Twenty Years of Institute of Network Cultures

Saturday 13th January, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

Dear nettimers,

this Friday our Institute of Network Cultures ( celebrates 20 years of our research group being based inside the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA). The party will take place at OT301 with a program featuring our recent activities, followed by a line-up of DJs.You can find the full program here: There is a possibility to follow a live stream of the event:

These days there is a third generation of researchers and producers at INC (with changes in 2012 and 2020). The current staff at the moment is Sepp, Chloë, Tommaso and Geert (sharing 2.9 fte). The centre consists of a growing network of interns that then become associated researchers etc. plus visiting researchers. Unfortunately we can no longer find the money to host interenational conferences of our research networks as we used to do in past such as Incommunicado, VideoVortex, Urban Screens, Unlike Us, Critical Point of View and Society of the Query. Amsterdam and the national (cultural) funding landscape in NL has changed a lot. Nonetheless we doing our best to host smaller events in Amsterdam and elsewhere, such as the recent first on-site MoneyLab conference and exhibition after Covid last November in Limmasol, Cyprus and we’re still very keen to work with international partners.

We’re still trying to make a difference, not just by criticizing Silicon Valley platforms while also making a difference with alternative practices, supporting unruly artists, activists and researchers. No doubt this has been downhill struggle, working on Lost Causes such as social media alternatives in particular. We were forced to focus more on the dark side and its mental impact of the 24/7 online life of the billions. Let history judge how effective all this was.

There is no doubt that our work over the past years shifted from networking to publishing, or expanded publishing as we call it these days. While at the beginning we were focussed on series such as the INC readers, longforms and Theory of Demand, spreading skills for independent DIY publishing in hybrid formats, these days we focussing on online video content and formats with our Void channel, in close collaboration with our live streaming partner UKRAiNATV in Krakow and Kyiv and the growing ‘Eurovision’ network of studios that want to make a difference to the influencer logic of the ultra-short add logic of Insta and TikTok. The idea here is create a network that will support and host its own PeerTube server and do ‘hybrid togetherness’ live events. More on that soon!

Another example of expanded publishing would be my new essay, published yesterday by Eurozine: that comes with a song, produced in Krakow at UKRAiNATV: The question here: how do you cope?

On Friday we’ll also launch a new series of 20.000 word essays called Network Notion. The first title is Alessandro Sbordoni’s Semiotics of the End, On Capitalism and the Apocalypse: A second title on dark forests will be out soon.

What else? Soon the Going Hybrid Live Publication will come out (also a new format. the result of a two year research project), as will the third critical meme reader in the spring. That’s it. We have a newsletter and increasingly make use of our Telegram channel that you can here: Please contact us if you want to collaborate!

Best from Geert & INC team

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