Animal Spirits: About the dark side of the Web

On 20 January 2009, the new INC-NAi publication Animal Spirits, by Matteo Pasquinelli was launched at Waag Society. The program kicked off with a word of welcome by the host Lucas Evers, head of the e-culture programme at Waag Society. He pointed out that this launch was taking place in the heart of the Dutch creative industries, and welcomed all critique!
INC founding director Geert Lovink presented the ‘Studies in Network Cultures’ series, of which he is the editor, and introduced Matteo’s publication, the third book in this series.

Left: Sebastian Olma, middle: Matteo Pasquinelli, right: Geert Lovink

Next, philosopher Sebastian Olma responded to the book and asked Matteo some questions about his approach and asked what the ‘dark side of the Web’ actually is? Matteo gave the example of what he refers to as war pornography, the violent imagery of Abu Ghraib, and the field of internet pornography. Sebastian concluded that Matteo’s important contribution is that he regards the negative forces (Spinoza) as something that can be productive.

Merijn Oudenampsen
Urban sociologist Merijn Oudenampsen pointed at the local Dutch situation, saying that here the right -wing populist media have claimed the legitimacy of the underbelly of society. He explained this underbelly as the consumptive beast that wants to go to war and buy a plasma television. He stressed that the right -wing media has found a way to work with this, in their topics and imagery. In response, the left-wing activists have taken up therole of rationality, saying no to consumption. Matteo encouraged the audience to be productive and consume more. The launch ended with a lively debate with the audience, followed by drinks.

The audience

Special thanks to Sebastian Olma and Merijn Oudenampsen for their contributions, to Lucas Evers for hosting the event, and to Barbera van Kooij and Willemijn from NAi Publishers for their presence and the book stand.

Animal Spirits can be ordered online on (in NL: 19,50 euro).
Going to Transmediale 09? Visit the INC book stand @ Transmediale next Tuesday -Thursday.

Listen to the interview with Matteo Pasquinelli by Pit Schultz here:, or read:

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