Life After The Crash? Alternative Economy Cultures -seminar Friday 3rd April
This is a post I waited to post for a looong time. Me and Andrew Paterson have prepared a kick- ass seminar on peer-production. I will be posting more of it as we go on, but here’s the initial details:
Alternative Economy Cultures
Pixelache Seminar: Friday 3rd April & Sunday 5th April at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
Pixelache Festival brings the leading thinkers in alternative economic cultures to Finland – funded by you
After the collapse of free market and socialist systems it is a good time to ask what are the alternatives. The recent success of peer-to-peer organisations from Wikipedia and Barack Obama’s presidential campaign to Carrotmob and Open Source software, have raised expectations for this emerging way of organising and producing things. Now theorists and cultural practitioners of peer-to-peer come together in Finland under Pixelache Festival’s ’Alternative Economy Cultures’ seminar. Perhaps unsurprisingly the seminar is also peer-funded.
Photo: Geraldine Juarez / ‘Tanda Foundation’ installation
What is peer-to-peer
”Every time you tell a joke you take part in peer-production. Now something is happening to this. Peer-to-peer activity is quickly scaling up. For a long time Wikipedia has been the crown jewel of peer-to-peer production (P2P). Now we are starting to see P2P spreading outside internet and cultural goods. Cars, banks, food and even electricity is being produced this way. P2P has quickly created some the biggest organisations in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people contribute to Wikipedia and five million people worked for the Barack Obama’s election campaign. Our keynote speakers Michel Bauwens and Michael Albert argue that these institutions offer a credible alternative to state and private organisations.
Funded by you
An online donation system has been set up by partner organisation Demos Helsinki, Suomen Verkkomaksut and Nordkapp to explore the crowd-sourcing phenomena seen in Obama’s election campaign. ”This ’Alternative Economy Cultures’ programme was difficult to fund via the usual institutional channels. We aim to raise money to recover the costs of organising”, says Mokka.
Unique congregation of minds
Veteran-activist Michael Albert of ZCom (US) will present his vision of ’Participatory Economics (Parecon)’, and writer-researcher Michel Bauwens of P2P Foundation (BE/TH) will speak of his vision of ’Peer-to-Peer Economics and the Revolution in Values’. Both are in Finland thanks to individual pledges of enthusiasts and like-minded organisations who have made donations in return for some time with the speakers. As a local heritage keynote, Ruralia Institute research director Tapani Röppä (FI) remarks on village cooperation in Finland. Researching the field, politically-engaged artist Oliver Ressler (AT) speaks of his experience interviewing utopians, while philosopher Tere Vadén (FI) reflects on the sustainability of open source projects. Network theorist Felix Stalder (AT) and Sara Sajjad of Piratbyrån (SE) will light IP sparks to speak about remix and copy economies ’in the swarm’ online. As project-examples identifying resources and networked-exchange, Wojtek Mejor (PL) shares with us the free cultural world of events in Warsaw. Lead negotiator Saija-Riitta Sadeoja of Porkkanamafia (FI) will tell the story of a mob, developing into an institution committed to responsible-business activism, and performance artist Eero Yli-Vakkuri of Uuva Project (FI) will report on 1 year of promoting and using the Uuva currency to re-numerate under- or unpaid cultural work. The last two presentations will cover similar ground, but from two very different contexts: Geraldine Juarez (MX) will present her TandaTanda events, artefacts and techniques, materialising the donation of funds online for cultural project grants. Local co-founder Kristoffer Lawson of Scred (FI) will also explain and compare his peer-funding online system that emerged from organising the renowned Alternative Party events.
The full 1-day seminar, and related ’peer-funding’ workshop, has been organised by artist-researcher Andrew Gryf Paterson (Medialab TaiK) in cooperation with Roope Mokka of Demos Helsinki, and offers a new strand to the annual Pixelache festival of electronic art and subcultures, at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.
Furthermore, an online donation system has been set up by partner organisation Demos Helsinki, with the in-kind support of Suomen Verkkomaksut and implemented by Nordkapp, to explore the ‘crowdfunding’ phenomena seen in Obama’s election campaign. Can it be applied to support cultural events in Finland?
This ‘Alternative Economy Cultures’ programme was difficult to fund via the usual institutional channels. Already both keynote speakers (Albert and Bauwens) will be present in Helsinki thanks to the support of seed-funding from enthusiastic individual peers and non-profit organisations, covering their upfront travel costs.
We aim to raise money to recover the outlay costs of organising and supporting speakers. We will spread the surplus back among the contributors in the form of project grants and further events.
More info about donation system coming soon!