Today's mass communication often works like a viral infection: information and trends are created by users and spread from person to person, outside of the classical 'top-down' mass media channels. When people base their consumer habits on peer recommendations in social networks, when 'memes' from image boards like 4chan create the true popular culture of our time, what remains for the classical mass media, marketing and advertising industries? Will they be shaken just like the music industry has been shaken by mp3? What are the effects on, for example, political communication?

On April 12 and 13 2010, the Piet Zwart Institute – part of Willem de Kooning Academy – will host an international conference on these subjects, with high profile speakers from abroad and a local avant-garde of media creators: Bill Wasik (USA, inventor of Flashmobs, senior editor Harper's), Douglas Rushkoff (USA, media theoretician), Marc Schwieger (Germany, social media specialist, former creative director Scholz & Friends), Gordan Savicic (Austria/Rotterdam, developer of the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine), Thomas Knuewer (Germany, economic journalist and blogger on social media), ROFLCON (USA), speakers from Rotterdam-based companies IN10 and 105, and many more. The complete programme is available on:

The first day of the conference focuses on social media and advertising,
the second day on viral 'memes' from Flashmobs to 4chan.

The conference consists of public sessions at the Piet Zwart Institute from 11-17hrs. These can be freely attended by everyone. On top of this, there will be roundtable evening sessions for media professionals in the building of Teldesign. (Attendance of the evening sessions requires registration and payment of a participation fee; please contact Leslie Robbins for more information.)


Piet Zwart Institute
Mauritsstraat 36 

3012 CJ Rotterdam 

the Netherlands

Blaak 512
3011 TA Rotterdam
the Netherlands