Net Politics Cybersalon: 24 April 2013 from 7pm.

From The Californian Ideology to UK student protests, the rise of 
Italy’s Five Star Movement and Bitcoin this month’s Cybersalon is 
looking at how new media have inspired new forms of activism over the 
past two decades. We will explore the transformative possibilities of 
the next wave of technological innovation.

Read More – http://bit.ly/XOEhNz

In his 1996 ‘Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace’, John Perry 
Barlow announced the coming of a hi-tech utopia where rugged 
individualists would escape from the stifling controls and onerous taxes 
of national governments into a borderless and deregulated virtual world.

Over the past two decades, this seductive mix of hippie and 
entrepreneurial libertarianism codified in the Californian Ideology has 
dominated our understanding of the political impact of the Net. Left or 
Right, mainstream and alternative, mass connectivity is still celebrated 
as the technological antidote to the multiple failings of Westminster 
politics from voter apathy to out-of-touch MPs.

While deep scepticism is required about the predictions of dotcom 
boosters, no one can deny that the rapid diffusion of social media has 
enabled much more participatory forms of campaigning, organising and 
mobilising.

From the Arab Spring to the Five Star Movement in Italy, citizens have 
bypassed the old party structures to create their own autonomous groups. 
As in Athens, Madrid or New York, London’s anti-austerity protesters are 
tech-savvy and always on-line.

In Bitcoin, hackers now believe that they have discovered a way of 
liberating money from the clutches of the power elite. The Net is still 
only a toddler, but it has already established itself as the people’s 
forum for political debate and decision-making.

With the status-quo seemingly no longer viable, the collaborative 
experience of social media should now inspire an emancipatory vision of 
what it means to be a citizen in 21st century Europe. What are the 
lessons of Then and Now that we can apply confidently when we’re 
anticipating the future of Net Politics?

Speakers

Richard Barbrook – University of Westminster politics lecturer, 
co-author of The Californian Ideology and author of Imaginary Futures – 
will trace the evolution of dotcom neo-liberalism from the 
techno-utopian early-1990s to today’s more austere times. 
http://www.imaginaryfutures.net

Amir Taaki – open source programmer, co-founder of the Bitcoin 
Consultancy project development and principal of Intersango, a Bitcoin 
exchange – will explain how Bitcoin challenges the monetary hegemony of 
both big banks and big government. https://intersango.com/

Jamie Bartlett – the Head of Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at 
the Demos think-tank – will describe how the electoral success of the 
Five Star movement in Italy was achieved through the intelligent use of 
on-line campaigning, the subject of his recent study. 
http://www.demos.co.uk/people/jamiebartlett

Claire Solomon – the ex-president of ULU during the 2010 student 
protests, editor of the book Springtime: The New Student Rebellions and 
now runs the radical Firebox cafe in King’s Cross  – will describe how 
the participatory structure of the Net is inspiring new methods and 
ideas of political campaigning. http://fireboxlondon.net

Chair

Paolo Gerbaudo teaches at Kings College, University of London and is 
author of Tweets and the Streets: social media and contemporary 
activism. http://www.tweetsandthestreets.org

See you there!

Audio recordings, tweet timeline and transcript of the discussion will 
be available after each event.

Entrance is free but please book on http://cybersalon.eventbrite.co.uk/

6.30pm: doors open and drinks
Discussion: 7.00 – 9.00 pm.
Followed by drinks in the pub: The Slaughtered Lamb.

Venue:
The Arts Catalyst,
50-54 Clerkenwell Road,
London EC1M 5PS

Tubes: Old St/ Barbican
Barclays Bikes: Right outside the venue
Arts Catalyst is next to Foxtons on Clerkenwell Road.

Twitter: @Cybrsalon
Using: #Cybersalon

School of Media & Performing Arts, Middlesex University:
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/Schools/media-and-performing-arts/index.aspx
Easynet Global Services: http://www.easynet.com/

We hope you can make it!

Cheers,
Cybersalon

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