Out of the funnel, back to the future

A two-stage think-tank and workshop about memetic propaganda and socio-cultural imaginaries in the age of attention economy and post-truth
with the Clusterduck collective

Saturday October 26, from 12pm to 5pm
Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, Hall
15 seats available

Required skills: none in particular, but if you're passionate about the darkest recesses of global social networks, know what the alt-right or have some love/hate relationship with trolls (but hate macho/fascists ones), well this workshop may be for you ;-)
Language: mostly English
Technical requirements: none
Sign up: email talk -at- theinfluencers -dot- org (subject: "Clusterduck workshop") with a brief description of who you are, your background and why you're interested in this workshop. Applications open until October 15. After then, applications will be accepted on a first come-first served basis

The infamous online-marketing funnel has been mythized as the holy grail of digital persuaders: a gentle yet merciless instrument, nudging the unsuspecting user into a circle of seduction, addiction and hyper-stimulation, in order to transform him into a perfectly docile consumer. According to leftist political activists, scholars and commentators, the same propaganda technique has been appropriated by online-content-producers belonging to the heterogenous Alt-Right galaxy, in order to politicize and radicalize growing groups of users. In this open think-tank, Clusterduck wants to deconstruct this hypothesis, presenting recent examples taken from social media platforms, and discussing them with the public. Can the digital tactics of far-right parties like Vox be grasped through the lens of the funnel concept? How can we re-appropriate contemporary digital propaganda instruments and use them for positive purposes? What alternatives can we find, and what should be done to overcome the pitfalls of contemporary internet wars?


It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism: this aphorism may be one of the most iconic descriptions of contemporary Zeitgeist, as testified by its multiple iterations and apocryphal attributions. Most of all, it shows how the socio-cultural developments of the past four decades have left us incapable or unwilling to develop radical counter-narratives that can serve as templates for alternative futures, and therefore as viable blueprints for radical political action. At the same time, critical genres like cyberpunk seem to have turned into instruments functional to the entrenchment of the status-quo, becoming an integral part of the mainstream entertainment system. Taking inspiration from recent debates about ethnofuturisms, hyperstitional imaginaries and emerging sci-fi sub-genres, Clusterduck will use the popular “political compass” meme as an instrument to foster the collective production of shared imaginaries about our common future, once again reopening the horizon of imagination – and thus, political agency.