MoneyLab: Economies of Dissent, a two-days symposium organized by the Institute of Network Cultures will take place on 3-4 December at Pakhuis de Zwijger, Piet Heinkade 179, 1019 HC Amsterdam.
Together with Stephanie Rothenburg, Nuria Guell & Levi Orta, Scott Kildall, and DullTech™, I’ll be part of the ‘Artistic Interventions in Finance’ panel (3 Dec, 15.20 – 17.20) moderated by Max Haiven, with a brief talk entitled The Competitive Aesthetics of Failure. Here’s the abstract:
Kickended is an archive of Kickstarter’s $0-pledged campaigns. By bringing to the fore crowdfunding projects with no backers, it highlights the ‘survivorship bias’ produced at the level of both media narrative and ranking algorithms. In this sense, Kickended develops a realistic and more accurate perspective on the much hyped self-entrepreneurship. The project ignited a lively debate on major news media such as The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNET, Yahoo! Tech, and Buzzfeed.
In this talk I will retrace this debate characterized by conflicting attitudes involving amusement and empathy, but also schadenfreude and public shaming. I will discuss as well some of the symbolic aspects of crowdfunding and how they connect to a more general idea of success and personal achievement. Finally, I will extend the topic by showing a preview of an ongoing project focused on startup entrepreneurship and the anxiety linked to the social and structural pressure to succeed and the burden of having to change the world.