Geert Lovink Interviewed on the New Aesthetic

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Have you seen James Bridle’s talks?

Heard about it, yes. He is the Iraqi War Wikipedia entry guy. James came to an event we organized last year here in Amsterdam called the Unbound Book. That’s where I met him:

What do you think in general about the New Aesthetic?

It is our task as intellectuals and critics to name the things. Bruce Sterling is good at this, knows his duty and done a good job there. In fact I just met him in Torino, where he lives. I am now in Milan.

Is it really “New”?

Ever since there were media, there was this movement back into the psychical. Same with digital, multimedia, internet, rfid, cell phones. They all provoke their material counterparts, shadow existences in the so-called real world. The thing, we human thrive on this. We cannot take the virtual at face value.

How British UI design based is it?

It is pragmatic, but so are the Dutch and a few others. Ideas materialize. That’s also the idea of conceptual art.

What about its notion of machine agency?

Ask that to Andreas Broeckmann, he writes a book about that right now. I am not in the school of Latour but in general do not oppose these ideas,  as long as they are non-dogmatic and open for other directions.

Are there ghosts in the machine or is it more transhumanist McKenna hokum?

At the moment I do not see traces of that but it is good you mention it. Latour’s Politics of Things is not new age. It asks about agency of things.

Stuart lives in Berkeley right now. I loved this presentation. It is also on Vimeo. It talks about bots in a very down to earth way.


Geert Lovink (born 1959, Amsterdam) is a Research Professor of Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) and a Professor of Media Theory at the European Graduate School. From 2004-2013 he was an Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).[1] Lovink earned his master’s degree in political science at the University of Amsterdam, holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland.

Lovink is the founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, whose goals are to explore, document and feed the potential for socio-economical change of the new media field through events, publications and open dialogue.[3] As theorist, activist and net critic, Lovink has made an effort in helping to shape the development of the web.

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