Week 41: KEIN

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Florian Schneider, one of the founders and administrators of KEIN.ORG, a collaborative networking environment that offers a wide range of internet services to activists and artists, groups and individuals from around the globe.


KEIN.ORG started in 1997 at Documenta X with the launch of the “no one is illegal” campaign. The group soon set up its own server and developed its own networking infrastructure. The idea of KEIN.ORG is self-supply in terms of networking techniques, operating on a strictly self-authorized and self-organized basis. KEIN.ORG runs eleven servers situated at various locations in Europe and beyond, hosting more than 500 websites, some 200 content management systems and countless mailing lists and email-accounts. A plausible world of plausible worlds, one might venture to say — except that the people at KEIN.ORG would likely point out that this is “KEIN world” — “kein” being the negative indefinite article in German that negates whatever noun follows it (translating as “no” or “none”): the KEIN.ORG website abounds in straight-faced play on the word that they are, featuring “KEIN manifesto”, “KEIN history”, “KEIN community — KEIN.ORG eluding identity by stating it is not what it is. But the word play makes a serious point, as their manifesto points out. It’s short and very much to the point:

KEIN.ORG implies no organization: No organs, no shared purpose, no common ground, no identity and no feedback.

But rather than a negation KEIN marks the moment of withdrawal, an escape, an indefinite line of flight out of the overcoded structures of networks as formed-matter, of networked economies, of a standardized and controlled production of networked subjectivity.

KEIN is a machine for the production of production. It is asignificant as such: it produces not meaning, but means. But it has itself no means: it is free, free of charges, free of advertisement, free of liability, free of claims, free of complaints, free of duties, free of representation.

KEIN.ORG is about self-authorization, un-organizing and becoming fluid. There is no staff and there are no assets. But there are lots of links, connections, and conjunctions to be made.”