kNOw Future Inc.

law, technology and cinema, washed down with wine

Questioning ‘Commons Talk’

This months’s Seedling, an excellent newsletter produced by the Farmers Rights organization GRAIN, contains a provocative – and long overdue – criticism of the tendency to invoke ‘commons’ willy-nilly whenever there is something to be defended from appropriation. Authored by the editorial team together with Brewster Kneen (author of the investigation about Cargill, “Invisible Giant” published by Pluto Press), the article poses very squarely the political aphasias of the ‘public’ – in the era of the privatizing neo-liberal state – and a ‘commons’ that it is not just compatible but even the post-industrial, and necessary, modification to business-as-usual. As an example of the latter they point to the potential of creative commons to simply legitimise the basic shibboleth of copyright by adapting it to technological reality without changing the relations of production.


November 28, 2006 Posted by | /, intellectual property, law, material culture, social cooperation | Leave a comment

Critical Wine

Critical Wine is a network of wine producers and consumers which seeks to interrogate and critique the industrial-production model increasingly dominant in the wine world. the commercial forces behind the homogenization of global taste have received increasing attention in the media, exemplified by the success of Jonathan Nossiter’s excellent film ‘Mondovino‘, but Critical Wine t/ERRA e l/IBERTA is an attempt to construct an alternative circuit of production in the material world: a site of disintermediated connection and transaction between users and producers. The initiative was launched in 2002 by Luigi Veronelli, father of Italian wine journalism, together with individuals associated with the social centres Magazzino 47 (Brescia) and La Chimica (Verona), and despite the death of its charismatic founder in 2005 it continues to prosper.

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November 28, 2006 Posted by | EU Regulations, italy, material culture, wine | 1 Comment

Introducing kNOw Future…

… the site of my latest attempt at impossible synthesis. In the begining there were the cryptowars and the first fight against state regulation of speech on the internet, the CDA, 1996 in sum, and that shiny bait was enough to get me hooked. A decade later and I’ve moved on but not off, copyright, patents, the whole gamut of rules governing immaterial borders, the production of meaning and wealth, communication and social cooperation, have been my playpen for a decade. In the meantime the attractions of material culture have grown upon me and I began to think about how these rules apply to medicine, food, and wine – the indicia of ageing, I suppose.

November 28, 2006 Posted by | / | Leave a comment