Distributed Technologies & Ideologies

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Fachseminar Hauptstudium und weiterqualifizierendes Studium
Sam Hopkins, Verena Friedrich
Mittwoch 14-täglich 15:00 – 17:00
Erster Termin 29.04.2020
Filzengraben 2, Atelier-/Seminarraum H 4.02

There is an ideological strain amongst certain internauts and netizens which holds that the more decentralised the Internet is, the better it is. The logic being that if power (political and processing) is distributed throughout the Internet then it becomes a safe and self-regulating system.

Distribution is a clear means of combating the monopolies of twenty-first century platform capitalism. But what are the implications for the state, for society and for democratic political processes when power is devolved to a self-regulating system? This is a practice-based research group that inquires into and interrogates the structures of this belief system. We look at the heterogenous political positions, emerging technologies and available services that coalesce around the topic of decentralisation and distribution.

We will engage with texts by crypto-anarchists and hippylibertarians, explore the worlds of crypto-currencies and blockchain-based platforms, and experiment with the various distributed social networks of the Fediverse.

Keywords: The California Ideology, from counterculture to cyberculture, cybernetics and systems theory, the Whole Earth network, the WELL, Radical Markets, Vitalik Buterin, Scuttlebut, Mastodon, WT.social, The Decentralised Web, Blockchain, Solid, Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Dweb, Blockstack, Beaker Browser, Network Aesthetics, Silicon Valley (the tv show), Dammbeck & Curtis

Due to the situation around COVID-19, the seminar takes place in a reduced online version...


  • online video meeting / discussion
  • introduction by Sam Hopkins & Verena Friedrich
  • short inputs by students


  • online video meeting / discussion
  • Fred Turner, "From Counterculture to Cyberculture", Chapter 1: "The Shifting Politics of the Computational Metaphor"


  • this week the discussion takes place asynchronously in the pad
  • Fred Turner, "From Counterculture to Cyberculture"



  • online video meeting / discussion
  • projekt presentation by Sam Hopkins
  • projekt presentation by ...


  • online video meeting / discussion
  • project presentation by ...