The Eternal Network - Spam, Trolling & Bureaucracies in Participatory Art Practices

Florian Cramer

20/07/2019 18:00 - 21/07/2019 20:00

Mântuleasa 4, Bucharest, Romania

Arguably, many characteristics of today’s Internet culture were anticipated in 1970s and 1980s counter-cultures and non-institutional/samizdat art practices including Mail Art, zines and cassette tape music. Upon close inspection, many so-called issues of today’s Internet can also be found in them: junk mail, viruses, crashes, fascist trolling and complex system administration.

In the first part of the workshop, we will reconstruct the history of spamming, trolling and bureaucracies in Mail Art and related, non- and pre-digital networks. Given the workshop leader’s limited knowledge, most examples will be Western European and North American. Participants are more than welcome to contribute their own knowledge of Romanian and Eastern European underground culture and networked practices.

In the second part of the workshop, we will flip perspectives, appreciate spamming, trolling and bureaucracies as modes of production, communication, intervention and artistic practice, and develop spamming and trolling bureaucracies using only pen and paper.

The workshop takes place on July 20 & July 21, between 6-8pm. Please email info@oddweb.org to register.

Photos by Florian Cramer. Cover image: Ray Johnson, 1990.


Florian Cramer

Florian Cramer, reader in 21st century visual culture for Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Linux user for twenty years. Publications include: Anti-Media (NAi010 Publishers, 2013) and What Is Post-Digital? (2014); forthcoming: Crapularity Hermeneutics, in: Wendy Chun, Hito Steyerl, Florian Cramer, Clemens Apprich: Pattern Discrimination (Meson Press/MIT Press).