Call for Presentations: Platform Blues, University of Canberra Symposium, 21.11.2024

Platform Blues (and Its Alternatives)

I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to feel low-down
I gotta right to hang around
Down around the river

Louis Armstrong (

One Day Symposium at the University of Canberra, November 21, 2024

Curated by Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam), facilitated Denise Thwaites (UoC)

Co-presented by the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, The Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance and the News and Media Research Centre (all University of Canberra) and the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam).

Join us for a one-day event that maps the depression, boredom and loneliness that feed (and are fed by) social media platforms. Beyond fake news, our platform dependencies, miseries and anxieties are all too real. Many feel sadness about our collective inability to change – yet cannot imagine deleting social media accounts out of fear of isolation. Platform Blues are an area of interest for multiple and varied forms of research, which intersect with our topic through critical enquiry into techno-feudalism, memes, online dating, doom scrolling, right-wing libertarian/conspiracy cultures and girl theory. Alternative ways of community organizing provide glimpses of hope, as seen in protest and solidarity movements, such as those addressing climate action, to #metoo, to Gaza. Platform blues in Australia exist, but neither strict regulation nor the melancholic dream of going offline will solve it. How can our phones become a tool of connection again? Resisting the distractions of AI eye candy, let’s address the reality of our tech-induced mental poverty.

This gathering of bodies and souls will coincide with the one-month residency of Dutch media theorist and internet critic, Geert Lovink, at the University of Canberra.

The program will include talks, discussions and other opportunities for creative encounter. If you would like to propose an activity, we welcome experimental formats besides lectures such as performances, interviews, screenings or other arts-based workshops. Please send your expression of interest to Please send your expression of interest to

Attendance is free. Registration will be required ​​​​​​​as places will be limited (more information on this later).