[iDC] Participationism (was "why do we need physical campuses")

Lucia Sommer sommerlucia at gmail.com
Tue Jun 22 16:46:10 UTC 2010


Thanks for this, it is a much-needed critique of the techno-utopian frame of
much discourse on open-source/networked participation/distributed
creativity. Especially:

>> Participatory frameworks are not in and of themselves politically
>> significant, nor is power limited to distant and impersonal structures.
>> Power is diffuse and distributed, operating through us and on us;
>> participation therefore can turn into a vector for dominant ideologies as
>> easily as it can liberate.
>> If participatory frameworks are to have any meaningful political
>> consequence or activist import, they must intervene on some object, to
>> operate in service of an end.

The assumption is almost always that collaboration, networking or
distributed creativity is good in and of itself, event though networked
power and collaboration are fast becoming the dominant mode of
production/coersion/exploitation. What is missing in these conversations is
the question of politics: what is it that are we networking/collaborating
for (or against)?



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Lucia Sommer
60 College Street
Buffalo, NY 14201
(716) 359-3061
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