August, 2016

Version Festival 16: The Lumpen Dark Web

August 26 - Sept 3, 2016 - (Events)

In 1991 we took the first step towards creating a new world, a world where our virtual and real lives converged through a community of people, histories, tactics, strategies, convenings, and software. Our efforts created a network of thousands of people and produced hundreds of exhibitions and events, buffering endless hours of media, activity, and action.

It’s twenty-five years later.

We've spent this time building alternative spaces, and experimental cultural centers like the Co-Prosperity Sphere. We've produced freakouts and happenings, and art convergences like Version Festival, and published almost two hundred issues of publications like Lumpen, Proximity, Materiel, Mash Tun and more. This year we will launch Lumpen Radio, a new FM radio station in Chicago. And everything we do is all your fault.

We do this because we believe. We believe it's possible to confront mediocrity and combat the homogenization and commodification of everyday life. We do it because we want to live in a world where heretical ideas, experimental culture, and progressive ideals collide to reset our imbalances, to inspire further assaults on unreason.

But in these critical and dangerous times we forget. We forget what can happen when we celebrate and ferment the ideas that pierce the veil of hegemony, lies, and control. We forget what happens when we merely get together, plan, and act. We forget that we have participated in so many acts of defiance and liberation, because an Age of ADD has overcome the collective Sense of Possibility.

That is why we have created the Lumpen Dark Web. It is an inventory of the projects, ideas, and efforts of our comrades and conspirators who have contributed to the Lumpen, Version Festival, Proximity, Co-Prosperity Sphere, et al, experiments over these past twenty-five years. The Dark Web is an archive of activities, strategies, and tactics that we still use to survive, confront, and overcome authority. It’s a reminder of what is possible and what we have all accomplished during this turn of the century.

From August 26 to Sept 2, 2016, Version Festival asks you to join our parallel network and become a node of the Lumpen Dark Web. As we celebrate twenty-five years of cultural action, we want you to browse our user history, to connect, and then to help formulate more strategies and tactics to continue hacking consensus reality.

Without you, there is nothing.

View Program For Version Fest 16

July 5, 2016


Visit to get your Lumpen Radio Summer Swag!

In an age of instant gratification via mobile devices, uberization and grubhubbin, we forgot how difficult it is to build a real physical tangible transmission platform using technology from the 20th century.

We didn’t think it was going to be so hard. We didn’t think it would take so long! With your help we raised enough funds to hire an engineering firm, buy transmission equipment, build a new station studio and pay for architectural drawings, building permits, and engineering plans.

But we are still short on funds. We have been forced to relocate our transmission cabinet and have to start all over again. We have to cut down trees, build a concrete pad, install our gear again, pay for new electrical service and the final antenna installation.

So this is it, Lumpen Radio Listener. We are on the final stretch towards getting on the air so we can broadcast live on 105.5 FM throughout the Chicago land airwaves. Are you with us? Yes you are!

Help us get this done! Buy some stuff during our SUMMER SWAG-A-THON.

We will start shipping in the beginning of August. If we’re lucky we will be on the air and we can all wear our t-shirts at the launch party. Thank you.

June 26, 2016

Community Radio of the Future

Thanks for tuning in to Community Radio of the Future, WLPN-LP. We are currently on our LAST phase of building a new Low Power FM Community Radio Station for Chicago.

Launching WLPN has been an intense journey for us. Over the past year we have recruited hundreds of DJs, producers and community leaders to participate in this beta phase of WLPN 105.5 FM-LP. We now produce dozens of live shows weekly and have regular scheduled programming 24/7. We built a beautiful professional broadcasting studio and have purchased all the gear to get our signal on the airwaves.

It’s been incredible working with a diverse and talented group of cultural workers and activists from around city of Chicago. We are inspired by their dedication and commitment to making WLPN a community-wide contribution to the city's rich cultural milieus. Together we are ready to kick some ass and blow people's minds.

However, it’s been a brutal process with a steep learning curve. We have run into many bureaucratic obstacles with the company that is leasing us our radio tower, and have been in limbo due to building permits and further Kafka-esque procedures and Catch-22s that were unforeseen and unexpected. These curveballs are also incurring a new slate of expenses and costs that have broken the bank.

But we are almost there. We are about to enter the construction phase. We have to build a cement pad, install new electrical power, internet, and the remaining equipment for transmitting our signal. Then we have to hire a company to climb 300 feet up into the tower, install the antenna and run FCC regulated tests on our equipment and transmission of our signal.

While we are waiting for final approval to proceed from the tower company and start the construction phase of this project please consider making a donation to Lumpen Radio on our secure Public Good donation site. We will be also be announcing a Summer Swag-A-Thon soon to help us raise the last amount of dough to finally get us on the air.

Please continue to tune in live on the web. Or download our app in the App Store.

If you are curious about the breadth and depth of our show please visit our mixcloud for archives of some of our favorite shows featured on WLPN.

And if you have a business that needs exposure please inquire about becoming an underwriter or sponsor of the station by contacting Leah Menzer.