Steal This Film

4 03 2008

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Tuesday, March 4th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

6:00 PM to 6:40 – Steal This Film pt 1

Steal This Film is a film documenting the movement against intellectual property released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol.

The film is notable for its critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture attempt performed by the Hollywood film lobby to leverage economic sanctions by the United States government on Sweden through the WTO. Alleged aims included the application of pressure to Swedish police into conducting a search and seizure against Swedish law for the purpose of disrupting The Pirate Bay’s BitTorrent tracker.

6:45 PM to 7:30 PM – Steal This Film pt 2

This part examines the technological and cultural aspects of the copyright wars, and the implications of the internet for copying. It includes an exploration of Mark Getty’s infamous statement that ‘intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century’. It was selected for the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It was also shown during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow called it ‘an amazing, funny, enraging and inspiring documentary series’.

 

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THE CENTURY OF THE SELF: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

3 12 2007

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Wednesday, December 5th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM and 6 PM – Century of the Self Part Four – Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering (60 min)

This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn’t realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.





The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines

12 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 14th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM- The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines (60 min)

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.





Future by Design

29 09 2007

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Wednesday, October 3rd in the TA

5 PM- Future by Design: (88 Min)

‘Future by Design’ presents ninety year old futurist, Jacque Fresco, who has spent his whole life designing the future. A technologist, an inventor, an industrial designer, an artist — peer to Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller – Jacque is a fascinating character, lively and engaging. This documentary presents not only Jacque Fresco’s decades of work, but captures his vibrancy, enthusiasm and curiosity, all of which continue to inform his optimism for the future of humanity as a whole. This modern-day Da Vinci has a practical vision for the future – where we all are true equals, collaborating peacefully for the betterment of everyone. Helmed by Academy Award-nominated director William Gazecki.

Jacque Fresco lives in Venus, Florida. His optimistic view and desire to create solutions that maximally benefit the greatest number of people stem from his formative years during the Great Depression. To this day he writes and lectures extensively on subjects ranging from the holistic design of sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management and advanced automation, focusing on the benefits it will bring to society.





Hey fucker! Counter-Culture is for Pussies!

7 05 2007

Grant Morrison

Tuesday, May 8th in HCL 4

8:00- Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World (BBC)

He is perhaps best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Crowley was also an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the Argenteum Astrum, and Ordo Templi Orientis.

Other interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging—he was a chess player, mountain climber, poet, painter, astrologer, hedonist, drug experimenter, and social critic.

Although this documentary is heavily biased against Crowley, it shows a great deal about his life. Dubbed “The Wickedest Man in the World” and “The Beast”, many still see him today as an incarnation of pure evil.

He influenced: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Graham Bond, Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Grant Morrison, Manic Street Preachers, Tool, The Rolling Stones, Pantera, John Frusciante, Primal Scream, Alphaville, Klaxons, Wicca, The Hippies, Robert Anton Wilson, and countless others.


9:00- The Disinfo Con 2000

Douglas Roshkoff

Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, New York University professor, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He sees “media” as the landscape where this interaction takes place, and “literacy” as the ability to participate consciously in it.

He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries – The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and  The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance.

Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.

Topics include: “Us” vs “Them”, Media, Internet, “Counter Culture”, and more.

Grant Morrison

Comic book author and chaos magick practitioner, Grant Mirrison’s gives a mind blowing talk at the Disinfo Con. Known for such contributions and works as Judge Dredd, Batman (Arkham Asylum), Superman, All Star Superman, JLA, Flash, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, The Invisibles, The Filth, WE3, Seaguy, Marvel Boy, Fantastic Four, New X-Men, Spawn, Vampirella, and the list goes on and on….

Topics include: The Human Condition, The State of the World, Psychedelics, Magick, Society, The Invisibles, Terrence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, Aliens, and more.