Alessandro Delfanti on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:41:56 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Gentrification of Hacking: How yuppies hacked the

Hi all,

Johan Soderberg and I are writing this paper titled "Repurposing the 
hacker. Three temporalities of recuperation". We do adopt a deeper 
historical framework while trying to understand how hacking has been 
hacked, and try to answer a more general question on how to 
analyze/avoid what Brett calls "gentrification" -- more traditionally, 
we call it "recuperation" -- and believe this is part of a series of 
processes of co-option that go much further than hacking. Indeed we 
describe recuperation of hacking in terms of social movement development 
and evolution of capitalism. You can download it here, please note it is 
just a draft!

A summary:

The spread of hacker practices to new fields, such as open hardware 
development and do-it-yourself biology, brings with it a renewed 
necessity to analyse the significance of hacking in relation to 
industrial and institutional innovation. We sketch out a framework 
drawing on the idea of recuperation and use it to situate an emerging 
body of works on hackers. By adopting the concept of recuperation, we 
highlight how hacker practices and innovations are adopted, adapted and 
repurposed by corporate and political institutions. In other words, 
hacking is being hacked. We suggest three temporalities within which 
this dynamics can be studied: 1) the life cycle of an individual hacker 
project-community, 2) the co-evolution of hacker movements and relevant 
industries or institutions, 3) the place of hacking within the ???spirit 
of the times???, or, differently put, the transformations of capitalism 
seen through the lens of hacking.


>dear Brett,
>your essay is brilliant and obvious at the same time. I did enjoy
>reading it, but still feels like scratching the surface as it does not
>dig into other historical examples of cultural gentrification.

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