No future : punk, design and resistance to Dystopian technologies

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2019-05-09

Authors

Moakes, Gordon

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Abstract

Smartphones and other compact forms of technology have become commonplace in the human experience throughout the world: at the same time, we have come to take for granted the necessity to access such technologies almost exclusively through privately-owned and corporate platforms. In this, the heyday of technology capitalism, which sustains itself with pernicious forms of data annexation and behavior surveillance, the notion of ‘counterculture’ has become a nebulous—and contested—idea, both within the current multiplicities of online discourse and as a reflection of changing attitudes in the twenty-first century to pre-existing notions of ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ culture. Drawing on my experience as a musician in the 2000s and 2010s, and the ‘punk’ inspirations that led me to music in the first place, this thesis is an exploration of the possibilities for countercultural responses to hegemonic technologies, and an attempt to update punk in satirical and rhetorical forms to confront the design assumptions that entrench logics of capitalism and fallacious technological ‘progress’.

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