neil cummings

Economy of Contribution

19 May 2012

A diverse group gathered at Goldsmiths, the University of London to consider the idea of Economies of Contribution.

The gathering included perspectives from media, art, design, software, theory and philosophy. In their introduction, the organisers outlined the emergence of a shift from 'consumer capitalism' to an economy of contribution.

An economy of contribution may be emerging. An economy enabled by new communications technologies. The social relations embedded in such technologies incorporate more than the exchange of goods for money. Prominent in such an economy are gift-giving exchanges: reciprocal obligations which can create positive 'externalities'; such as the integration of amateurs and professionals into new forms of co-production and exchange. An economy of contribution is often consolidated into communities, networks and non-monetary valuation systems.

The idea was to bring together people with an interest in cultural production, understood as art, design, film, software and broadcast media, whether done by professionals or amateurs - if those terms still have any purchase.

During the workshop, presentations of research and practice included work by media artist Graham Harwood, Bronac Ferran (who organized the CODE) and Matt Fuller whose presentation discussed the importance of the commons, Scott Lash contributed as did the late philosopher Bernard Stiegler.

There was a great presentation from Centre Pompidou, around technologies of annotation for Lignes de Temps.

I screened Museum Futures: Distributed as a model of a speculative Institution of Contribution.



I also mentioned related economies of contribution, such as Enthusiasm and it's archive, the Enthusiasts archive.

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Goldsmiths University of London
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SE14 6NW
United Kingdom

Submitted by neil on 26 February, 2009 - 18:19