Extinction Internet is not merely an end-of-the-world phantasy of digital 
technology that one day will be wiped out by an electromagnetic pulse or the 
cutting of cables. Rather, Extinction Internet marks the end of an era of 
possibilities and speculations, when adaptation is no longer an option. During 
the internet’s Lost Decade, we’ve been rearranging the deck chairs on the 
Titanic under the inspirational guidance of the consultancy class. What’s to be 
done to uphold the inevitable? We need tools that decolonize, redistribute 
value, conspire and organize. Join the platform exodus. It’s time for a strike 
on optimization. There is beauty in the breakdown.

Extinction Internet is Geert Lovink’s inaugural lecture, held on November 18, 
2022 as Professor of Art and Network Cultures, within Modern and Contemporary 
Art History,  Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam.


Preface by Geert Lovink

My gratitude goes to prof. Mia Lerm Hayes to make it all possible, and to Frank 
Kresin, Dean of the Faculty Digital Media and Creative Industries, to 
facilitate the sponsorship of this chair by the Amsterdam University of Applied 

A few words about the background of the lecture topic. The Russian invasion in 
Ukraine and the mounting climate crisis urged me to not merely look back at the 
thirty-plus years of media theory, new media art and activism. The internet 
criticism that I have tried to define and practice needs to constantly be 
challenged and questioned in order to  remain relevant. Together with my dear 
friend Ned Rossiter, with whom I collaborate ever since we met in Melbourne, 
back in 2001, I decided to go beyond my work of the past five years on the 
mental states of internet users, as recorded in my books Sad by Design and 
Stuck on the Platform, now confronting myself with Extinction Internet.

I am building here on the work of Bernard Stiegler and Franco Berardi on 
climate collapse and finitude in platform capitalism. I also benefitted from 
the dialogues with Athina Karatzogianni at Leicester University, who is doing 
research into the strategy debates of Extinction Rebellion, as well as 
Georgiana Cojocaru, a research fellow at the Institute of Network Cultures. 
This led to a short essay, entitled Extinction Bauhaus 
<https://networkcultures.org/geert/2020/12/16/extinction-bauhaus/>, on art and 
design education in the age of climate collapse. The following speech directly 
builds on these exchanges. Besides the readers of the text, mentioned in the 
pdf, I would like to thank INC team members Chloë Arkenbout, Laurence Scherz 
and Tommaso Campagna for their editorial and production to put out the text and 
in particular, as always, Mieke Gerritzen for the design.

Published by the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2022

Download the .pdf here: 

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