G33koskop explores the cultural and artistic practices of authentic internet culture, as well as the history of the technical culture of this region. Such practices occupy a space between technical innovation and infrastructure construction, new media art, theoretical reflection on media, and social activism.
These practices consist of artistic and activist projects that often establish significant infrastructures that state administrations and the market fail to produce, and of the emergence of communities of enthusiasts who continue the tradition of avant-garde artistic and political movements. Projects and communities such as Wikipedia – the largest collaboratively written encyclopedia in history, Aaaaarg.org – collaborative research forum of critical theory, OpenStreetMaps – the largest free location database (world maps) collected by a community of enthusiasts, Wikileaks – the world’s largest anonymous document publishing platform on Corruption, the Free Software Development Movement, The Pirate Bay, Anonymous, Lulzsec and others.
On geek culture
The relationship between information and communication technologies with culture, understood as a series of mostly social, i.e. humanistic symbolic practices, is one of the most interesting topics among current theoretical interpretations of the modern world. The accelerated development of technology permeates all spheres of contemporary culture: from aesthetics, art, through specific themes of positions of power, disposition of (information / cultural) resources, issues of authorship, originality to the integrity of works and / or authors.
The most common interpretation of the relationship between technology and culture is an attempt to assess the extent to which something old has been transformed in the face of something new (as a consequence of technological development). Cultures emerging in direct interaction with the new, in this case with the development of digital communication technologies, are very rarely in the focus of interest. Even less often, is the focus on people whose lifestyles have been shaped by new communication and digital technologies. The term geek, coined in the United States in the second half of the 20th century, has become familiar to such people.
The meaning and connotation of the term “geek” has changed radically in the last few decades: in the very beginnings of the development of computer technology, “geek” meant primarily a man (usually an adolescent) fully committed to new technologies, who (according to stereotypes) has no developed social skills and society perceives him as “dislocated”, bizarre and marginal.
As new technologies were embraced by society, knowledge of the new technologies that “geeks” possessed became more and more sought after and accepted. Over time, geek culture became more and more accepted, and its members became progressive members of the wider society.
The creation of the myth of the super-geek, who is above-average intelligent, extremely skilled and self-sufficient, was favored by the economic explosion in the production of custom-made computers, by which young people became rich in a very short time. This myth includes a period of frustration due to social rejection through adolescence and later (symbolic) revenge in extreme enrichment and ascension on the social hierarchy.
The impact of geek culture on popular culture in the last twenty years is almost inconceivable: cyberpunk, computer games, computer animation, network collaborations, science fiction, conspiracy theories, distorted humor, bizarre hobbies, and collections are just some of the areas in which geek culture had an influence. Geek culture has re-appropriated in its own way various subcultural legacies, such as counterculture, hippie movement, punk, and others.
Geek culture is described by Danish theorist Lars Konzack as the third counterculture, which after the counterculture of the 60s, and Yuppie counterculture of the 80s, sees the third influential youth counterculture closely related to computer technology. (Lars Konzack: Geek culture, The 3rd Counter-Culture; presented June 26-28, 2006 at the FNG2006 conference in Preston, England).
Geek culture is obsessed with knowledge, information, and in the aesthetic sense it most often reaches for marginal, marginal, bizarre, inappropriate, and radical phenomena, which do not fit into the mainstream culture.
Like all that is in touch with new technologies, geek culture is primarily a cultural narrative determined by the North American context. Eastern Europe, on the other hand – this includes Croatian culture with its socialist heritage – gives geek culture a special character with its disappointment in the omnipotence of knowledge and social progress. Moreover, the socialist culture of technical education, within technical culture communities, various amateur photography and cinema clubs, and other similar institutions, provides a special context for the development of geek culture in Croatia.
Probably the most relevant branch of geek culture is the hacker culture and the Free Software Movement. The culture of giving and selfless exchange of information, the principle of open source, and the successful models of collaborative work known from the world of free software have become an inspiration and model for wider social circles. The movement based on free software is called the Free Culture Movement, and it is gathered around the initiative of an alternative approach to copyright (CreativeCommons).
The head of the G33scope is Marcell Mars.