Here is the outline of an autonomous technopolitics course which I plan to co-teach next fall with a Chicago collective. The focus is on US conditions but it's meant to have use-value for everyone involved, whether close or afar. Significant comments will result in changes to the outline. Selected readings and a full bibliography will eventually be added.
Once a minor practice in places of privilege in the global North, internet-enabled file-sharing via peer-to-peer (P2P) systems has evolved into a vast, transglobal activity. Engaging millions of participants, P2P is decentralised, deeply networked, grass roots-driven, polycultural phenomenon growing exponentially. It appears uncontainable, as each wave of technological, legal and commercial measures designed to halt or divert it fail. Moreover, pressure exerted 'from above' by governments and multinational industry alliances becomes a productive force within geographically dispersed, globalised P2P networks and communities. Technical and social innovations are generated 'from below' in order to protect and expand “cultures of sharing,” or “piracy.” Paradoxically, these innovations become mainstreamed as they force corporations to adopt new business models in response to 'market' desires.