Murphy on Wed, 20 Apr 2005 21:11:00 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Imaginary Futures -- A presentation by Richard Barbrook

Saturday April 23
The Thing at Postmasters
459 West 19th Street

'Imaginary Futures.'
A presentation by Richard Barbrook

Respondent: Trebor Scholz

In the modern world, our understanding of the present is often shaped by
sci-fi fantasies about what is to come.
Ironically, the most influential of these visions of the future are
already decades old. We are already living in the times when they were
supposed to have come true. In his presentations, Richard Barbrook will
analyze the origins and evolution of three imaginary futures: artificial
intelligence; the information society; and the gift culture. By showing
that the future is what it used to be, he will argue that it is time for
us to invent new futures.

Dr. Richard Barbrook was educated at Cambridge, Essex and Kent
universities. During the early-1980s, he was involved in pirate and
community radio broadcasting. He helped to set up Spectrum Radio, a
multi-lingual station operating in London, and published extensively on
radio issues. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, Richard worked for a
research institute at the University of Westminster on media regulation
within the EU. Some of this research was later published in 'Media
Freedom: the contradictions of communications in the age of
modernity' (Pluto Press, London 1995). Richard is currently
researcher-in-residence at the Institute for Distributed Creativity

Since the mid-1990s, Richard has been coordinator of the Hypermedia
Research Centre at the University of Westminster and is course leader of
its MA in Hypermedia Studies. In collaboration with Andy Cameron, he
wrote 'The Californian Ideology' which was a pioneering critique of the
neo-liberal politics of 'Wired' magazine. In the last few years, Richard
has written a series of articles exploring the impact of the sharing of
information over the Net, including 'The Hi-Tech Gift Economy' and
'Cyber-communism'. He is presently working on a book - 'Imaginary
Futures' =AD which is about how ideas from the 1960s and 1970s shape our
contemporary conception of the information society. A selection of
Richard's writings are available on the Hypermedia Research Center's
website. (

Trebor Scholz is a New York-based media artist, writer and organizer.
He is professor at the Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo and
founder of the Institute for Distributed Creativity.

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