Interstitial EP008

Sad by Design
by Geert Lovink

Social media has penetrated every aspect of our lives, yet no amount swiping or liking seems to satisfy us. Media theorist and internet critic Geert Lovink tries to overcome the deadlock of platform capitalism.

About the book

Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism

'Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism' book cover

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Pluto Press
May 2019

Geert Lovink is a Dutch media theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2002), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012), Social Media Abyss (2016), and Sad by Design (2019). In 2004, he founded the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His center organizes conferences, publications, and research networks such as Video Vortex (online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), and MoneyLab (internet-based revenue models in the arts). Recent projects deal with digital publishing and the future of art criticism. He also teaches at the European Graduate School.

Keep Thinking

Geert Lovink recommends

Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility

Franco “Bifo” Berardi

His writings are brilliant. I’m very much in debt to what he writes about all these things. In the end, I’m still an internet critic, and so in my writings I always have to tie it to very specific modes of technologies or political economy of the internet. Franco Berardi is able to put it in a much broader perspective of society.

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Mark Fisher

Sad by Design is an application of what it means that there is no alternative anymore—the idea that we are caught, captured, closed. That’s Mark Fisher's influence, and I am very inspired by his very disturbed writings. He, like me, is struggling between the description of that reality and the question of strategy. Are there ways out? How could we imagine something else beyond this platform capitalism?