next 5 minutes international festival of tactical media, September 11-14 2003, Amsterdam

My First Recession - by Geert Lovink


My First Recession - Critical Internet Culture in Transition
V2_Publishers, Rotterdam, 2003
Book Presentation by Geert Lovink
My First Recession starts when the party is over. The study maps the transition of critical Internet culture from the mid-late nineties Internet euphoria up until the dotcom crash and the subsequent downfall of the global financial markets and Œ911.‚ Ignoring techno-libertarians who blame governments for the Œtech wreck,‚ the study sets out to critically examine contemporary Internet culture. What happens when new media become widespread? After having a good laugh about absurd dotgone business plans it is time to prepare for the tough battles ahead. Internet wars are on the rise. Fueled by spam, viruses and server attacks, tensions on the ever-expanding Net have increased dramatically. Open, egalitarian Internet communities have become vulnerable. The Œonline Other‚ is no longer met with hospitality. The general climate has become one of paranoia, conspiracy and distrust. Every downloaded email or piece of software can turn out to be a fatal Trojan horse.

Internet critic Geert Lovink looks into the ambivalent attitude of artists and activists take as they switch back and forth between euphoria and skepticism. The book contains case studies of dotcoms, the internal dynamics of virtual communities, the stagnant situation of online audio and video, debates over how new media can be taught and designs for a Œfree software society.' The central question is which information architectures deal best with information overload. How can Internet as an unfinished project maintain its liberty? Is filtering contrary to the philosophy of openness? Do peer-to-peer networks such as Napster, weblogs and wireless networks offer a way out of the growing discontent around new media? My First Recession is a contribution to the dialogue between citizens, designers, programmers, business and governments to shape the global network society. The information infrastructure is too important to be left to technologists or e-commerce consultants.
Geert Lovink is a Brisbane-based media theorist and Net critic, co-founder of numerous Internet projects such as, and most recently the collaborative weblog He is a postdoc fellow at UQ's Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies. In 2002 MIT Press published a collection of writing on critical Internet Culture, Dark Fiber and his collected interviews called Uncanny Networks.

Related People:

Geert Lovink
Stephen Kovats
Andreas Broeckmann

Interesting websites:


Related Publications:

"Dark Fiber"
"Uncanny Networks"