Strategies for Critical Internet Cultures in the Age of Trump

Short thesis

I will give a brief overview of recent projects of the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam, framed by strategic considerations where to take next concepts that I have been working, such as organized networks. How can we bring together the critique of platform capitalism with alternatives in social media? Is it enough to dream up subversive memes to beat the Trump regime, reverse Brexit and beat European right-wing populism?


We're overwhelmed by media events that unfold in real-time. Is this spectacle a smoke screen for more drastic, longterm measure? What's our own plan? The politically correct strategies of 'civil society' are all well-meant and related to important issues but seem to move towards a parallel universe, unable to response to the cynical meme design that is rapidly taking over key power positions. Are there ways to not just hit back but also be one step ahead? How can we move from data to Dada and become a 21st century avantgarde, one that truely understands the technological imperative and shows that "we are the social in social media"? How do we develop, and then scale up, critical concepts and bring together politics and aesthetics in a way that speaks to the online millions? How do you make fun of the petty world of the xenophobes? Generations have studied the mistakes made in the interbellum, but what's the conclusion, now that we're in a similar situation? How can we design, and then mobilze, a collective networked desire that unites us in a 'deep diversity'? What do we have in stock now that it's time to act? Is the promise of open, distributed networks going to do the job?