Johannes Grenzfurthner/Frank Apunkt Schneider have written a little essay on the history and future of hacker spaces called Hacking the Spaces. The article is also available in plain ascii which I thought was funny.
The history of the so-called hackerspaces expands back to when the counter culture movement was about to make a serious statement. In the decade after the hippies attempted to establish new ways of social, political, economical and ecological relationships, a lot of experiments were carried out concerning the construction of new spaces to live and to work in.
These were considered as niches to relieve and rescue people from the monotonous way bourgeois society directed civic spaces from kindergartens to cemeteries to be exactly the same and to reproduce its patriarchal and economical order.
The politics of establishing open spaces were meant as explicit statements confronting a capitalist (and in the East: an authoritarian communist) society whose very structure, purpose and operating mode were broadly considered to “alienate humans”, to take control of and to modify their basic human needs and relationships.
Thus, the failed revolt of the sixties survived and flourished in the shadows of a ubiquitous bourgeois lifestyle. And the idea of change was conjured up from nebulous lysergic dreams and pathetic speeches to get one’s dreams and/or feet back on solid ground – to be dis-obamaized, if you like.