🔵 10 keynote speakers, groups of organizers from 7 cities, 40 artists, and 18 young scholars enrolled. A dialogue between the city ethos and the communities.
- Organizer：China Academy of Art (CAA), School of Intermedia Art (SIMA), Institute of Network Society (INS)
- Convenor：Professor Huang Sunquan
- Academic Committee：Gao Shiming, Min Han, Yao Dajun, Huang Sunquan, Chen Chieh-jen, Yisi Liu, Zhou Peng-an
- City Forum Organizers：Yisi Liu, Homin Luo, Bi Xin, Cao Jiamin, Ye Funa, bAn, Zijie, Bruce, Tony, Li Jialin, Zimu Zhang
- Venue：China Academy of Art, Internet Archive, Parallel Institute，Chronus Art Center
- Team：Cyu, Fang Zi, Zhang Shuxuan, Song Jianhua, Yang Hongyi, Tang Ruiyun, Zheng Yeying, Zhang Dohan, Sun Binfa, Zhu Yan, Cai Zerui, Xu Yushan, Tang Qiuyu, Yuan Mengru, Bian Zicheng, Wang Siyun, Mara Ma, Zhang Yubin, Ren Binglin
- Visual Design：Cyu, Zheng Yeying
Professor Huang Sunquan
For the 6 years, the former 6 Annual Conferences of Network Society, “Forces of Reticulation”（2016）, “Another Walk with Lefebvre: Critique of Urbanism and Everyday Life in the Algorithmic Age”(2017), “Intelligent Urban Fabric”(2018), “Netizen 21: Beyond Personal Account”(2019), “The Web of Phronesis”(2020), and “Instantly Reciprocal：The Moments for Cooperative Life”(2021) has formed a unique academic network of worldwide experts on Network sociological studies.
The Seventh Annual Conferences of Network Society, “Nevermind the Web3, Here’s the P2P” is going to critically look back at the P2P(Peer to Peer), one of the most inspiring social technology throughout Tech history. This provocative proposition stems from our criticism of the development of Web3 that is tokenizing everything.
Today, Web3 is taking a progressive stance in linking technological finance to personal values, while evolving the self enlightenment and anti-establishment gesture of the 1960s of “turn on, tune in, drop out” into a high-intensity libertarian drive for individual investment: “all in” and “drop out (from large companies)”. Turn to P2P, a network technology and network topology, has so far developed various communities of interest in cyberspace; the spirit of sharing of copyright and academic production and its ethical and complex debates; the shape of the collaborative economy, etc. In the past 60-year tech history, people used personal computers and networks to communicate, to independently connect, however, today’s technologies have made people interested in technology more than in communities, trusting in code more than in social coordination. As Sherry Turkle, a Professor of the Society of Technology at MIT, indicates: the closer people get to the machines, the further they get from each other, and the technology makes people alone together.
The technical strategy, the ethics and the ideals of federalization adopted by P2P are clearly different from Web3’s blueprint of decentralization. P2P creates small and light-weight communities, while some Web3 projects are monetizing (yes, this is an ultimate goal), getting increasingly expensive, complex, and technology-dependent, with high failure rates and more energy consumption. We are not willing to see the individuals hiding behind anonymity and security, never disconnected, constantly distracted, reduced to objects or a string of hash values that can be browsed, paused, and instantly accessed by each other. Instead, we care about the relationships between individuals, especially how people gather together and communicate as groups.
Moreover, it is noticeable that some ongoing Web3 project has neglected the rich legacy of social movements including free software, Indymedia, open government data, digital democracy cities, participatory budgeting, creative commons, etc. Without the vision brought about by the democratic digital technology movement, there could be only evolutions of new technologies rather of society or culture. Since then, to criticize Norbert Wiener‘s cybernetics is to criticize today’s Web 3. In Wiener’s cybernetics, the analogy between man as machine and creature, where the shocking dilemma of information transmission and feedback to be solved has strangely made technological development theorists keep talking about what machines can be, rather than what machines can do for people.
At an earlier time, the sense of community the P2P generated was absolutely broad. In 1999, when Napster was found, 70-90% of network traffic on US university campuses was P2P. Around the year 2000, when the anti-globalization movement was on the rise, the Seattle Indymedia site integrated nodes from 120 cities through RSS technology, creating the News Agency of the People. It has been widely recognized as a symbolistic case of grassrooted space of flows, being built from the bottom up in the form of People-City-Global”. Web2 netizens are very familiar with this scenario, While Web3 netizens refurbishes old technologies, rhetorically packaging decentralisation and free trade as the ultimate answer to political-social-cultural development. Should we all in this game? The Seventh Annual Conference of Network Society tries to gather people who cares about the issues, to critically and creatively review the rich community culture constituted by the P2P thtough seven City Panels and one Young Scholar Forum.
In the conclusion of Texts/Contexts Of “Other Spaces”, Michel Foucault says: “In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.” Now, its time for us to question in the future where negotiation and conflict are being replaced with the procedure and public property with proof of individual property.
🔵 CITY PANELS
From the 1960s onwards, computers were no longer purely computational functions. It became a tool for acknowledging, communicating, and collaborating across disciplines.
Within a circle of almost five and a half miles, the Mid-Peninsula region of San Francisco, California, is home to the Augmented Human Intellect Research Center (AHIRC), headed by Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute; the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), headed by John McCarthy; the People’s Computer Corporation (PCC) on the Kepler‘s Book; the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which created the first personal computer; the CIA-led psychedelic experiment, and the company’s global headquarters and network, Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog. The techno-culture developed in this area, as represented by bands like The Grateful Dead, included student movements, anti-war, psychedelic, spiritual liberation, hippie, etc. At the time, hundreds of thousands of young people marched to the rural frontier, forming a new communitarian faction that parted ways with the political New Left. When the New Left concerned with political reform, the young people concerned with freeing the individuals through technologies, to keep away with the establishments and fight the grip of the military-industrial complex (to some extents, they all believed in Technological Optimism). Accordingly, it is not too much to say that city ethos has shaped computer and Internet culture.
In the 1960s, the dream of developing personal computers and connecting each other came to fruition. The information networks brought by computers became a “common world” in which people thought, communicated, expressed themselves and acted socially. Everything frozen and impenetrable was then “transparent” as if a frictionless world.
There is a time lag between the invention of technology and the application of its transmission. Technology, as a unity of space and abstraction, is realized through the ‘translation’ of place and community. According to the mainstream tech-history, electricity and steam engines in the nineteenth century, and informatics and computers in the twentieth century were not transmitted from the centre to each place fluently, but were reformatted by the regime, society and culture of the places. Each technological practice was reconfigured by the “ethos” of the city.
The City Panels at the Seventh Annual Conference of Network Society are both fieldworks and questions about socially extended discourse on the conference theme. Today’s technological art is becoming increasingly homogeneous. Artists demonstrate new technologies a lot, paying little attention to who, especially the places, the technologies are made for. We believe that the ethos of cities are sets of values universally recognized by their inhabitants. When nations are becoming increasingly global, cities could become bases of counter-globalization, through constructing local cultural identities. Since then, We are curious about the way the city ethos works, especially about how they effect technological art maker based in different places. Therefore, the city panels invited curators and artists from seven cities, to set their own themes of concern, and express the possibilities of cities as “multi-species gardens”
👈 DANIEL ROSS
Daniel Ross obtained his doctorate from Monash University in 2002 with a thesis on Martin Heidegger. He is the author of Violent Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and Psychopolitical Anaphylaxis: Steps Towards a Metacosmics (Open Humanities Press, 2021). He has translated a dozen books by Bernard Stiegler, most recently the collective work composed and edited by Stiegler and the Internation Collective, entitled Bifurcate: There Is No Alternative (Open Humanities Press, 2021). He is also the co-director of the prize-winning film The Ister(2004).
👈 FARID RAKUN & JULIA SARISETIATI
Trained as an architect (B.Arch from Universitas Indonesia and M.Arch from Cranbrook Academy of Art), farid rakun wears different hats dependent on who is asking. He is a part of the artists’ collective ruangrupa with whom he co-curated TRANSaction: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem NL and provided a collective Artistic Direction for documenta fifteen (Kassel, 2022).
Julia Sarisetiati graduated from the photography major of Arts and Design Faculty Trisakti University. In Gudskul she teaches a subject titled “Collective Sustainability”. A big part of her artistic practice focuses on Indonesian migrant workforces sustainability and ecosystem.Some of her recent exhibitions includes “SIASAT” Jakarta Biennale Indonesia (2013) “Hacking Urban Reality Series” Copenhagen (2016) 11th Gwangju Biennale Korea (2016) “We’re in this together” The Factory Contemporary Art Space Saigon (2018) and “Choreographed Knowledges” Cemeti Institute for Art and Society Yogyakarta (2019). In 2017 she curated the media art festival OK.Video where she exhibited works on the theme of “pangan” (food) developing ideas into laboratory-based research projects to demonstrate and explore economic and social sustainability. As a curator she also took part in “RETURNS: Migration Narratives in Southeast and East Asia” with the Goethe Institute.
👈 SINGING CHEN
Singing CHEN’s work encompasses fiction, documentary and VR films and has received numerous festival accolades. Her debut Bundled (2000) competed at Vancouver and God, Man, Dog (2007) screened at Berlinale, VIFF, HK, Busan and elsewhere. Chen’s documentaries detail artistic practice and the environment. Through VR technology she explores space and movement. Afterimage for Tomorrow (2018) was exhibited at the NewImage Festival. Her latest VR experience The Man Who Couldn’t Leave (2022) won Venice Immersive Best Experience at 79th Venice International Film Festival. Chen’s collective work is marked by a deep empathy for disenfranchised characters and a strong sense of social justice.
👈 GARRY BRENTS
Garry Brents was born in California in 1987 and now lives in Texas, USA. He is the mastermind of numerous black metal projects (Cara Nair/Gonemage/Homeskin, etc.) and is an active member of the current anti-NSBM (“anti-National Socialist black metal”) wave of the black metal community. In his solo project Gonemage and the duo Cara Neir, Garry Brants fuses chip music with black metal in a frenzied way and uses old gaming equipment in his recordings to create chaotic yet dreamy soundscapes.
👈 BREWSTER KAHLE
Brewster Lurton Kahle born October 21, 1960, is an American digital librarian, a computer engineer, Internet entrepreneur, and advocate of universal access to all knowledge. Kahle founded the Internet Archive and Alexa Internet. In 2012, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
Jung Hsu, researcher and new media artist based in Berlin. She attempts to combine interdisciplinary knowledge with artistic research to create heterogeneous encounters. In her process, she responds to the current social situation with multiple perspectives and uses metaphorical objects to create a speculative scenario. Her recent work has focused on micro-biopolitics and crypto-guilt.
Natalia Rivera, artist of emergent-media currently exploring the possibilities of digital technologies as inter living-entities mutual aid media. In the context of indeterminate/queer knowledge creation, their processes are indisciplinary, open, collective, collaborative and communitarian, through the Mutante laboratory (Bogotá) and the global Suratómica Network for creation – art and science.
Their collaboration ‘Bi0film.net’ won the Golden Nica Award in the ‘Interactive Art’ category at the 2022 Linz Festival of Electronic Arts.
👈 Xin Liu（Livid）
Xin Liu (Livid) is a designer and programmer, and the creator of V2EX.com, a community of creative workers. V2EX is an online community of start-ups, designers, developers and creative people, and the goal of this community is to create a great place to discuss technical details – why and how people build other things.
👈 Mai Ishikawa Sutton
Mai Ishikawa Sutton is an organizer, facilitator, editor, and writer who is the co-founder and editor of COMPOST, an online magazine about the digital commons, and a Digital Commons Fellow at Commons Network.
Her work sits at the intersection of technology and solidarity economy; since spring 2019, she has been involved with the Internet Archive’s work on organizing conversations, resources, and events around the Decentralized Web (DWeb), and she is one of the original stewards of the DWeb principles.