NEW YORK PROPHECIES
In the modern world, our understanding of the present is often
shaped by sci-fi fantasies about what is to come. Ironically, the
most influential of these visions of the future are already decades
old. We are already living in the times when they were supposed
to have come true. In his presentation, Richard Barbrook will analyse
the origins and evolution of the imaginary future of artificial
intelligence in the 1950s and 1960s. By showing that the future
is what it used to be, he will argue that it is time for us to invent
BIO Dr. Richard Barbrook was educated at Cambridge, Essex and Kent
universities. During the early-1980s, he was involved in pirate
and community radio broadcasting. He helped to set up Spectrum Radio,
a multi-lingual station operating in London, and published extensively
on radio issues. In the late-1980s and early-1990s, Richard worked
for a research institute at the University of Westminster on media
regulation within the EU. Some of this research was later published
in 'Media Freedom: the contradictions of communications in the age
of modernity' (Pluto Press, London 1995). Since the mid-1990s, Richard
has been coordinator of the Hypermedia Research Centre at the University
of Westminster and is course leader of its MA in Hypermedia Studies.
In collaboration with Andy Cameron, he wrote 'The Californian Ideology'
which was a pioneering critique of the neo-liberal politics of 'Wired'
magazine. In the last few years, Richard has written a series of
articles exploring the impact of the sharing of information over
the Net, including ‘The Hi-Tech Gift Economy’ and ‘Cyber-communism’.
He is presently working on a book - ‘Imaginary Futures’ – which
is about how ideas from the 1960s and 1970s shape our contemporary
conception of the information society. A selection of Richard’s
writings are available on the Hypermedia Research Centre's website: