Gjesteredaktør Franco Berardi Bifo
Born in Bologna, Italy in 1949, Franco Berardi Bifo is a writer, media-theorist, and media-activist. As a young militant he took part in the experience of Potere operaio in the years 1967-1973, then he founded the magazine A/traverso (1975–81) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976–78).
Involved in the political movement of Autonomia in Italy during the 1970s, he fled to Paris, where he worked with Félix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis.
He has been involved in many media-projects, like Telestreet, and Recombinant.org.
Bifo published the books The Uprising (1912) After the future (2011) The Soul at Work (2010), Felix (2001), Cibernauti (1994), Mutazione e Cyberpunk (1993).
He contributed to the magazines Semiotext(e), Chimères, Metropoli, and Musica 80. and is currently collaborating to e-flux.journal.
Coordinator of the European School for Social Imagination (SCEPSI) he has been teaching at Ashkal Alwan in Beirouth, PEI-Macba in Barcelona, Accademia di Brera in Milano, and has been lecturing in social centers and Universities worldwide.
Brett Scott’s The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance (Hacking the Future of Money) is an absorbing introduction to the contemporary financial system and also a sort of handbook for media-activists who want to gain access to the dominant form of economic power in order to disrupt it. The book is essential reading for those who want to understand the possible future of alternative currencies.
The Circle by Dave Eggers is both a novel and a sociological essay of sorts on communication and power. A bad novel, I think, but at the same time an interesting investigation of human interaction in the (possible) digital economy of the near future. From a literary point of view the book is not convincing, the characters, all of whom are addicted to the internet, are far too stupid and naïve to be convincing. The language is shallow and the dialogues boring. Nevertheless, the current colonization of social attention is very well described.
The Making of the Indebted Man by Maurizio Lazzarato, published by Semiotext(e), is a brilliant investigation of the current submission of people to the sphere of financial capitalism. According to Lazzarato, people are obliged to accept the conditions of debt in order to have access to those basic services and goods indispensable to metropolitan life. Debt obliges the individual to accept any sort of blackmail: low salaries, a high degree of exploitation, precarity of work. Enlightening the origin of the current European crisis Lazzarato shows us that dept is the core of social oppresion in our time.
From Counterculture to Cyber culture focuses on the complex relation between the anti-authoritarian movement of the '60s, the rise of the digital industry in the following decades, and the triumph of the market ideology. How did the counterculture evolve into the current neoliberal ideology, so deeply embedded in the techno media sphere of the '60s? In order to answer this question, Turner looks at the cultural experience of Stewart Brand, the founder of Whole Earth Catalogue, a magazine that symbolizes the cyber culture of the '80s. Just like the neoliberal representation of the market, the evolution of the Net is essentially based on dynamics of self-regulation.
Q is the first novel by the Italian group of writers who in the '90s used the collective name Luther Blissett, which they later changed into Wu ming, meaning “no name” in Chinese. Q (short for Qohelet) tells the story of a radical Anabaptist thrown into the religious revolts of 16th century Europe in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. A wonderful book that can be read as a metaphor of the Italian Uprising of 1977, the highpoint of the Autonomia movement.
The subject of Catherine Malabous What Should We Do With Our Brain? is neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt to the environment and to social interaction. The new pathologies of our time (particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, but also attention deficit disorders and panic crises) cannot be exclusively approached from the point of view of psychoanalysis, in terms of language and sexuality. They need to be understood in neurological terms as well. The concept of neuroplasticity has strong political implications, as the brain is going to be the object of the new strategic games: according to Obama’s recent declarations the main scientific investment of the US in the next decade is going to be a project named Brain Activity Mapping.
The House of the Mosque is a novel by Kader Abdolah, an Iranian writer who fled his country in the '80s, and who is now living in the Netherlands. The book narrates the life of an Iranian family during the murderous regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, through the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the installment of the Khomeini government, and ends after Khomeini's death. Although full of tragedy and violence, the novel is ironic and full of comprehension for the human suffering. Equally critical of the Westernized arrogance of the Shah and of the violent Islamist fundamentalism, this book is an excellent introduction to the history of the Iranian Revolution.
In 1992, Kalle Lasn helped co-found Adbusters,the Vancouver-based magazine devoted to mental ecology and the critique of the mental pollution called advertising. The cultural campaigns launched by Adbusters have been important for the last generation of activists worldwide, and have particularly served as inspirations to the Occupy-movement. In the book Meme Wars, published in 2012, Lasn addresses psychonomics, bionomics, and other aspects of our physical and mental environment in order to search for a more ecological model for the economy. Meme Wars is a textbook for the future that provides the building blocks, in texts and visuals, for a new way of looking at, as well as changing, our world.