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Of the Danger of Love, Refusal of Labor, and the Beauty of Autonomy


Proliferating and losing oneself. This was the sense of the collective enterprise that the movement was attempting in Italy at the time.
–Franco Berardi

Please join The Change You Want To See Gallery for a conversation with renowned philosopher, media activist and cultural agitator Franco Berardi "Bifo" and media theorist MacKenzie Wark, author of Game Theory and A Hacker's Manifesto.

Bifo has been a pivotal figure in Italian social movements for that past 40 years. He co-founded the legendary Radio Alice (1977), the first pirate radio station in Italy, the magazine A/Traverso (1977-81), and Rekombinant (2000), an online network environment that focuses on radical philosophy, urban conflicts, media activism, networking art, knowledge economy, western psychopathology, autonomous universities, and institutions of the common. More recently he produced the autonomous street television network Orfeo TV (2002), which sparked a national network of pirate micro TV stations to counter the media monopoly of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

This event marks the long awaited publication of the first two Bifo’s books in English: Felix Guattari: Thought, Friendship, and Visionary Cartography (Palgrave, 2008); and Ethereal Shadows: Communication and Power in Contemporary Italy (with Marco Jacquemet and Gianfranco Vitali, Autonomedia, 2009).

The evening will be moderated by Marco Deseriis, member of Not An Alternative and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU.

The Change You Want To See Gallery
Monday, March 30th, 7:30pm (free)
84 Havemeyer St, at Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L to Bedford; G to Metropolitan; J/M/Z to Marcy

About Franco Berardi Bifo
Franco Berardi (aka Bifo) is an Italian philosopher, political activist, writer, and media theorist, who is currently Professor of Social History of Communication at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Milan. Bifo was a member of the Italian group Potere operaio (Worker Power). After Potere operaio broke up into a number of groups between 1973 and 1974, Bifo joined Autonomia's “cultural” wing, which experimented with media and cultural production. In 1976, he was one the founders of Radio Alice in Bologna, the first Italian pirate radio station, which chronicled the insurrectional events of 1977 in the city and was shut down by the authorities. Between 1976 and 1981, Berardi was also one of the editors of the magazine “A/traverso,” which became the paper of the Bologna creative movement. For Bifo and other activists of the “creative" Autonomia, the use of media enabled the constitution of a zone of linguistic self-organization in alliance with other areas of auto-organization, such as the factory or the University, and especially with non-institutional zones of experimentation with ways of life.

As a result of the repression of the autonomist movement in Italy in the late seventies, Bifo fled to Paris, where he worked with Félix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. During this time he wrote for the Chimeres journal in Paris, the Semiotext[e] journal in New York, and the Musica 80 journal in Milan. Bifo has authored numerous books, including Cyberpunk, The Panther and the Rhizome, Politics of Mutation, Philosophy and Politics in the Twilight of Modernity, and The Factory of Unhappiness. He recently authored the Post-Futurist Manifesto, available at

Since the 1990’s Bifo has focused on the changing nature of capitalism and its use of communication technology and culture within a new regime of production. Bifo’s political practice intersects with the theoretical and conceptual terrain of Guattari’s writings to rethink individual and collective processes of subjectivation along with the material and semiotic transformations of the mediascape. Like other Italian autonomists such as Christian Marazzi, Paolo Virno, and Antonio Negri, Bifo emphasizes the growing autonomy of immaterial workers from waged labor, and the intimate connection between the linguistic and affective qualities of immaterial labor and the booms and busts of semiocapitalism.

About McKenzie Wark
McKenzie Wark is an Australian-born media theorist and heterodox Marxist scholar. Wark is the author of several books, including 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International (2008), Gamer Theory (2007), A Hacker Manifesto (2004), Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace (1998), The Virtual Republic (1997), and Virtual Geography (1994). He is the Chair of the Culture and Media program at Eugene Lang College, New School, New York.

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