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Geert Lovink, founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. In 2004 Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. In Dark Fiber (2002) he mapped the cultural politics of the exuberant dotcom years from 1993 to 2001. My First Recession (2003) covered the dotcom crash and further investigated the social dynamics of online communities. The next so-called Web 2.0 wave of blogs and social networking sites was dealt with in The Principle of Notworking (2005). In 2005-06 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg – the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical internet culture, Zero Comments (2007) in which a theory of blogging was developed.
Academic track record:
- 1984 MA in political science from the University of Amsterdam.
- 2002 PhD fellowship from the University of Melbourne.
- August 27, 2003 PhD in English Literature, Media & Communication programme, University of Melbourne.
- 2003 Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Queensland in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies.
- 2003 Digital Cultures Fellowship, English Department, University of California, Santa Barbara.
- 2003-2005 Member of the Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council, New York.
- 2003 Faculty Advisory Committee, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.
- 2004 appointment as ‘lector’ (research professor), Institute of Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Amsterdam Polytechnic) and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Humanities Faculty, Department of Media Studies (new media program). As of January 2008 both jobs are tenured position.
- 2004 Founded the Institute of Network Cultures.
- 2004-2006 Honorary Research Advisor within the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
- 2005-2006 fellow at the Berlin Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute of Advanced Study)
- Three ‘Next Five Minutes’ events in Amsterdam (1993, 1996, 1999). Together with a small team, I conceptualised and developed these events, which have retrospectively shaped the thinking about media activism and the political use of the internet. Through these events we established international recognition of the term tactical media. It is to be noted that academic literature is now extensively examining this term – its history, scope and implications, given, for example, that the 2008 US presidential elections are to be won or lost on YouTube, and that governments around the world are involved in Wikipedia edit-wars and other ways to censor or alter internet content.
- The ‘nettime’ project from 1995 till 1999. I was co-founder and co-ordinator of this international interdisciplinary online discussion platform, which now runs in five languages. Within this project the entire concept of net criticism was launched, twelve years ago. The agenda was to formulate a ‘cultural politics of the Internet’ in which artists, programmers, activists and academics could work together in a productive interplay of online debate, essay writing, interviews, gatherings, conferences and paper publications (readers) culminating in the READ ME! book in 1999. With co-founder Pit Schultz in Berlin, I was the driving force in the realisation of these activities in this early phase of nettime, which continues to this day as a leading forum on the cultural politics of the internet. See nettime.org. This work continued while in Australia with the co-founding of the fibreculture.org network in 2001.
- Over the last two decades Lovink has lived and worked in places regarded by mainstream internet dialogue as somewhat ‘off the map’: Eastern Europe (in particular Romania and Hungary), India, Brazil and Australia. Of particular importance is his involvement, since its inception, in the Sarai New Media Centre, part of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDC) in Delhi, in partnership with Waag Society in Amsterdam ( HYPERLINK “http://www.sarai.net” www.sarai.net). Related to this work is the founding and on-going direction of the Incommunicado research network, which is active in the field of ICT for Development. Incommunicado proved that there was a great need for a radical critique of notions such as ‘information society’, ‘e-governance’, ‘digital divide’ and ‘global civil society’.
- Since 1991 Lovink has developed expertise in the organisation of international, groundbreaking conferences. Recent examples which I conceptualized and helped produce include Free Cooperation (SUNY Buffalo, 2004), the ‘fibreculture’ meetings (Australia, 2001-03), Crisis Media (Delhi, 2002), and the Distributed Aesthetics workshop in 2006 hosted by the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin. Since 2004, the Institute I direct has organized a series of international conferences in Amsterdam: A Decade of Web Design (2005), Incommunicado: A Critique of ICT for Development (2005), Urban Screens (2005), Art & Politics of Netporn (2005), MyCreativity: Convention on Creative Industries Research (2006), the ASCA-University of Amsterdam conference New Network Theory (2007), and a series of (upcoming) events in Brussels and Amsterdam called Video Vortex: Online Video as Mass Practice (2007-2008). More information on the conferences initiated by my Institute is available at www.networkcultures.org.
Recent book publications
- Dark Fiber, Tracking Critical Internet Culture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002. (Translated into German, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Japanese).
- Uncanny Networks, In Dialogue with the Virtual Intelligentsia, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002.
- My First Recession, Critical Internet Culture in Transition, V2, Rotterdam/NL, 2003. (Translated into Italian).
- The Principle of Notworking, Amsterdam University Press, 2005. (Translated into Dutch, French and Hindi).
- Zero Comments, Kernels of Critical Internet Culture, Routledge, New York, 2007. (Translated into German and Italian).
- Blog Theory (with Jodi Dean), Polity Press, Cambridge, 2008.
Recent co-edited publications
- MyCreativity Reader (with Ned Rossiter), Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2007.
- Free Cooperation (with Trebor Scholz), Autonomedia, New York, 2007.
- In the Shade of the Commons, Towards a Culture of Open Networks (with Lipika Bansal and Paul Keller), Waag/Sarai, Amsterdam/Delhi, 2006.
- Reformatting Politics, Information Technology and Global Civil Society (with Jodi Dean and Jon W. Anderson), Routledge, New York, 2006.
- Turbulence, Sarai Reader 06, Delhi: Sarai-CSDS, 2006 (member of editorial team since the founding of this annual journal in 2001).
- Incommunicado Reader, Information Technology for Everybody Else, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2005 (with Soenke Zehle).
Selected recent book contributions
- Indifference of the Networked Presence: On Time Management of the Self, in: Robert Hassan/Ronald E. Purser (ed.), 24/7-Time and Temporality in the Network Society, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2007.
- Loose Bonds (with Michel Fefer), in: Michel Fefer (ed.), Nongovernmental Politics, Zone Books, New York, 2007.
- Critique of Ranking & Listing: An Exchange with Kenneth C. Werbin, in: Arthur Bradley/Louis Armand (ed.), Technicity, Prague, Litteraria Pragensia, 2006.
Selected lectures in 2006-2007
- Keynote address at the Humanities Research Institute Summer School, University of California Irvine, August 2006.
- Lectures at the New School, Brooklyn Polytechnic (New York) and the Catholic University (Washington DC), October 2006.
- Lecture, University of Sydney, Dept. of Media and Communications, December 2006.
- Lectures at University of Bucharest, Department of Photo-Video and Art History and New Europe College (Institute of Advanced Study), April 2007.
- Lecture/workshop, New Media Arts Dept. University of Split, Croatia, April 2006.
- Keynote panel at the International Communication Association conference, San Francisco, May 2007.
- Speaker, Future of Character conference, Einsteinforum Forum, Potsdam, June 2007.
- Keynote speaker, Web 2.0 Inclusiva-net.org conference, MediaLab Madrid, July 2007.
- Lecture, Web 2.0 “Ich, Wir und die Anderen” conference, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Sept. 2007.
- Lecture as part of the The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, Berkeley Center for New Media, University of California Berkeley, October 2007.
- Lecture, Global Conversations/Festival of Marginalized Languages, University of California Irvine, October 2007.