Keynote Play

with: McKenzie Wark, Ruth Catlow

Sat, Jan 31, 2015
6–7.30 pm
Admission: 8€/5€

A discussion about the changing role of play and the urge to reprogramme an algorithmically controlled world.

Whatever happened to play? McKenzie Wark argues that play nowadays has become functional and fully incorporated into the engines of control and value. Ten years after his famous Hacker's Manifesto and a number of well known books such as Gamer Theory and the Spectacle of Disintegration, Wark revisits some of his earlier thoughts and notions to reflect anew. He reflects on current development of the more and more gamelike mechanisms of a competitive world that he spoke about already more than a decade ago.

Approaching gamification as the latest strategy of the “vectoral class” to control networks, manage algorithms and extract value from a world where there is no longer an outside, Wark turns his attention to the hackers and the datapunks as the ones who know how to play with the rules and reprogramme a world which is dependent on algorithmic control.

Being among the few scholars who always situate play's role culturally and politically, McKenzie Wark looks to how historical avant gardes embraced play, in an attempt to emphasise the contemporary urgency of fostering more critical awareness and conscious resistance. The respondent to the keynote will be Ruth Catlow, who has consistently worked on play theoretically and artistically. A discussion about the changing role of play and the possibility to evoke social change within and beyond play today and tomorrow.

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