Autonomy & Subjectivation in the Coming Century
SEPTEMBER 3-6, 2 0 0 9    

Connective Mutations Schedule

(this is a working schedule and subject to revision)

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Thursday 9/3
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5:00pm – 7:00pm Registration + Collective Introductions and Framing
7:00pm – 9:30pm SESSION 1 with Bifo
Introduction to Seminar followed by discussion
audio part 1
audio part 2
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10:00pm: convergence with Change You Want To See event & dance party in Brooklyn

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Friday 9/4
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10:00am – 12:00pm Visit to Coney Island Museum, Amateur Psychoanalytic Society Exhibition (, presentation by curator Zoe Beloff. (
12:00pm – 1:00pm returning to 16 Beaver
1:00pm – 2:00pm Lunch at 16 Beaver
audio discussion
2:00pm – 3:15pm The Art Strike & Recombinant Imagination
Session with Erika Biddle & Stevphen Shukaitis
audio discussion

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3:30pm – 6:00pm SESSION 2 with Bifo
audio day 2 with Bifo
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6:30pm – 9:30pm Technology, Autonomy, and Collaborative Subjectivity*
Session Organized by Jack Bratich
Jonah Bossewitch & Annie Robinson, Icarus
Jamie McClelland, Mallory Knodel, & Alfredo Lopez MayFirst-PeopleLink
Paolo Pedercini / MolleIndustria
audio presentations
9:30pm – 11:00 Dinner

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Saturday 9/5
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11:00am – 12:30pm Brunch
12:30pm – 1:15pm Group 1 Recap / Discussion
1:15pm – 2:30 Labor of Recombination
Abe Walker & Jim Fleming
audio presentations
2:30pm – 5:00pm SESSION 3 with Bifo
audio day 3 with Bifo
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5:15pm – 6:15pm Decipher the Future
a talk by Brian Holmes followed by a conversation with Claire Pentecost
audio presentation
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6:30pm – 8:00pm An intervention by McKenzie Wark
audio presentation
8:15pm – 9:15pm Performing BioTerrors: A PSYCHOpolitics of Simulation
a performance by Jackie Orr
9:15pm – 11:00pm Dinner

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Sunday 9/6
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11:00am – 12:30pm Brunch
12:30pm – 1:15pm Group 2 Recap / Discussion
1:15pm – 2:30 An intervention by Stephen Duncombe
audio presentation
2:30pm – 5:00pm SESSION 4 with Bifo
audio day 4 with Bifo
5:00pm – 6:00pm non-dialectical synthesis & recombinant discussion
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6:30pm – 7:15pm – Group 3
7:15pm – 8:00pm – Group 4
8:00pm – 8:30pm – Closing Remarks
8:30pm – 10:00pm – Dinner



Technology, Autonomy, and Collaborative Subjectivity

Moderator: Jack Bratich

In his writings, Bifo identifies the major features of living within the schizo-economy of contemporary capitalism. Among these include the pathologies triggered by technologically-induced separation, by hypercompetition, and by individualized solutions to social deprivation. At the same time, the situation today is replete with attempts to counter and withdraw from these diminished states, as well as with the cultivation of emergent collective selves. 
This panel gathers together a number of these experiments in collaborative techno-subjectivities. Any discussion of autonomy needs to examine already existing projects whose work sets the stage for a people to come. Among the themes explored: mutual aid and support in establishing new modes of (well)being, locating forms of subjective collaboration in the heart of technical systems, using play and affect in organizing, and reconfiguring the relationships between health, aesthetics and politics.

1) Molleindustria is a project of reappropriation of videogames. Since 2003, they produced free online games dealing with various social issues. Exploiting the viral diffusion of contents on the net, Molleindustria's games reached millions of players without relying on mainstream distribution channels and big budget productions.

Paolo Pedercini is a game designer, educator and artist currently based in Pittsburgh.

2) The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates
with our actual experiences of 'mental illness' rather than trying to
fit our lives into a conventional framework.

We are a network of people living with and/or affected by experiences that are often diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions. We believe these experiences are mad gifts needing cultivation and care, rather than diseases or disorders. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness, creativity, and collaboration can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. Participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.

This project was founded not only in the spirit of peer support, but also with a radical critique of mainstream society. We actively question what it means to be labeled as 'sick' or 'healthy' in a world where so many normal behaviors are destructive, violent, and oppressive. We actively work to embody this critique in our organizational structure - making decisions using a consensus-based and non-hierarchical model as well as striving for transparency and accountability in our organizing.

Jonah Bossewitch is a part-time doctoral candidate in communications at the Columbia School of Journalism. He also works full-time as a technical architect for Columbia's Center for New Media Teaching and Learning(CCNMTL <>). He is investigating the politics of memory, surveillance, and transparency and their intersection with corruption in psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. Jonah has over a decade of experience as a professional software developer and is an active free software contributor and advocate. He completed an MA in Communication and Education at Teachers College (’07) and graduated from Princeton University (’97) with a BA Cum Laude in Philosophy and certificates in Computer Science and Cognitive Studies. He blogs at

Annie Robinson is the Education/Outreach Coordinator for The Icarus Project.
Currently she is working on the project's campus initiative, Campus Icarus ( This consists of developing resources for and providing guidance to "groups led by and for students who see a need on their campus to organize a community committed to expanding the dialogue around student mental health, providing peer support alternatives to school counseling center services, developing activist campaigns, creating art, and engaging in nontraditional academic exploration of “psy”-subjects.”

Annie graduated this year (09) from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she designed a concentration which incorporated narrative theory, the philosophies and politics of health, creative therapies, and social activism organizing. In addition to her radical mental health organizing, she works as a labor doula, supporting and empowering women throughout their birth experience.

3) May First/People Link is an organization of progressive people who use the Internet. We have joined together to pool our resources to assure ourselves quality equipment and staff support and to improve our access to the Internet, enhance its function as a tool for mass communication and organizing, develop new technologies and uses for it, and help social justice movements use it effectively to communicate with each other and with the world.

Jamie McClelland is Co-Director of May First/People Link, the progressive Internet organization. He played an anchor role in developing the technology team for the US Social Forum in 2007. He has been active in progressive politics, ranging from alternative media (Paper Tiger Television) to collective labor organizing (with Media Jumpstart/May First Technology Collective) and more for over 20 years.

As a leader at May First/People Link, Mallory Knodel currently organizes with the World and US Social Forums. She's also worked with IMCs, organized in London squatted social centers, produced film and media events, and offers workshops, interviews, and presentations on consensus, facilitation, fundraising, and open source development.

Alfredo Lopez is Co-Director of May First/People Link, the progressive Internet organization. He has been involved in movements for social change for 40 years as an organizer of mass demonstrations and events as well as a leader in the Puerto Rican Independence movement. Also and author and writer he has also produced several documentary videos.

Jack Z. Bratich is associate professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. His work applies autonomist social theory to such topics as reality television, audience studies, and the cultural politics of secrecy. He is also a zine librarian at ABC No Rio.  This summer he co-taught a course on Affect and Politics at Bluestockings Bookstore. He is currently writing a book titled Programming Reality (Lexington, forthcoming), which examines reality programs (on and off television) as experiments in affective convergence.