Immaterial Labour Isn't Working

Week One Schedule

1. Open Access Publishing

Saturday 20th April, 2PM

What does culture look like when the tools to make and broadcast exist on every laptop?

Alex Vasudevan, Georgina Voss and Alex Hern join Alex Andrews to discuss contemporary trends in culture and intellectual property. How are developing technologies effecting the copyright regime, and how are difficulties in enforcing copyright leading to innovations in music, academia and computer games?

Alex Hern is Economics Reporter at the New Statesman – he also blogs there with a focus on online and technological trends.

Alex Vasudevan is a lecturer in cultural and historical geography at the University of Nottingham. His current research focuses on radical politics in Germany and the wider geographies of neo-liberal globalisation. He has published widely in journals such as Antipode, Cultural Geographies, Environment and Planning, Public Culture and Social and Cultural Geography. He is currently working on a book for the RGS-IBG book series on the history of squatting in Berlin.

Georgina Voss is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton. Her research interests include user-led design and innovation; business and technology ethics; practices in the creative and cultural industries; and gender and sexuality. She also holds visiting and teaching positions with the Science and Technology Studies Department at UCL, and Sussex University, and has previously worked as a Research Manager at Tinker London.

Alex Andrews is a writer, digital activist, working programmer and academic. He is co-founder of the Creative Commons record label Records on Ribs, a project that seeks to explore notions of intellectual property, creativity and the commons in an Internet age. He has collaborated with Lucky PDF, teaching at their School of Global Art. He is webmaster and internet consultant for Auto Italia South East and the Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working project. He lives and works in London.

@alexhern / @gsvoss / @potentia_space / @recordsonribs

2. Metahaven in conversation with Harry Burke and e-book launch

Saturday 20th April, 6PM

Dutch research and design studio Metahaven will be in conversation with Harry Burke, discussing projects both past and present and presenting their new Strelka Press released e-book project: Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics.

Founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven‘s work reflects political and social issues in provocative graphic design objects. Their projects often test the limits of what might be considered “design” and investigate different modes of presenting research with recent two-part essay Captives of the Cloud (e-flux) and their 2010 book, Unincorporate Identity demonstrating their ambitious scope.

Harry Burke is a writer and curator based in London. He has written for, Arcadia Missa Publications and Fulcrum, a publication based at the Architectural Association, and curated the exhibition Net Narrative at Carlos/Ishikawa (

@mthvn /

3. Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working – Opening Event

Saturday 20th April, 7-9PM

Metahaven book launch, Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics + Deterritorial Support Group (DSG) and Metahaven book launch, VOID MYSTIQUE DNA.

Auto Italia are pleased to present a new book by design think tank Metahaven: Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics, published by Strelka Press. Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? is an essay on the political and revolutionary power of jokes and memes. It examines the fade-out of graphic design as a mediating force between institutions and the public and is part of an essay series published by Strelka Press, the publishing wing of Strelka Institute in Moscow.

Metahaven: “Carl Von Clausewitz famously said that war is a continuation of politics by other means. The austerity elites are indeed waging existential warfare on Europe, using an extra-political space which only they and other technocrats understand; a space where no citizen can find redress, unless they jump out of the frame once and for good. Beppe Grillo did it in Italy. Jón Gnarr did it in Iceland. Now is a day for jokes. A day for ridicule and laughter and protest and screaming and general strikes. Loathe the austerity elites, deface and unmask the technocratic superstructure’s lifeless avatars. Spraypaint, overload, bombard, name and shame austerity’s guilty overlords with jokes that pass through each and every riot shield.”

Also launching will be Metahaven’s new book with Deterritorial Support Group (DSG): VOID MYSTIQUE DNA (ISBN 978-0-9576316-0-1). Visitors will be able to browse this unique “split-EP” monografesto, and even pick up a copy of this profoundly limited-edition book free of charge. Commissioned by Auto Italia, this collaboration sees the first joint project by two of the most exciting design think tanks working today.


Metahaven is an Amsterdam-based studio for design and research, founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden.

Deterritorial Support Group (DSG), a loose alliance of ultra-red communists, ran a blog during 2011 and is currently in the process of being open-sourced.

@mthvn / @DSG_DSG@StrelkaPress

4. New Luddism

Sunday 21st April, 6PM

Who benefits from and is in charge of new technology? What could a life with less rather than more technological innovation be like?

Taking ideas of traditional Luddism as a point for departure, Jessica BlandDougald Hine, Dave King (part of Luddites 200) and Jay Springett will join Huw Lemmey to discuss the possibilities for engaging with new technologies and what our relationships to these technologies have become now that it is increasingly difficult to truly “switch off”.

Jessica Bland is a technology futures analyst at Nesta. She researches and writes about emerging technology, with particular interests in open science, new foresight methods and science fiction. She also runs Nesta’s Hot Topics events. She was previously senior policy adviser at the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, where she lead the 2012 ‘Science as an open enterprise’ study. A while ago she spent some time studying Physics and Philosophy. On Twitter she is @pesska and she writes for the recently set up ‘Political Science’ blog on

Dougald Hine is a writer and social thinker who has been responsible for creating a series of organisations, including the School of Everything, the civic ideas agency Spacemakers, and the Dark Mountain Project, a cultural forum for investigating the converging crises of climate change, resource scarcity and economic instability.

Luddites200 ( is an ad hoc group of admirers of the Luddites, radical historians and activists on issues connected to technology. The group is developing a neo-Luddite politics of technology for the 21st century. Dave King is a former scientist who has been writing and campaigning on the politics of genetics and reproductive technologies since 1990.

Jay Springett is a Musician, Photographer, Philosopher, and Luddite. He is concerned primarily with humans, technology, infrastructure, and the unseen intersection points of how these things keep us alive. He specializes in small one-man projects that other people can get involved with. Jay is a member of EdgeRyders (a distributed thinktank incubated by the Council of Europe), co-designer of the visual language of SCIM (Simple Critical Infrastrcuture Maps) – and is a contributer to the Hexayurt Project an open hardware disaster relief shelter. He also co-curates The Thought Menu: a nomadic talks series, and is passionate about DIY culture.

Huw Lemmey is an artist and writer whose work focuses on digital political culture and post-internet art. He is involved in running the Limazulu project space and has co-ordinated the Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working project with Auto Italia.

@pesska / @dougald / @luddites200 / @thejaymo / @spitzenprodukte

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