Urban Communalities:
Subcultures, Blockchain & the myth of the algorithm
(didactic discussion)
Parasite 2.0
Tuesday 25 April, 14h30-15h30 at Z33

Over the last years, the idea of a bottom up and more horizontal approach to urban development was a trending topic across a range of contexts. Some of these formulations made us imagine the possibility of rethinking the city and the collectivity that lives in it. Today we can recognize an appropriation and mystification of these concepts. Progressively, from the eco-approach to the anthropization, the open source and the sharing economy, we have witnessed the transformation of the ideology of the Silicon Valley (coming from the counterculture of the 70s and 80s) into a sort of Elon Musk-CEO Feudalism, very well expressed by the Hyperstition and the Darkenlightment of Nick Land and the reactionaries. What we are asking ourselves is, where can these practices maintain their original approach and ideology?

During the session, we will look at the progressive polarization of richness in our cities fragmenting the city in islands and consequentially creating new residual spaces and opportunities. An important topic is the subcultures of the 80s and 90s, through which we will make some critical parallelisms with some contemporary theories of new sovereignty, for instance, Benjamin Bratton’s The Stack and the Blockchain algorithm. The gradual polarization of technological control and the necessary accessibility to the Planetary Scale Computation Systems are some of the main themes to discuss in order to imagine new forms of communality in an “other city” that “could be otherwise.”