activism

“How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism”

Cory Doctorow’s answer to Shoshana Zuboff’s thesis. A long read, but well worth it.

What if the trauma of living through real conspiracies all around us — conspiracies among wealthy people, their lobbyists, and lawmakers to bury inconvenient facts and evidence of wrongdoing (these conspiracies are commonly known as “corruption”) — is making people vulnerable to conspiracy theories?


https://pluralistic.net/2020/08/26/destroy-surveillance-capitalism/#surveillance-monopolism

CryptoParty

poster by Paula

CRYPTOPARTY
26 November, 18.00 h
GLASMOOG, KHM

Digitale Selbstverteidigung, Workshop, Austausch und Gespräche zur Emanzipation aus der technologisch bedingten Ohnmacht

CryptoPartys sind eine globale DIY-Initiative zur Vermittlung von konkretem Wissen rund um das Thema digitale Selbstverteidigung: Welche Grundkenntnisse sind nötig, um sich selbstbestimmt und sicher im Netz bewegen und kommunizieren zu können? Was sind die ersten Schritte? Wir helfen beim Einstieg in die Rückeroberung der Datenhoheit.

Im Zentrum des Workshops stehen Themen wie Sicherheit im Netz, Anonymität, Verschlüsselung und private Kommunikation, Anpassung der eigenen Geräte, Alternativen zum Mainstream. Bitte Rechner mitbringen, um direkt vor Ort loslegen zu können. Auch am Smartphone kann man noch einiges optimieren, diese sind aber wesentlich weniger anpassungsfähig.

Für fortgeschrittene Anwender sind auch diesmal wieder Ansprechpartner vom Kölner Chaos Computer Club und aus der freien Szene dabei, um Hilfestellung bei spezifischeren Fragestellungen zu geben.

Eine Initiative der Surveillant Architectures Group, GLASMOOG und crypto.cologne

Workshop, exchange and conversations to emancipate from technologically conditioned powerlessness 

CryptoPartys are a global DIY initiative to communicate concrete knowledge about digital self-defense: What basic skills are necessary to be able to move and communicate self-determinedly and securely on the Internet? What are the first steps? We help you to get started in the re-conquest of data sovereignty. The workshop focuses on topics such as security on the net, anonymity, encryption and private communication, adapting one’s own devices, alternatives to the mainstream. Please bring your own computer with you so that you can get started right away. There is also some potential for optimization on smartphones, but these are much less adaptable. For advanced users, our contacts from the Cologne Chaos Computer Club and from the independent scene will once again be there to help with more specific questions.

An initiative of the Surveillant Architectures Group, GLASMOOG and crypto.cologne

https://www.khm.de/glasmoog_programmarchiv/news.4794.cryptoparty/

This is your phone on feminism | How to fix our disturbingly unequal relationship with smartphones

… btw, looking forward to the upcoming CrypoParty @ Glasmoog on 26 November 2019, where we will have a workshop, exchange and conversations to emancipate from technologically conditioned powerlessness!

Here are some of the ways our unequal relationship with our smartphones is like an abusive relationship: 

They isolate us from deeper, competing relationships in favour of superficial contact – ‘user engagement’ – that keeps their hold on us strong. Working with social media, they insidiously curate our social lives, manipulating us emotionally with dark patterns to keep us scrolling.

They tell us the onus is on us to manage their behavior. It’s our job to tiptoe around them and limit their harms. Spending too much time on a literally-designed-to-be-behaviorally-addictive phone? They send company-approved messages about our online time, but ban from their stores the apps that would really cut our use. We just need to use willpower. We just need to be good enough to deserve them.

They betray us, leaking data / spreading secrets. What we shared privately with them is suddenly public. Sometimes this destroys lives, but hey, we only have ourselves to blame. They fight nasty and under-handed, and are so, so sorry when they get caught that we’re meant to feel bad for them. But they never truly change, and each time we take them back, we grow weaker.

They love-bomb us when we try to break away, piling on the free data or device upgrades, making us click through page after page of dark pattern, telling us no one understands us like they do, no one else sees everything we really are, no one else will want us.  

It’s impossible to just cut them off. They’ve wormed themselves into every part of our lives, making life without them unimaginable. And anyway, the relationship is complicated. There is love in it, or there once was. Surely we can get back to that if we just manage them the way they want us to?

 Nope. Our devices are basically gaslighting us. They tell us they work for and care about us, and if we just treat them right then we can learn to trust them. But all the evidence shows the opposite is true. This cognitive dissonance confuses and paralyses us.

Using CCTV to bring down fascists

The Forensic Architecture team has release another masterful media investigation: THE MURDER OF PAVLOS FYSSAS

Here’s the quick summary. Full video linked below

 

In 2013, members of the Greek Nazi movement “Golden Dawn” murdered the antifascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas on the streets of Athens, a murder that was covered up by members of the Greek police, known to be riddled with Golden Dawn infiltrators, and abetted by Members of Parliament from Golden Dawn.

As the case works its way through the Greek courts, the University of London’s “Forensic Architecture” group has been called in to make sense of a welter of evidence about the crime and the cover-up, deploying their system of using “architectural techniques and technologies to investigate cases of state violence and violations of human rights around the world.”

The result is a 37 minute video that Talos on Metafilter a masterpiece of analytic exposition and impressively recreates the events surrounding the murder based on available data sources — it is.

The Fyssas trial has the potential to bring down Golden Dawn, to bring its true nature as an organized crime group into the open, to eliminate it from the Greek Parliament and to trigger a purge of Nazi elements from the Greek police. It is nothing short of seismic.

But even if you don’t care about any of that, this video is remarkable, a stitching-together of disparate and flawed evidence sources in a way that uses the strengths of one to overlap and fix the weaknesses of the other, creating a coherent and devastating story that is as well-told as any crime drama. It is truly virtuoso work.

Much of the original audio and video material was without an accurate timestamp, and it became apparent that attempts by the Greek police investigators to address this problem were insufficient. As a result, our researchers had to assess the material from scratch, and deduce the correct time and location of each piece of footage.

Audio recordings were assembled into a timed sequence through a process of sound analysis. CCTV footage from various locations around the scene was synchronised and given an accurate timestamp by reference to the sequence of audio recordings.

(via BoingBoing)

Geert Lovink / Medienkatastrophe talk

A State of the Platform Address

By Geert Lovink

20 April 2017, 18h, KHM Aula
This lecture deals with the changes over the years from media, via networks to platforms. What does it mean that the internet has become infrastructure, penetrating society, from taxis to hotels to agriculture and healthcare, going well beyond the media and communication realm? What do we mean when we talk about ‘platform capitalism’? What is aggregation and does it play out in different contexts? We all know how social media operate in daily life, but what’s the next step, and how can the art world, start to play a role in these massive changes in society?

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012) and Social Media Abyss (2016). Since 2004 he is researcher in the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) where he is the founder of the Institute of Network Cultures. His centre recently organized conferences, publications and research networks such as Video Vortex (the politics and aesthetics of online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), MoneyLab (internet-based revenue models in the arts) and a project on the future of art criticism.

Network Cultures Critique! Buzzwords: Era of Social Media Monopolies / Platform Capitalism / Cryptocurrencies / the end of the “free” services business model /  etc etc. He’s meeting us at 16h to look at some of your projects. There are a million talks on Youtube. From a short interview about Social Media:

“I sincerely hope that we can still break it open and have space for more experimentation. Because what we see is the reverse development. And that’s got to do with the fact that people are more and more familiarizing themselves. It’s all slipping into this new level of mass subconsciousness, where the social media become part of the everyday life. We all know that, when you walk into the elevator, very very likely he or she is going to get out the smartphone and check it before they arrive at the 6th floor. That is a new habit. And it’s this habitual element which is very very dangerous. Because it forbids further experimentation, and kind of solidifies the network architectures and says, this is what it is. If we know what it is, it can then enter the collective subconsciousness. And that is a very dangerous moment. And that is the moment of complete and utter state and corporate control.”

Update: here’s the recording

Yes Men – Anti-terrorism "personal security" Hoax

This week, in the European Parliament in Brussels, a “defense and security consultant” from a group called “Global Security Response” presented a new kind of solution to terrorism. Showing in a very clever way how the military approach to terrorism is failing.

I love the look of those spheres.

Here’s the entire presentation including slides. Some photos and the press release. More photos. The fake company website.

 

Conference ›EVERY STEP YOU TAKE‹, 12.-15. November 2015, Dortmund

Opening this Thursday! (12th November 2015, 18:00, Dortmunder U, Cinema, free admission) Welcome addresses, opening lecture (de) by Hans Ulrich Reck (Academy of Media Arts Cologne), film programme, part I: “Living Data” with works by Walter Koch, Ridley Scott, Norman Cowie, Emma Charles, Steffen Köhn, Jen Liu, introduction: Florian Wüst.

And this is just day one. Programme booklet (Programmheft): www.medienwerk-nrw.de/news/everystepyoutake

I’m on a panel with someone from the fantastic Peng!Collective on Sunday Nov 15, from 17.30-18.30, talking about my Hop 3 project currently on show here in Cologne, and how art & activism can go together.

On Saturday Nov 14, Holly Herndron will perform together with Mat Dryhurst in the context of the medienwerk.nrw conference “Every Step You Take” – Art and Society in the Data Age” , at Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity. Admission is free! Please RSVP here: tickets@medienwerk-nrw.de

Video: Holly Herndon/Metahaven (already a classic)