No More Likes | MoMA R&D Salon 48 | MoMA LIVE

Technology advances in leaps and bounds, but are our lives any better for it? People seem to be increasingly looking for ways to cut back and detox. It’s ironic: iPhone software is now designed to inform you about your screen time in an effort to help you decrease it, and yet all apps are continually made more addictive. Novelty is fast and seductive, and tech companies know we will not resist a glistening new technology until too late—it will be already irrevocably integrated into our daily life. The result is a feeling of whiplash, sometimes even guilt and embarrassment for not having seen it coming. It’s natural to long for a “simpler” time, but what time is that? The younger generation is nostalgic for a time pre-smartphones and pre-Internet, a time most of them didn’t even experience first hand but yet yearn for nonetheless. We know the drill: The technologies of today no longer simply facilitate communication but rather distort our reality. The platforms we utilize prioritize clicks, likes, and views, trapping and limiting us. When fake news and propaganda inundate our feeds, the companies that run these platforms throw their hands up, hiding behind the First Amendment. Since the technologies upon which our society now sits are failing us, do we need new ones? Old ones? New laws? Less of both? A stronger democracy? Stronger individuals?

Here are some more of the questions that we will ask: How can we guarantee agency over our future? Should we join the wave of neo-Luddites? Is this version of opting-out the only option? Given how much of our lives are built around technology, is it even an option? Does our ability to connect with others and advance our careers depend too heavily on technology to allow us to opt-out? Is progress for the sake of progress sustainable? What is progress? Why are so many people craving earlier modes of existence? Does a perfect point of technological development exist? Is nostalgia a feeling that can be trusted? Should technological progress be controlled by corporations alone? What did Covid teach us about the mutability of our mode of existence?

The evening will commence with a brief introduction by Paola Antonelli, followed by equally brief presentations by – here in alphabetical order:

Stefan Andriopoulos: Professor of German and co-founder of the Center for Comparative Media at Columbia University.

Kevin Munger: the Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor of Political Science and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Data Analytics at Penn State University.

Logan Lane: the founder of the Luddite Club in Brooklyn, NY.

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The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speakers alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist.

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