Hackers. The Art of Abstraction

27 february, 2004 - 8 march, 2004
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Jenny Marketou and Berta Sichel
Jill Sharpe. Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture, 2001
Jill Sharpe. Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture, 2001

In the information age, the matrix of all development (technological, economic and social) is innovation, the supreme value inherent in innovation which when augmented by the revolution in information technologies, exponentially increases the capacity to generate wealth and accumulate power. However, innovation is not a clear-cut value. It must be associated with some type of personal satisfaction related to the act of innovation. Herein lies the essence of the hacker culture, according to Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen: in the pleasure of creating for creation’s sake. This moves the world, especially the world in which cultural, technological, scientific and (in its non-economic aspect) business creations have become a direct productive force because of the new technological relationship between knowledge and the production of goods and services. According to this definition, it could be argued that hackers exist everywhere, not only in the information sphere. In fact, Himanen argues that everyone can be a hacker in their daily lives and that anyone who is moved by a passion to create in their specific field is motivated by a power higher than economic gain and the satisfaction of instincts. However, technological computer innovation is closely linked to changes in the information age, meaning that hacker culture shines most brightly in computer and Internet technologies.