? Can an open space online social networking ensemble become a model for such future union organisation through the internet?

There are already many good examples of action and organising taking place via the net and incredible results are getting reached, as it happened in 2007 when financial support has been mobilized from the wealthier segments of the Western working classes for the Ford worker’s first ever strike organised in Russia since the beginning of the 20th Century.

For already some times online social networking is gaining ground as an important and dynamic form of communication and collective action tool. Many activists are involved today in one or another social networks on the net, as well as on the real world. Time has come to transform this tool into a new generation social movement union. Therefore we need comprehensive discussion on how can this happen, would it work, how would we build and gain legal ground for such a union, is it possible, or necessary? How would such union look like, be governed and function against the offensive coming from the employer and the state?

‘Social Network Unionism’ working group has recently been created with the aim of promoting such discussion and providing space for comprehensive work in order to experiment with Social Network Union idea by utilizing the opportunity created by UnionBook. With the creation of GAIA space within Open WSF, I would like to invite all who involved one way or other in labour and trade union movements, environmental justice activists, women rights activists, immigrants’ rights activists, water justice activists, information activists, activist students and others from other struggle fields to join and contribute to build GAIA space together as network of networks that can stop capitalism and save the peoples and the mother earth.

Please join GAIA, invent discussion groups on below or any other relevant topics and lead the experiment to save our common future:
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Please join and contribute GAIA and spread the word.

In solidarity!

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