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Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism with Geert Lovink and Emily

23rd May 2019 · 6:45pm - 8:45pm

In person | Virtual event

 Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism with Geert Lovink and Emily

Pluto Live and Conway Hall are delighted to host the official book launch for Geert Lovink’s new book Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism published by Pluto Press. Geert will be joined by chair Emily Reynolds.

Sadness is now a design problem. The highs and lows of melancholy are coded into social media platforms. After all the clicking, browsing, swiping and liking, all we are left with is the flat and empty aftermath of time lost to the app.

Sad by Design offers a critical analysis of the growing social media controversies such as fake news, toxic viral memes and online addiction. The failed search for a grand design has resulted in depoliticised internet studies unable to generate either radical critique or a search for alternatives.

Geert Lovink calls for us to embrace the engineered intimacy of social media, messenger apps and selfies, because boredom is the first stage of overcoming ‘platform nihilism’. Then, after the haze, we can organise to disrupt the data extraction industries at their core.

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Zero Comments (Routledge, 2007), Networks Without a Cause (Polity, 2012), Social Media Abyss (Polity, 2016) and Sad By Design (Pluto, 2019). He founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and teaches at the European Graduate School.

Emily Reynolds is an author and journalist from London. She writes for the GuardianVogueVICEWired and many more on mental health, technology, intimacy and more. Her first book, A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind, came out in 2017; she is currently working on her second, an exploration on how the internet has changed intimacy. She also has a column at Huck Magazine on this topic.

Doors open at 6.45pm for a 7pm start.

Tickets are £3 each (plus fees) and can each be redeemed against a copy of Sad by Design (RRP: £16.99).

Pluto Live is a specially curated series of events featuring Pluto Press authors in conversation with leading figures on the left, discussing radical politics and other big ideas.

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This event is in the Main Hall on the ground floor. For accessibility info:

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