Is sadness a bug or a feature of today’s internet? How are we supposed to stay optimistic towards a highly insecure future? The fourth and final event within the Life Hacks series is about mood and attitude as hackable states.
Net critic Geert Lovink discusses his upcoming book Sad By Design: On Platform Nihilism (2019) while sociologist Marguerite van den Berg will talk about how we are asked to be optimistic about our work and future and the kinds of affective labour this demands.
Marguerite van den Berg
Marguerite van den Berg is associate professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Master Sociology. She is interested in the urban, gender and work. In particular, her current work focuses on precarization and precarity, especially as seen through the lense of aesthetics in her project dress work. In Spring 2017 she published Gender in the Post-Fordist Urban – The Gender Revolution in Planning and Public Policy (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). She has been a visiting scholar at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City and at Humboldt University in Berlin. She teaches in the Sociology program of the University of Amsterdam, in particular the courses Public Issues and Policy (MA) and Gender and Sex in the City (MA).
Geert Lovink, is a Dutch 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), Social Media Abyss (2016) and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004 he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His centre organizes conferences, publications and research networks such as Video Vortex (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). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism. He also teaches at the European Graduate School (Saas-Fee/Malta) where he supervises PhD students.
Life Hacks is part of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s fellowship program around the theme of burn-out. As 2017 fellow Ramon Amaro states, “On the one hand, to ‘burn out’ is to stall, break, or become otherwise unusable. In other words, processes, procedure and participation simply stop working. On the other hand, ‘burn out’ is an opportunity to break open, promote action and catalyse change towards new structures and relations.”
Life Hacks manifests in a series of gatherings that respond to this ambivalence by exploring the approaches and techniques adopted to design or redesign life against the backdrop of growing precarity and an intensified entrepreneurial regime. Together with theorists, practitioners and XPUB, the Experimental Publishing program of the Piet Zwart Institute, Life Hacks looks into the tensions and releases that emerge from the constant reinvention and progressive self-optimization necessary to inhabit public and private space, manage time and productivity, and tweak one’s own thoughts and feelings.
Life Hacks is curated by Silvio Lorusso, and jointly organized by Het Nieuwe Instituut's Research Department and XPUB.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Free, register via Tickets