David Blamey, Brad Haylock (eds.): Distributed (2018)

22 June 2018, dusan

“The power of knowledge lies not only in generating ideas, but also in controlling their dispersion. For those who would seek to influence others, the dissemination of ideas is paramount. For those looking to protect the fruits of intellectual labor for reasons of profit or ethics, distribution is something to control. Either way, distribution is a key concern across the spectrum of cultural production, particularly at a time when digital networks have facilitated an unprecedented access to audiences.

Bringing together contributors from a variety of backgrounds, Distributed presents the act of distribution as a subject of significant social and economic importance and argues that it merits serious creative consideration. From the attention-seeking impulse of the “influencer” to the democratization of art via books, performances, videos or sound, the increased urge to disseminate is explored here as an elemental phenomenon of our time.”

Texts by Ahmed Ansari, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Justin Clemens, Alex Coles, Jonathan Lindley, Neil Cummings, Arnaud Desjardin, Markus Miessen, Sean Dockray & Benjamin Forster, Billie Muraben, Patricia Reed, Adrian Shaughnessy, Freek Lomme, Eva Weinmayr, et al.

Publisher Open Editions, London, 2018
ISBN 9780949004093
252 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Trebor Scholz: Platform Cooperativism: Challenging the Corporate Sharing Economy (2016) [EN, DE]

16 January 2016, dusan

“The “sharing economy” wasn’t supposed to be this way. Aided by the tiny computers most of us carry with us all day, every day, we would be free from the burdens of ownership and making money in our spare time by renting out our unused possessions. The vison was—or at least appeared to be—an idealistic one. Even before they enter kindergarten, every child learns the value of sharing, and here were the beneficent forces of Silicon Valley bringing us innovative new tools to strengthen our communities, disrupt outdated ways of doing business, and maybe even reduce our carbon footprints.

The reality turned out to be a little different. Sure, Uber and its ilk offer remarkable convenience and a nearly magical user experience, but their innovation lies just as much in evading regulations as in developing new technology. Behind the apps lies an army of contract workers without the protections offered to ordinary employees, much less the backing of a union. This new economy is not really about sharing at all. Rather, as Trebor Scholz argues in this study, it is an on-demand service economy that is spreading market relations deeper into our lives.

With these new middlemen sucking profits out of previously un-monetized interactions, creating new forms of hyper-exploitation, and spreading precarity throughout the workforce, what can we do? Scholz insists that we need not just resistance but a positive alternative. He calls this alternative “platform cooperativism,” which encompasses new ownership models for the Internet. Platform cooperativism insists that we’ll only be able to address the myriad ills of the sharing economy—that is to say platform capitalism—by changing ownership, establishing democratic governance, and reinvigorating solidarity. In this paper, Scholz breathes life into this idea by describing both actually existing and possible examples of platform co-ops, outlining basic principles for fairly operating labor platforms on the Internet, and suggesting next steps.”

Publisher Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, Jan 2016
27 pages

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Publisher

Platform Cooperativism (English, 2016, PDF, 6 MB)
Plattform-Kooperativismus (German, 2016, HTML, added on 2016-6-19)

Koons Crooks: Iterating Grace (2015)

6 December 2015, dusan

A pseudonymous pamphlet satirizing startup culture.

Self-published in June 2015
[36] pages
HT Denisa Kera

Commentary: Alexis C. Madrigal, cont., NYT.

PDF (4 MB)