Wikipedia has become the seventh most popular website in the world, which means, for a critical mass of Internet users the search for new knowledge begins with Wikipedia. The encyclopedia’s rapid rise, novel organization, and willingness to offer its outputs for free are all quite remarkable and have been marveled at and celebrated at length.

However, the very fact that Wikipedia is such a dominant resource, the fact that its novelties and innovations transform rather than simply dis- tribute knowledge (what constitutes knowledge, how it is used, written, contested, maintained and consumed), requires moving beyond uncritical celebration.

The Critical Point of View conference brings together critical researchers and Wikipedians from all over the world to share and build insights into the complex and messy reality of this distributed knowledge machine: What are the new processes for determining the threshold of knowledge and how do they actually play out? What are the new relations that emerge between this knowledge reference and external institutions such as schools and governments? How is agency distributed within the Wikipedia platform?

The overarching research agenda is at once a philosophical, epistemological and theoretical investigation of knowledge artifacts, cultural production and social relations, as well as an empirical investigation of the that the insights from theoretical research activities can inform practice oriented research and vice-versa.

With this event, the Amsterdam-based Institute of Network Cultures (INC) and the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society launch a knowledge network around Wikipedia. The Amsterdam Critical point of View conference is the second event of this network, the first one titled ‘WikiWars’, took place in Bangalore, India in January 2010. In September 2010 there will be a German-speaking event in Leipzig. The reader is scheduled to be lauched in the beginning of 2011.

Conference Themes:

  • Critique of Free and Open
  • Designing Debate
  • Encyclopedia Histories
  • Global Issues & Outlooks
  • Global Politics of Exclusion
  • Wiki Art
  • Wikipedia Analytics
  • Wikipedia and Education
  • Wikipedia and Critique of Western Knowledge Production
  • Wikipedia and the Place of Resistance
  • Wiki Theory