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DEBT: Bankrupt banks, nationalise financial system, write off personal debt, occupy economics departments of universities

Economist Steve Keen ("As an economist, I do something very unusual: I treat money seriously.") is one of the few economists to have predicted the global financial crisis and now he says we are already in a Great Depression. He says the way to escape it is to bankrupt the banks, nationalise the financial system and write off people's debt.

Keen speaks also about the impact of economic university departments, and why, if radical systemic change wont happen, the current situation will escalate and we wont see a real improvement for at least the next twenty years.
Read his "Debtwatch" blog: www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/

How can we respond to DEBT? Have a look at our Festival outlines here: http://tinyurl.com/7b6rjf5

Memefest DEBT- Free The Network

Debt has many effects. One of them is this project. Rethinking, remaking, re imagining our internet. Communication is essential. Have a look at this fantastic initiative. How else can we respond to DEBT?

Have a look at our Festival outlines here: http://tinyurl.com/7b6rjf5

Memefest 012 Festival Outlines: DEBT

You can’t evict an idea whose time has come!

These words express the nature of the current global movement against the rule of money over life. They belong to the people, the 99%, who are bringing the fundamental urgent issues to the streets, into the media, into the realm of public consciousness, into the schools, universities, jobs, homes and intimate discussions and relationships.

These words also express something else. They speak about a state of mind, a focus and a concise articulation of the problem. The idea whose time has come is mainly about three things. First: interventions that create a rupture in the order of things with the goal to redefine our fields of experience and the relationship between being, doing and saying. Second: dialogue. Third: creating new emancipatory social institutions.

If communication and art are to play a relevant role in shaping a future worth having, we need to further redirect, reinvent and reimagine our own understanding and the way we think, theorise and practice them both. Debt is not only an opportunity to do so, but also an urgent responsibility.

Millions are enslaved through debt, and indebted life has become naturalised. Debt has become the primary mechanism that takes power from the people and gives it on to the hands of the 1%. But debt is rarely questioned. Its moral obligation is culturally embedded. It is shaming and therefore unspeakable. Its power lies in its violent normalcy.

Taking a step back and look at the global Occupy movement from a distance it is clear that we need to learn more. We need to create strategies for understanding and ways of learning that go beyond the institutional, cultural and pragmatic boundaries of professions and fields of knowledge. This process is already happening with great intensity around the world. We have been contributing to this processes for many years and this year we are going even stronger.

Do respond to our call in the Memefest 2012 Friendly Competition. This years theme is DEBT. See here for the outlines: www.memefest.org/en/competition/intro/

You can participate in the categories Visual Communication practice, critical writing and a special participatory Art/Communication category is open as well!

Deadline for your submissions is May 20th. Participation is free of charge and there is no age limit or any other restriction. We will post more soon. For now it is your turn.

With Love, Conflict and Imagination,
Oliver-Memefest Kolektiv

Memefest Festival: before the launch- some notes on what is about to happen

Hey… Yes, it's time again!
Memefest Festival of Socially responsive communication and art is soon to be launched. While the last preparations are taking place, I will post a few notes to give a bit of a context on what's happening.

The official launch of the next festival and the Friendly competition is planned to happen in the next week. We are incredibly excited about this year’s theme. What exactly it is we will tell during next week, although you could find out if you tried, because we left some traces in the data sphere and set things in place for the launch. The image above, however might give you some ideas what will be the focus of our discussion this year.

We have been and still are connected with the Occupy movement and this year’s friendly competition theme was inspired by this collaborations and the world wide movement.

We will again work with some of the best curators and editors in relevant fields to create the feedback loop for your works and determine, through our public and responsive process, which ones are the very relevant ones.

We have started collaborations with some more universities around the world, creating the possibility for wider intervention in to the existing university system. In this way we can contribute to the necessary institutional change but also collaborate with special people and pockets within the university machine developing collaborative research and projects.

More activities are about to happen in Australia and, if plans become true, in the wider Asia Pacific region.

Our fantastic experience with the last international workshop in Nijmegen in the Netherlands is still in the air and we do work towards repeating something similar in the context of this next festival too.

We are working on a exhibition in Mexico City, a project initiated and facilitated by Hector Espinoza.

Authors of works submitted to the critical writing category will have for the first time the option to choose: if edited, their work can be published in an academic journal. But that is only an option, since some of you might prefere to stay outside of academia.

One new addition to the festival, we are excited about, is a special new award, that will include an artist/theorist/designer in residence program here in sunny, sub tropical Brisbane. But to keep things a bit in the realm of imagination, I will stop here. More soon.

Oliver- Memefest Kolektiv

* image created from original photos by (John Kolesidis/Reuters, Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters, Aly Song/Reuters)

Money is a poor man's credit card

The quote "money is a poor man's credit card" comes from Marshall Mcluhan and fits perfect in out debt driven times.

Here are a few media that create a pretty good narrative perspective. First DJ Spooky remixed Mcluhan. Second one of his quotes speaking about professionalism and experts- btw, who runs the current world?- and some photos.
The last one, coming from Occupy, is particularly interesting. Up to you how you will rethink this mixed media.

"Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the groundrules of society. The amateur can afford to lose. The professional tends to classify and specialise, to accept uncritically the groundrules of the environment. The groundrules provided by the mass response of his colleagues serve as a pervasive environment of which he is contentedly unaware. The 'expert' is the man who stays put."
- Marshall McLuhan

Game Show Debord

This is pretty fantastic. A game show spectacle uses Guy Debord as content.

I would be interested to see how would Debord comment on this.

Just a little reminder: "The spectacle is not a collection of images, rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images." Society of Spectacle: Guy Debord. What kind of social relations are becoming visible through this image? What kind of social relations are made invisible by this image?

Image via Richard Barbrook via a spectacular medium

The First Official Cyberwar has begun

It was in 2004, when we created a whole Memefest Festival around the Cyberwar theme. Besides the "Design is not enough" manifesto, the main text that served as a festival provocation for people around the world to create media and texts, was "Cyberwar is coming." It was a highly important but also popular theme with our community

Few days ago, this video was published by the Anonymous group, declaring the first official cyberwar, inviting people to participate in an Facebook attack. Listen to the video, we are living in very interesting times.

Below I have posted a link to the Cyberwar text. It is a classic text that has predicted the network organisation mode as the most powerful form of social action in the future. Today, after Al Kaida- as a negative and after Occupy Wall street- as a very positive example, we know that this is true. And not to forget, the main organisational form of Memefest through all the years was a network too.

One more text for you- a manifesto, that serves a bit as a antithesis to the importance of the body, the physical dimension of the current worldwide Occupations.

Franco Berardi & Geert Lovink: A call to the Army of Love and to the Army of Software


John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt
International Policy Department






Oliver Vodeb






I am a member of Memefest communication/art/theory Kolektiv, and founder, curator and editor of Memefest Festival of Socially Responsive Communication and Art. Iam also facilitator of Memefest online social network.

I am an Academic at RMIT University, Melbourne. I teach and research mostly in the field of communication design. I approach design/communication from a critical inter/ extradisciplinary perspective and I investigate theoretical, strategic, conceptual and "hands on" practice.

I enjoy working in many different media including visual and text.

Books I have published :





This was my studio in Slovenia (2004-2012): www.poper.si

CV (sort of): http://www.memefest.org/en/about/who_we_are_oliver_vodeb/

You can read some of my texts here:

I have joined the Memfest community becasue i am interested in

I have been here from the very beginning of Memefest. I am interested in communication/design for social and environmental change.
I name such communication socially responsive communication.

Broadly speaking I am interested in visual communication, photography, sociological aspects of communication, design and media.

Iam interested in institutionalised forms of communication like for example communication done by design/communication studios and advertising agencies as well as non institutionalised forms of communication like tactical media or broader aspects of media activism.

In a slightly more academic language:

I am interested in how critical social theory can illuminate the complex processes of production, distribution and reception of public (visual) communication in order to generate public communication as a responsible social, political, economic and cultural practice.

I am particularly interested in relations between concepts of response-ability and communication effectiveness, and the social construction of design and other forms of pubic communication as profession, practice and praxis within academia, the market environments and non-institutionalised communities.


was studiing at Faculty for social sciences University of Ljubljana


PhD in sociology of communication and design

Working place

RMIT University, School of Design, Master of Communication Design

Music I like

Flamming Lips, Pixies, The Black Crowes, Demeter, Porno for Pyros, Ry Cooder, Junior Kimbrough, Townes van Zandt, T-model Ford, The Dirty Three, Bonnie Prince Billy, Primus, Faith no More, Bob Dylan, RHCP, Alice Donut, Faith no more, Mark Lanegan, Reigning Sound, Total Control;

Books I like

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, A Confederacy of Dunces, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, PanikHerz...;

Films I like

The man who wasn't there, No country for old man, Genova, Zidane a 21st century portrait, There will be blood, Il Postino, Festen, Straight Story, Wild at heart, White Ribbon, Dog tooth;

Communication projects I like

I like stuff we did at Poper studio. I like posters from Inkahoots. I like the zine project 23/56 from Kevin. I like many things that were submitted to Memefest, I like stuff from Cactusnetwork, I like the work of Image-shift.

Websites I like

poper.si, memefest.org, magnumphotos.com, mubi.com, ubu.com, http://twotheories.blogspot.com, brianholmes.wordpress.com, www.lensculture.com, www.burnmagazine.org, www.bagnewsnotes.com, www.cactusnetwork.org.uk, http://www.image-shift.net, www.inkahoots.com.au/

People I like

My dear family and my wonderful friends.