“It’s remarkable how much the protest vanguards share.”
(Time Person of the Year: The Protester)
The Share Conference organizers are obviously from the future – the first year has brought us speakers from the Pirate Parties warning us about ontological mistakes we apply when we discuss intellectual property only to see this discussion continued over the following year in fights against acts such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA or TPP that would try to establish “international standards for intellectual property rights” while actually endangering privacy and civil liberties for innovation and free flow of information. InTech was also given the chance last year to present the open access publishing model which continued to be fervently discussed between Open Access advocates and the world in 2012 – the reaction against the act such as RWA that aimed to deny access to publicly funded research to – the public, has reached American Congress, and more than 8,000 researchers have joined the boycott against Elsevier that supported the dreaded act, only to see RWA shelved and put to a stop. Basically, anything that stands against the sharing culture is now publicly confronted using information technology which was the original idea behind SHARE – “to bring people together and use technology and cutting edge activism for social changes in our society.”
The second Share Conference is packed with talks, discussions, and artistic presentations that aim to dig even deeper underground where we can hopefully find alternatives to a web that would threaten our civic rights, to which anti-sharing policies would be implemented, and democratic processes bypassed. April in Belgrade (26-28) will hold before us all that is “smart and geeky and subversive” and can enable technology users to respond once again to what may challenge their right to – share.
The conference is a free event this year, but to earn a wristband (limited to 2,000 participants) you are invited to actively engage in the program, either by creating your own version of a Share logo, or sharing your music, photos, videos, blog posts, through a volunteer program, or simply by sharing reasons why you, yourself should be there.
Speakers be Speaking, Sharers be Sharing
One of the top conference speakers announced is Isaak Gerson, a 19-year-old founder of the church of Kopimism where to copy and paste what you wish is the whole of the law, the practice of which has recently been officially recognized by the Swedish authorities as a religious community. Copying information is a sacred virtue, “the best and most beautiful that is,” the Kopimis believe.
Christopher Poole, also known as “moot”, the founder of 4chan and Canvas website, will also join the conference. Since “moot” launched 4chan in 2003, the site has given birth to Internet memes as diverse as Lolcats and Rickrolling, and with its most popular random board /b/, it did not only serve as a meme culture factory but as a bulletin board as well, for raw, unfiltered discussions and as an activist campaign, a cultural force of its own. “What’s unique about 4chan is that it’s anonymous, and it has no memory. There’s no archive, there are no barriers, there’s no registration. That’s led to this discussion that’s completely raw, completely unfiltered,” Poole explains, “part of how meme generation works, is that things are just posted over and over. It’s just something that resonates with the community.”
Aubrey de Grey, biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, most “notoriously” known for his cure for “aging”, will also present his beliefs about a post-aging world, quite different from our own; “A person who will live more than 150 years has already been born,” he claims. He is also a founder of SENS, which deals with a set of medical techniques designed to restore youthful molecular and cellular structure to aged tissues and organs.
A Russian provocative street-art group Voina, known for its politically charged performance art, will also perform at Share, as well as the SoSoLimited group, an audiovisual artist crew formed in 2003, “an entourage of geeks at MIT.” Their projects are somewhere between design, art and international technologies.
Daniel Domscheit-Berg will present his new project OpenLeaks, a democratically managed platform that would achieve more political neutrality. OpenLeaks would not engage in publishing otherwise inaccessible material obtained from anonymous sources (as Wikileaks), but maintain cooperation with individuals and organizations and forward the data to its media partners.
Eben Moglen, a law professor and the creator of Freedom Box, will present an affordable personal server which runs only free software, with a focus on anonymous and secure communication, and he will hopefully tackle the topic of mesh networking which became a very powerful idea recently, “this networking, where wireless devices that possess two radios each can hook themselves up in networks that require only electricity will mean that people who want to build networks of wireless interconnection can do so.” Rob van Kranenburg will share what impact RFID, and other systems, will have on our cities and our wider society; while also ruminating on what alternative network technologies could help safeguard our privacy.
Bitcoin system will finally be presented at Share – the system of a currency that follows the principles of mathematics and cryptography and uses peer-to-peer technology without the central authority, and all the transactions are secured online instead of being secured by the intermediary – the bank.
Many other innovators, activists, and the shapers of new media landscape will join the conference (check the full list here), more names will be added to ByDay and ByNight program each week, until a possibility of glimpse is created, a glimpse into the future of a revolution that won’t be televised, but shared worldwide.