Superfactory – How to participate?

You can participate in the Superfactory(TM) in 5 easy steps:

(0) As a Prosumer you enter the shop floor
(1) Play the game and win a Mini-FM Kit + CD
(2) Join the DIY* building of Mini-FM kits at the workshop
(3) Make up your own pirate radio station and broadcast (OC**)
(4) Join the Plug-in Party together with other Prosumers
(5) Be revolutionary televised live! on Superfactory ASCII Channel TV
(6) Be streamed in the WWW via MP3-Audio-Livestream

The very first step (0) actually is very simple, just start
your career!

The second step (1) consists of playing a nice “memory game”,
our new “MEMEX”, where you get to know all the exciting
people of the scene: the hacker artisan, the curatorsponsor,
the peer-to-peer oparist, the supermart prosumer,
the alternative economy believer, the open source ego,
the multitude multi and many more.
If you win, it’s easy, you can buy a bag with one manual
and map, one original audio-cd with rip-material and one
antenna for your own Mini-FM transmitter!

In (2) – organized like a workshop (DIY*) – you can become
a blue collar worker and watch how Mini-FM kits are made,
and operators will explain how you can finish yours.

Within step (3) you make up your own pirate radio station
with your own MHz-frequenzy and your private/public
underground radioshow (OC**).

Join the Plug-in Party together in (4) with other Prosumers.

Finally step five (5) and (6) are the real highlight, when
everything is broadcasted live on Superfactory ASCII Channel
TV and streamed in the WWW via MP3-Audio-Livestream.
* DIY = Do-It-Yourself
** OC = Open Content

Informational Free Jazz
We don’t want to show “informational free jazz” = synonym
for free labour but the combination of a production process
with a point of sale. And there is hard work on hardware!

The Superfactory(TM) does not believe in immaterial work
as the new new paradigm of capitalism.
And there is no doubt, that radio exists under capitalistic
circumstances. Sure, for real work in a real factory you need
to buy the labour of the workers. But here in this mix of a
factory with a supermarket you can exploit yourself. Sit down
and assemble a transmitter and then do a better than good radio
show for the people out there! It takes not more than 15 minutes
of your lifetime-value (or more. YOU decide!).

You can regulate it all in a legal sense. You can fight for open
standards, open content, open sources, sure you can attack private
property. But as long as the surplus work and the surplus value
happens in the modi of labour, and as long as exploitation is the
de facto non-open meta-standard of society (call it service society,
network society or post-industrialage) as a whole free radio practice
is not the problem of restriction of knowledge power itself. It is
the problem of the control of a few – who want profit! – over many.

That is the wave of a clash of new forms of production, via data-
manipulation, with the “making of…” of (in our case) mini-fm radio
And when we say “we show” we want to invite people to build these
kits and produce their own radio show. But they have to play in
front! Prosumers rights are unfortunately not solved by the GPL.
Nothing is already there, there!
Or how do you bring on the bacon?
(c) 2007 Superfactory(TM)

by Matze Schmidt
We invented the Superfactory(TM) to discuss, show and deconstruct
practical and theoretical models of alternative production and
economy. “We” is a group of people in Berlin – Karsten Asshauer,
Mindaugas Gapsevicius and me – and elsewhere connected through
a symbolic interface like the interest for making things with
things and the will for cooperation. When one asks for a 3pages
text about our undertakings we probably would write this:

Standing on the shoulders of giants

All creating derives a benefit from what others have done before. The
field of cultural production is not a special one outside the normal
life. The very first manufacturing in mankind needed what we call
cultural skills. Culture and economics are two sides of one coin. But
times changed and nowadays culture is standing on the shoulders of
workers officially doing no culture at all when they are working.
This is discussed by the Cultural Industries and the Cultural
Studies, but even terms like Industrial Culture or Business Culture
can not push beside the fact, that culture does not create the
surplus the capital needs for making profit.

What is this Surplus, anyway?

The “(TM)”, the acronym for Registered Trademark, in the label of the
project is a reference to a tag used in the newsgroups of the Usenet
marking a textual claim. And it is a reference to the debates in
bulletin boards of the early WWW for marking commercial tendencies
within the system of the Web. But it has nothing to do with the so
called commercializing of social fields, since all real production
inside the capitalistic society HAS to be capitalistic. It is since
over 200 years commercial right from the ground up. As we started,
we thought it would be a clear statement to all illusionists who
believe in a better or other world possible now and here without
plans for ending capitalism itself instead of reforming it. But
this is my opinion, the others in the group would tell another
Keep in mind, that only the productive worker is able to produce
surplus value while he is doing surplus work. The whole art and
cultural scene does depend on special founding of this surplus coming
out of the industry and the service world. One could say that
actually all artists, designers and architects live from this basic
work of the workers who create the profit. Cultural work is in
reality unproductive work for the capital.

Supermarket + Factory

The theme and title of the project is a combining of the words
Supermarket plus Factory. Here users can learn how to work whilst
shopping. But as we all know consuming is not labour, so we have to
differentiate those two categories. The idea of being a productive
worker while “working” in the Web 2.0 (Blogging, YouTubing) pushes
away the fact, that the user pays for this all. So he does nothing
else than using a service as he is producing himself in Second Life.
Therefore the Super-Factory operates with a phantasm which is quite
often utilized in the scene talking about Informal Economy.

Altive Econ

Promises of an Informal Economy or an Alternative Economy in
opposition to the capitalistic way of production came with early
anarchists (e.g. Pierre Joseph Proudhon) and had a revival in the
1990s in the left wing of the New Economy. It is a non ending
discussion, so we can make a line here, listing some labels which
stand close to this Altive Econ: Creative Commons (which are in fact
Anti-Commons), CCC (Chaos Computer Club, which I call the Corrective
Computer Club, a German anti-business association), Umsonstladen
(“Free Goods Shop” where you can not buy a thing because the goods
– old books for example – are nothing worth than use value),
GPL-Society (the I-am-so-free-Scene linked to the high-business of
Linux), Cultural Flatrate (a German model for a new culture tax to
help non-efficient artists), Collaboration of the Coyote (the
totally nomadic freelancer subject), attac (let’s fight Hedge Fond’s
together, Mr. President). All those movements have in common the
idea of changing the system of exploitation today and without
The right wing technocrats of the US came out with one author in the
late 1960s and again in the 1980s, who claimed an upcoming new kind
of citizen very close to this reform: The Prosumer.

The Prosumer

Alvin Toffler told of democratic capitalism and the perforation of
the borders between consumer and producer. The Prosumer was about to
do both: the work and the consuming at the same time. This would
increase the power of the masses to get what they really want. Sure,
industry can not produce without knowing what is needed, but the
industry as we know it must produce more than is needed to overcome
competitors and people must not steal it (the last argument is the
reason for copyrights). Ironically Toffler was right from the start,
because the one who produces a mass product is the one who is
expropriated from his product and has to buy it as a ware. So he
or she is the one who sets up this thing called commodity and has to
consume as he or she pays for it. This is in short the idiotic cycle
of the reproduction of the capital.

Bricolage & DIY

One model is a sort of short run solution of this whole complex, to
find out what is going on in political economy. It is the “bricolage”
(Claude Levi-Strauss), which is simply “making things with things”,
also know as DIY (Do it Yourself). You start to produce your own
products besides the market and see what will happen. As a matter of
fact this is not just a sexy option, but the normal day life in any
case. It is also called the reproduction of the subject. But even
this basic reproduction can become a domain of the rules of capital.

Example Mini-FM Radio Transmitters

Our example for this is the tradition of making radio. This medium
has now about 100 years of history of doing things with things, which
are – especially in Germany – prohibited by the state. The state is
the frame for capital itself. It it still not allowed in most
civilized countries to make up your own radio station, as long as
you don’t pay for it. This is rooted in the dialectics of the good
(as article of commerce) and the use.

Production of Consumption


“The object of art ‘like every other product’ creates a public which is
sensitive to art and enjoys beauty. Production thus not only creates
an object for the subject, but also a subject for the object. Thus
production produces consumption (1) by creating the material for it;
(2) by determining the manner of consumption; and (3) by creating the
products, initially posited by it as objects, in the form of a need
felt by the consumer. It thus produces the object of consumption, the
manner of consumption and the motive of consumption. Consumption
likewise produces the producer’s inclination by beckoning to him as
an aim-determining need.” (

So that is why we can say

“The problem is NOT copyright or licences, stupid! It’s production.”

Berlin, 05.06.2007