High Internet Weirdness comprises a 2-week workshop on mapping alternative political subcultures online, as well as several public events that take place in the first week. All events will take place in the University Theatre of the University of Amsterdam.
1 -12 July – Political subcultures summer school
At the boundaries of the liberal-democratic center where politics has grown stale and is reduced to a form of authoritarian technocracy, what is left of the political splinters into a thousand blistering fragments, creating new pockets of radical thought masquerading as political cosplay. In these liminal spaces outside of the purview of the “lamestream” media, where the basic institutionalized reality-consensus starts to unravel, the lines that separate left from right, conservative and progressive, traditionalist and futurist, start to grow porous and open to new invigorations: from Randtian eco-capitalists and anarcho-primitivists to anti-Civilizationists and bacterial-rights activists. One of the ways in which these strange new political subcultures can be divided up is by a political compass that creates a multi-dimensional space consisting of three oppositional axes: left-right, authoritarian-anarchist, and traditionalist-futurist (more dimensions could obviously be added). Another way to look at these phenomena is that of tribalism. During the summer school, we will develop new frameworks for mapping these new political subcultures or “tribes”, using the political compass meme as a starting point to use a combination of digital and artistic research methods.
Open to participants of the DMI summer school and others.
Monday 1 July
Lecture by Rose Rowson – A Gemini Would Say That: Modern Astrology and Digital Culture
Emerging two thousand years B.C.E. and having been practiced, celebrated, and critiqued across cultures worldwide, in 2019 astrology is a lucrative part of the $2.2billion mystical and psychic services market. How did we get here? Working from the introduction of Western newspaper astrology in the 1930s to the recent explosion of astrological content on digital platforms, this lecture brings into focus the tensions between star-gazing and massively networked data processing as epistemologies of identification and prediction.
Keynote by Erik Davis – Robert Anton Wilson and the Discordian Origins of Meme Magick
Based on research into the Discordian Society, the author Robert Anton Wilson, and the Illuminatus! trilogy, this talk will illuminate the anarcho-libertarian currents of the American counterculture. Despite very different intentions, these “anti-displinary politics” and prankster games with conspiracies, occult ideas, and weird fictions eventually seeded the digital ground for today’s meme magick battles.
Panel discussion (with Marc Tuters, Daniël de Zeeuw)
Thursday 11 July
15:00 – 17:00
Workshop by The Mona Lisa’s: Worldbuilding – A Political Sockpuppet Conversion Game
Go Right, Go Left, Go Authoritarian, Go Libertarian. We invite you to come and play the political conversion game by engaging with various memetic tribes. Be a political extremist on all levels of political speculation and cultivate your temporary epistemic insecurity.
To be announced:
Drawing the weird internet session in Clusterduck’s Superinternet Space.
This series of events is a collaboration between the Institute of Network Cultures and the Open Intelligence Lab.