`The Articulation of Protest': A Lecture by Rasmus Fleischer

Published 2012/09/06

Norsk versjon


to lecture as part of 

`The Articulation of Protest´
A Programme on Some of the Logistics
of Information and Social Activism Today

Friday, 14 September 2012 / 19:00
Live audio streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway 
Nedre Gate 7 
0551 Oslo, Norway l

OCA welcomes Rasmus Fleischer as speaker next week, on Friday 14 September, at 19:00 to lecture about current developments and polemics within ‘social media’ and the reality of a social engagement within these channels. In his analysis, Fleischer will consider how enthusiasm and skepticism towards the internet, may in some cases, be part of the same counter-revolutionary coin. This presentation will be an attempt to understand how speed or its contrary, delay, may become a resource for a deepened critique of our contemporaneity.

Rasmus Fleischer is a Swedish historian and co-founder of Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy), a group closely aligned with the Pirate Bay. He has written extensively on how anti-piracy movements are today fiercely attacking different kinds of search engines solely because they provide links to files which may be copyrighted – with Google among the very few uncontested. Gray zones are fostered by obsolete copyright laws, which according to Fleischer found their golden age roughly between 1800 and 1950 specifically around publications without a revisionary evaluation as to their applications within digital technology – that according to Fleischer, are set out with the purpose to copy digital information. Facing these realities, copyright industries have gone to the level of a draconian defensive creating an environment of juridical surveillance that effectively constitutes net censorship and consequently to one-side licensing deals. In recognising that creative practices ‘thrive in economies where digital abundance is connected to scarce qualities in space and time’, Fleischer maintains that there can never be a question of finding one universal business model for a world without copyright. But then a more urgent question is to be posed – ‘what price we will have to pay for upholding a phantasm of universal copyright?’.

The Articulation of Protest’ is a programme of two lectures that will look into strategies that have emerged in recent times through actions and communication, and in dialogue or confrontation with existing legislation, with the aim to secure free circulation of information and knowledge in the face of the state's or capital's attempts to control and to commodify them. In doing so, they will explore individual and collective initiatives and other strategic choices, and discuss them in relation to a history of critical organisation, of free speech and activism.

Rasmus Fleisher will be the introductive speaker of the programme, followed by social theorist Alberto Toscano, author of Fanaticism: On the Use of an Idea, on 21 September at OCA at 19:00.

Rasmus Fleischer
Rasmus Fleischer is a Swedish historian, writer and occasional musician. For nearly a decade, he has been lecturing about the crisis of copyright. He was one of the persons behind Piratbyrån (or The Bureau for Piracy), a group which during its existence (2003–09) tried to actively question the basics of ‘intellectual property’ in the intersections of technology, art and politics. He is the author of the books Musikens politiska ekonomi (The Political Economy of Music, 2012), Boken & Biblioteket (The Book and the Library, 2011) and Postdigitala manifestet (The Postdigital Manifesto, 2009), which is also his PhD thesis at the Institute of Contemporary History at Södertörn University, concerning the motivations behind regulation of sound media during the 20th century. As a historian, Rasmus Fleischer is also investigating the transformations of contemporary fascism.

For more information on the programme, please contact OCA’s press officer Maria Moseng.