Book launch and public lecture by Sebastian Olma

Sebastian Olma.

Amsterdam-based author Sebastian Olma will be launching his latest book, In Defence of Serendipity, with Monash University’s Culture Media Economy (CME) research unit. The book launch will feature a lecture from Olma, followed by a discussion and Q&A.

In Defence of Serendipity is a lively and buccaneering work of investigative philosophy, treating the origins of “serendipity, accident and sagacity”, as riddles and philosophical concepts that can be put to a future political use. Taking in Aristotle, LSD, Tony Blair, techno-mysticism and the sharing economy, Sebastian Olma challenges the prevailing faith in the benevolence of digital technology and rejects the equation of innovation with entrepreneurship. He argues instead that we must take responsibility for the care of society’s digital infrastructure and prevent its degeneration into an apparatus of marketing and finance. The alternative is a situation in which the only kind of freedom that remains to us is the freedom to be exploited.

In his lecture, Sebastian is going to attack the current ideologies of innovation and their gymnastics of changeless change. Cutting through the infantile hyperbole of “making the world a better place” he is going to put forward the contours of a radical politics of innovation. The lecture will be followed by a discussion and Q&A lead by Professor Justin O’Connor.

About the author

Sebastian Olma is an Amsterdam-based author, critic and occasional policy advisor with a critical view on the creative industries. He is Professor of Autonomy in Art, Design and Technology at St. Joost Art Academy and Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda, The Netherlands. In Amsterdam, Sebastian is involved with initiatives of urban cultural activism and subcultural innovation. His latest book, In Defence of Serendipity: For a Radical Politics of Innovation was published by Repeater Books, London in 2016.

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