Silent Works Event: Berlin als Technopolis, Sep. 23, 2020, Berlin
The project Silent Works organizes the event “Berlin as Technopolis,” to which we are partner. It will take place on September 23, 2020 in the St-Matthäus Kirche in Berlin.
Berlin as Technopolis: Big tech is using the Covid-19 pandemic to take over Berlin. Amazon, for instance, one of the biggest profiteers of the crisis, is turning its logistical empire into ‘critical infrastructure.’ Meanwhile, workers are being romanticized as an ‘essential’ labor force in order to suppress their bargaining power: ‘heroes’ are expected to sacrifice themselves for ‘the greater good’ rather than go on strike. This big tech-driven neo-feudalism is crowned by Amazon’s soon-to-be erected tower in the heart of the city. How can workers, that is: how can we, join forces against the rising Technopolis?
A panel discussion about “Berlin vs. Amazon” and the Berliner Gazette’s Silent Works project. With activists from “Berlin vs. Amazon” and “Berlin Tech Workers Coalition”. Moderation: Magdalena Taube (Berliner Gazette).
The panel discussion serves as a teaser to the forthcoming series of events Silent Works at Haus der Statistik in Berlin (Nov. 7-28, 2020).
More information here and here.
September 11th, 2020, Event / Projects
David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”
September 7th, 2020, Tom
T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk: “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”
August 21st, 2020, Tom
Bernard Stiegler, quoted from The Neganthropocene (trans. Daniel Ross): “Does anyone really believe that it is possible to ‘solve’ the problems of climate change, habitat destruction and cultural destruction without addressing the consumerist basis of the present macro-economic system, or vice versa, or without addressing the way in which this system depletes the psychic energy required to find the collective will, belief, hope and reason to address this planetary challenge? Can this consumerism really survive the coming wave of automation that threatens to decimate its customer base and undermine the ‘consumer confidence’ that is fundamental to its perpetual growth requirements, themselves antithetical, once again, to the problems of biospherical preservation?”
August 14th, 2020, Tom