Marcell Mars - Distributed Resources versus Distributed Tech


Distributed Resources versus Distributed Tech

Online Lecture

23 June, 18:00

New technologies, backed by venture capital, come with​ ​promises. Those promises rarely get fulfilled. Still, there are​ ​existing resources that we very much rely on, such as Science Hub,​ ​Library Genesis, Aaaarg, Monoskop, Ubu or Memory of the World, and​ ​those resources are not backed by venture capital, but are backed by​ ​tried, tested technologies and people who care. Yet, we have managed​ ​not just to forget the promises those technologies came with but to​ ​forget if they ever promised anything at all. We have come to re​l​y on​ ​them, but we should also learn from them. As was written in the​ ​ letter on the occasion of's 20th​ ​anniversary:

- Keep it simple and avoid constant technology updates. Ubu is plain​ ​HTML, written in a text-editor.

- Even a website should function offline. One should be able to take​ ​the hard disk and run. Avoid the cloud - computers of people you don't know and who don't care about you.

- Don't ask for permission. You would have to wait forever, turning​ ​yourself into an accountant and a lawyer.

- Don't promise anything. Do it the way you like it.

- You don't need search engines. Rely on word-of-mouth and direct​ ​linking to slowly build your public. You don't need complicated​ ​protocols, digital currencies or other proxies. You need people who​ ​care.

- Everything is temporary, even after 20 years. Servers crash, disks​ ​die, life changes and shit happens. Care and redundancy is the only​ ​path to longevity.


Nenad Romić (aka Marcell Mars, b. 1972). Advanced internet user.

Marcell is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute - mi2 (1999) and club mama in Zagreb (2000). He initiated GNU GPL publishing label EGOBOO.bits (2000); started Skill sharing (2004) informal meetings of technical enthusiasts in mama + regional hacker gatherings ‘Nothing will happen’ (2007).

Mars started his research “Ruling Class Studies” at Jan van Eyck (2011-12), continued at Akademie Schloss Solitude (2013) and since spring 2015, he is a PhD student at Leuphana University in DCRL (Digital Cultures Research Lab). “Ruling Class Studies” is a research of corporate state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence. It looks closely at the Google, Amazon, Facebook and eBay.

Since 2018 he joined Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University as Research Fellow.

Public Library/Memory of the World was established in 2012 to develop sociotechnical infrastructure and invigorate (again) historical argument for universal access to knowledge. For MotW Marcell develops software: [let’s share books] Calibre plugin and related server infrastructure. Public Library/Memory of the World was heard and exhibited at Museo Reina Sofía, 98weeks, Impakt Festival, Transmediale, The New School, Kunstverein Stuttgart…


The project Annenstrasse 53, run by Das Gesellschaftliche Ding. Kunst, Architektur und Öffentlichkeit, is part of the KUNSTRAUM STEIERMARK fellowship programme of Land Steiermark and supported by steirischer herbst ‘21, Land Steiermark, Abteilung 9 Kultur, Europa, Sport, and the City of Graz, Kulturamt. 


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