The Right to Exit (Focus Discussion, Track 2)

The Right to Exit (Focus Discussion, Track 2)

05.02.2011 11:00
HKW - K1

The supposedly infinite freedom of the Net is a permanent online participation, communication and live switching between real and virtual life. The resulting unspoken fear of turning away from the Network has led to increasingly loud calls for a way out. The focus panel Exit Lab discusses and provides perspectives on the ‘right to exit’, which is not only an absolute rejection but a reversal of the Net’s power structures and scaffolding.

The Right to Exit
Focus Discussion (Track 2)
Participants: Les liens invisible (it), Alessandro Ludovico (it), Paolo Cirio (it), Nathaniel Stern (us), Scott Kildall (us), Jens Best (de)

Moderation: Daphne Dragona (gr)


In today’s connected reality the elements of online participation – communication, interaction and sharing – are no longer considered possibilities but rather taken as given facts. The digital multitude has learned to be connected at work, at home, on the go. Haunted by a paranoid, untold threat of a need for a continuous online presence, users seem to form their identities and social relationships through a process of accelerating pace. The more the platforms evolve, the more they encourage users’ immediate input and interaction in real time, making life inseparable from work. And although issues like the limitations imposed by the networks and the aggregation and expropriation of content by third parties keep cropping up, going offline is no longer an option.

Has disconnection from the networks then turned into a new contemporary fear? Is there a need for an exit? And what would such an exit mean? 
Exit, or more appropriately, exodus, is described in contemporary political philosophy as a form of disobedience, resistance and defection that aims to reclaim the new common wealth from the power structures. In the last few years, the notion of exit started becoming apparent in the networked world through tactics planned by creators, positions taken by thinkers and actions taken by users themselves. But can such moves change the rules established by popular social platforms like Wikipedia and Facebook? Is there an 'outside'? 
This focus discussion on 'the right of exit' will present new opinions and perspectives that claim 'exit' is not about quitting; it is rather about reversing power structures and frames; it is about predicting new possible modes of digital nomadism that move towards a more liberated networked land.