Johannes Grenzfurthner is an artist and a filmmaker, writer, performer, and researcher. Boing Boing referred to him as "leitnerd," a wordplay that ironically hints at his role in nerd, hacker, and art culture. He's the founder and artistic director of monochrom, an art and theory group that acts internationally, and the editor-in-chief of the art/tech/activism magazine The Free Lunch. After directing feature length documentaries Traceroute (2016) and Glossary of Broken Dreams (2018), Johannes continues working on feature film projects such as Masking Threshold and Je Suis Auto. He's head of the Arse Elektronika sex and tech festival and the Hedonistika food-tech festival, and he's the host of Roboexotica, the festival for cocktail robotics.
The Wonderful World of Cocktail Robotics
Johannes has been co-organizing the world's leading cocktail-robotics festival, Roboexotica, for two decades. In it, he's seen a lot of inebriating and ingeniously designed machinery. This annual event brings scientists, researchers, computer experts, and artists from all over the world to Austria. They build and present cocktail robots. They also discuss technological innovations and pitfalls, futurology, and the marvels of hands-on science fiction. It's time to dedicate an entire HOPE presentation to the concept and underlying philosophy of this bizarre and boozy endeavor. Roboexotica is all about the flair, the atmosphere, and the personality a robot can have. The contraptions presented can be efficient, but the primary goal is to display unique mechanical charm and character. With thousands of guests each year, there is also an exciting educational opportunity.
We Need to Talk About Amazon: An Introduction to Capitalism
Amazon is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle. It focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Amazon is called "one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world" and the world's most valuable brand. For nerds who grew up in the 1980s, it's like a cyberpunk dystopia's wet dream come true. Amazon has moved into health care and insurance. It has dug deeper into AI and automation, and bolstered its in-home delivery services. But that's not enough to understand the brutal capitalist force it represents and the future Jeff Bezos wants to create. This discussion will look at some of the curious aspects of this company, along with what we can learn from its behavior about late capitalism.