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<nettime-ann> Lecture Series: Do You Believe in Users
Geert Lovink on Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:13:21 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Lecture Series: Do You Believe in Users


Subject: Lecture Series: Do You Believe in Users
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 22:31:53 +0200
From: olia lialina <olia {AT} profolia.org>
To: nettime-ann {AT} nettime.org

Speakers:  Jason Scott, Niscal Roy, Christina Xu, goto80
Place:  New  State Library of Stuttgart
Organised by Olia Lialina
http://merz-akademie.de/lectures/series/do-you-believe-in-users (deutcsh)

Do You Believe in Users?

This question, asked in the legendary 1985 movie Tron, nowadays would have to be asked with a smile, as a nostalgic remark about the days when "apps" in neon costumes competed with each other and their users in racing games -- but instead it is gaining earnest relevance.

Three years ago in the introduction to the Digital Folklore Reader we asked "Do you believe in Users?" to emphasize that the personal computer must be regarded as a medium with a cultural history shaped more by its users and less by its inventors.

In this lecture series we raise the question again, for the sole purpose of reminding that computer users do actually still exist, along with their right to understand how their computers, big and small, work. This is essential in times when interaction processes got way too smooth, pleasant and invisible, when designers and developers don't even talk

We invited five speakers, whose academic, artistic, curatorial and archival work make personal computer and its user visible again.

Mi, 31.10. "The Power of User Error" Christina Xu, co-founder of Awesome Foundation and ROFLcon (Boston) roflcon.org/ christina {AT} roflcon.org

So we have the people who just create, and people who just use, but what about all the people in the middle who come up with innovative ways of using the technology? Consider the early Twitter users who imported the hashtags and {AT} s from IRC and made them so popular that they're now part of Twitter's official design terminology. These people are still users, but their use patterns blaze trails for others. And any user can become one of these, like a school of fish turning in random directions! A lot of our ROFLCon guests follow this pattern; they are people who somehow started a trend among other users.

Mi, 14.11. "Hackers and Suckers: Understanding the 8-bit Underground" Anders Carlsson (goto80), musician (Göteborg) www.goto80.com/ info {AT} goto80.com

Discussions of 8-bit art and music is usually framed in words like limitations, nostalgia and reappropriation. The lecture will examine where these discourses come from and suggest better concepts, that are also useful in modern computing. By combining his long-time personal experience as a musician with research in low-tech hacker cultures, Anders Carlsson’s ideas about man-machine creativity is both controversial and pragmatic.

Di, 04.12. "Where are the Files" Jason Scott, archivist and computer technology historian (New York) http://textfiles.com/ jason {AT} textfiles.com

"And what happened in the last decade or so, is that an awful lot of computer history is in danger. A lot of it has been deleted. In fact, if you step back and look at it, the loss of data has moved to epidemic proportions. I use the term epidemic specifically here; I mean that there is a mental condition to accept the loss of data as the price of doing business with computers. And beyond that, the expectation that data will be lost, and the spreading of this idea to the point that data loss becomes no big thing."

Di, 11.12. "Useless Things", Niklas Roy, artist (Berlin), niklasroy.com nikl {AT} s-roy.de

Niklas Roy uses art in order to explore technology. The outcome of his research are mechanical sculptures, electric machines, interactive performances and electronic devices. Before concentrating on making art, he worked as director, as 3D animator and as visual effect supervisor for several international film productions.

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