The Digital Ideology (Rated PG-13) “ Ideology: The play of ideas in the silence of technology.”  --Regis Debray,  Media Ma...
About this talk: <ul><li>Not anti-fun for anti-fun’s sake </li></ul><ul><li>Not homo-ludens-phobic </li></ul><ul><li>Some ...
First Image of Digitality (Handout) <ul><li>Is at a Performance, an Image, or Software?  </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed Cre...
Quantity for Quality: First (and ultimate?) Digital Culture <ul><li>V. Flusser says that the photograph is a form of progr...
Dwelling on the Negatives : <ul><li>Let’s look at some of the classic critiques of media clustered around the global ’60s ...
McLuhan (1964) <ul><li>McLuhan, new media technologies alter the sense ratios and the macro-effects cannot be easily or qu...
Enzensberger (1970) <ul><li>Could have been writing about the current moment: “Anyone who expects to be emancipated by tec...
Baudrillard (1972) <ul><li>In “Requiem for the Media” (a title shot through with unrequited wish-fullfillment), Baudrillar...
Summary of Media Negatrons <ul><li>McLuhan: Non-recognition of mediatic basis of society leads to mis-categorization of ag...
Extrapolation and Development of Media F’d Uppedness <ul><li>Regis Debray: Submission Rhymes with Transmission </li></ul><...
JB’s Brief History of Visuality: Intellectual History as Symptom <ul><li>History of the human sciences read as an indexica...
Parametric Instrumentalization of the Signifier: From Advertising to Torture <ul><li>Signifiers function in another domain...
Medium of Torture, or, A View from the Perspective of Content Providers <ul><li>Alfred W. McCoy in  A Question of Torture ...
Situating Paolo Virno et. Al. <ul><li>Generalization of signification in another Domain = Capture of the cognitive-linguis...
Media as Capital  =› Transformation of Value Form <ul><li>New Determinations of the Law of Value -- what are they?  </li><...
Facebook as Auschwitz <ul><li>One IDC writer said that as someone who lost relatives in the holocaust, the suggestion by a...
Armageddon <ul><li>What some on this list seem to be forgetting, is that while we (the Good Germans) write our well-inform...
Denounce Capital, Defeat Wage Fetishism! <ul><li>So with actually existing Armageddon firmly in mind, I humbly submit that...
Platform Fetishism <ul><li>If the form of value-extraction has changed, why not the wage? Wage fetishism (the belief that ...
M-C-M’and the “Blindspot” <ul><li>Familiar territory of the labor theory of value. M’ depends upon extraction of surplus l...
The Audience Commodity <ul><li>Consonant with my own conclusions in the CMP, Smythe argues that capitalist communications ...
Four Conclusions of Smythe <ul><li>“ To summarize: the mass media institutions in monopoly capitalism developed the equipm...
Chen’s “Fictitious Audience Commodity” <ul><li>For Smythe: the work that the audience does is necessary for the production...
“Real Value”/Speculative Value <ul><li>“ The ‘real value’ produced by audiences’ labor is economically irrelevant as long ...
Construction of Audience =› Construction of Empire <ul><li>“  The credit-sustained television economy can be constrained a...
C1. Historicity& Technological basis of reader/spectator/audience/prosumer/virtuoso <ul><li>With respect to Virno’s concep...
C2.Aggregate Monetization <ul><li>Through speculation and the credit-markets, the value-form is preserved for the purposes...
C3.Value Transfer, Directly Monetized and Otherwise Mediated <ul><li>Real value transfer, for capital as well as for us vi...
4.Politics of the Utterance <ul><li>If visuality, screen time, speech, writing and thought itself are now productive of ca...
Mediation, Spatialization, Temporality <ul><li>Regimes of Space and Time: </li></ul><ul><li>Non-synchronicity – world time...
Communist Insurgency <ul><li>My last image comes from the place that has been waging the longest continuous communist arme...
Enduring Violence <ul><li>If you know anything about the Philippines then you may know about the Philippine American war, ...
From Social Realism to  Iskwaterpangk <ul><li>During Marcos era martial law the Philippines had the third or fourth larges...
“The Digital” as Reification <ul><li>“ Playbor”: A few scenes later you will see those kids selling the plastic they scave...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Jonathan Beller, Digital Ideology Presentation

3,708 views

Published on

0 Comments
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,708
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
250
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
56
Comments
0
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Hans Mangus Enzensberger, Constituents of a Theory of Media, NLR (64), 13-36, Nov./Dec., 1970 He also dismisses “the symbolical expression by an artistic avant garde whose program logically admits only the alternative of negative signals and amorphous noise. Example: the already outdated ‘’literature of silence,’ Warhol’s films in which everything can happen at once or nothing at all, and John Cage’s forty-five minute-long, Lecture on Nothing .
  • Non-reciprocity is weakest part of this argument, rather, the price of reciprocity is capitalization. Still dyssemtrical exchange. With the media companies capitalizing the surplus. Where is the accumulation of socialist potential? The state? The bank bailouts seemed to indicate that there was a lot of wealth lying in wait -- wealth that could have been the revolution. Othello -- who controls the enclosure?
  • “ Capitalism’s systemic solution to the contradiction between its enormous potential for expanding production of consumer goods… and the systemic insecurities posed by people as workers and people as consumers was to move to large scale rationalization of industrial organization (through vertical, horizontal and conglomerate integration). This conferred control over suppliers and prices in the factor markets, and in the marketing of end products. But to make such giant integrated corporations viable, their operations had to address directly the problem of people (1) as workers at the job where they were paid and (2) as buyers of the end products of industry…. After militant unions had been crushed by force between 1890 and 1910, scientific management was applied to people as workers. Knowledge about the work process was expropriated from skilled workers to management. The work process was reduced to ‘ladders’ of dead-end ‘tasks’…. [T]he workplace where people got paid was transformed ideologically. People learned there that work under monopoly capitalism involves competition between individuals whose possessive needs necessarily set them in conflict with each other rather than with the owners of the means of their (concealed) cooperative production. The carrot which systemically motivated them was the pursuit of commodities, which joined this half of the ideological exercise with the next.
  • Jonathan Beller, Digital Ideology Presentation

    1. 1. The Digital Ideology (Rated PG-13) “ Ideology: The play of ideas in the silence of technology.” --Regis Debray, Media Manifestos
    2. 2. About this talk: <ul><li>Not anti-fun for anti-fun’s sake </li></ul><ul><li>Not homo-ludens-phobic </li></ul><ul><li>Some stuff about mediation (the crisis of representation, the rise of visuality and informatics), thoughts on capital (labor, value, accumulation, attention, the wage) along with a note on affect and utterance bracketed by two dialectically linked contemporary images of digitality </li></ul><ul><li>Buckle up </li></ul>
    3. 3. First Image of Digitality (Handout) <ul><li>Is at a Performance, an Image, or Software? </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed Creativity Indeed! </li></ul><ul><li>An image of images, is the medium paper or money? Maybe it was once paper, but…. Oh strange conversion! </li></ul><ul><li>Gives new resonance to the still significant formulation, the medium is the message. But what exactly is the medium? </li></ul><ul><li>Writing as Image as Money as Capital </li></ul>
    4. 4. Quantity for Quality: First (and ultimate?) Digital Culture <ul><li>V. Flusser says that the photograph is a form of programming -- so too with money/capital. </li></ul><ul><li>The general equivalent: use-value / exchange-value similar in historical import to neolithic revolution: quantification of quality </li></ul><ul><li>Today, the so-called vanishing mediator is the computational underpinning of images, thought, information, and form itself -- the necessary pre-condition of “humanity.” No money, no humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>Paradox: Retroactively, the ur-medium is capital </li></ul>
    5. 5. Dwelling on the Negatives : <ul><li>Let’s look at some of the classic critiques of media clustered around the global ’60s (decolonization, revolution). </li></ul><ul><li>McLuhan </li></ul><ul><li>Enzensberger </li></ul><ul><li>Baudrillard </li></ul>
    6. 6. McLuhan (1964) <ul><li>McLuhan, new media technologies alter the sense ratios and the macro-effects cannot be easily or quickly appreciated. </li></ul><ul><li>Only with the rise of electronic media do we grasp the significance of the Gutenberg press. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Print created individualism and nationalism in the 16 th century.” Fundamental categories for agency. </li></ul><ul><li>The medium is the message. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Enzensberger (1970) <ul><li>Could have been writing about the current moment: “Anyone who expects to be emancipated by technological hardware or by a system of hardware however structured, is the victim of an obscure belief in progress. Anyone who imagines that freedom for the media will be established if only everyone is busy transmitting and receiving is the dupe of a liberalism which, decked out in contemporary colors merely peddles the faded concepts of a preordained harmony of social interests (267). </li></ul><ul><li>Dismisses “the charlatan” Mcluhan’s formulation that the medium is the message: “The sentence… tells us that the bourgeoisie does indeed have all possible means at its disposal to communicate something to us, but that it has nothing more to say. It is ideologically sterile. Its intention to hold on to the control of the means of production at any price while being incapable of making the socially necessary use of them is here expressed with complete frankness in the superstructure. It wants the media as such and to no purpose . (271) </li></ul><ul><li>Interestingly E. identifies the partisan character of montage, “Cutting, editing, dubbing – these are techniques for conscious manipulation. He describes these techniques as “work processes,” and calls the results “proto-types,” presumably for the fabrication of reality. In contrast to traditional works of art he writes, “the media do not produce such objects, they create programs.” </li></ul>
    8. 8. Baudrillard (1972) <ul><li>In “Requiem for the Media” (a title shot through with unrequited wish-fullfillment), Baudrillard explains that “the media are not co-efficients , but effectors of ideology.” (280) Ideology is not “some Imaginary floating in the wake of exchange value: it is the very operation of exchange value.” For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign </li></ul><ul><li>“ The mass media are anti-mediatory and intransitive. They fabricate non-communication: they are what always prevent a response, making all processes of exchange impossible (except the various forms of response simulation…). The revolution tout court lies in restoring this possibility of response.” (280-1) </li></ul><ul><li>The media’s power of preventing a response, it’s irresponsibility, ultimately lies in what he calls “the terrorism of the code.” Encoder-Message-Decoder. </li></ul><ul><li>Reversibility has nothing to do with Reciprocity: Decentralized Totalitarianism </li></ul>
    9. 9. Summary of Media Negatrons <ul><li>McLuhan: Non-recognition of mediatic basis of society leads to mis-categorization of agency and historical error. </li></ul><ul><li>Enzensberger: Bourgeois organized media is liquidated of socialist content/program. </li></ul><ul><li>Baudrillard: the code itself negates the production of non-capitalist values -- must “smash the code.” </li></ul>
    10. 10. Extrapolation and Development of Media F’d Uppedness <ul><li>Regis Debray: Submission Rhymes with Transmission </li></ul><ul><li>History of sign function organized by platforms. In addition to whatever else it may be, sign-function is clearly extra-semiotic – in other words practical-material. </li></ul><ul><li>Mirzoeff, Godzich, my own work: Rise of visuality </li></ul>
    11. 11. JB’s Brief History of Visuality: Intellectual History as Symptom <ul><li>History of the human sciences read as an indexical phenomenologicon of sign-function: it offers a periodization of verbal sign-effects in relation to the technologically mediated recession of the Real. </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistics and Structuralism (split between signifier and signified) </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoanalysis and Semiotics (parapraxis, the unconscious, the meaning of meaning). 1895. </li></ul><ul><li>Post-structuralism and Deconstruction (aphanasis, being itself placed under erasure) </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernism (virtuality, simulation, waning of historicity) </li></ul><ul><li>These discursive frames for the staging of the exit of the Real from representation are to be correlated with the intensifying penetration of the lifeworld by technologies of the visual. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Parametric Instrumentalization of the Signifier: From Advertising to Torture <ul><li>Signifiers function in another domain -- organized by higher order programming-- image/informatics. </li></ul><ul><li>Informatics 1.0: Advertising. Fantasy/Existential crisis activated by “Theater of the Mind.” Calculus of the image. </li></ul><ul><li>Informatics 1.1: Torture. Existential crisis brought about by no touch torture (Al McCoy). Kubark, School of the America’s and the whole CIA-University collaboration to develop psychological torture techniques. These used precisely the logistics of capitalist media: control of sensory inputs, sensory deprivation, theater, ego-up, ego-down, etc. (CIA & Abstract Expressionism) </li></ul><ul><li>Informatics (myth, abstraction): Depleted Signifiers becoming the worksites of business, of the state, of capitalism. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Medium of Torture, or, A View from the Perspective of Content Providers <ul><li>Alfred W. McCoy in A Question of Torture </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Hebb: Sensory deprivation induces “existential chaos” </li></ul><ul><li>Stress positions -- self inflicted pain more effective than prior methods of torture </li></ul><ul><li>CIA’s 1963 Kubark Coutnerintelligence Interrogation , a torture manual: “It has been plausibly suggested that, whereas pain inflicted on a person from outside himself may actually focus or intensify his will to resist, his resistance is likelier to be sapped by pain which he seems to inflict upon himself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Shattering space, time and narrative results in a devastating assault on the human psyche. </li></ul><ul><li>“ All out assault on victims senses destroy[s] the basis of personal identity” (McCoy). </li></ul><ul><li>Mediatic model: not too far removed from TV (think A Clockwork Orange ) </li></ul><ul><li>Vietnam: Not a single VC suspect survived interrogation in Phoenix program. “Neutralization” totals: 81,740 eliminated, 26, 369 killed. </li></ul><ul><li>Signs, people: primary domain of signification is extrinsic to the immediate context of discourse generation: informatics </li></ul>
    14. 14. Situating Paolo Virno et. Al. <ul><li>Generalization of signification in another Domain = Capture of the cognitive-linguistic capacities of humankind </li></ul><ul><li>Real Subsumption / General Intellect / Score/ Virtuosity/ Grammar of the Multitudes </li></ul><ul><li>How do we get there? Cooperation in German Ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Media, the “extensions of man” are the cooperative technologies </li></ul><ul><li>No real subsumption without the rise, industrialization, visualization and digitization of media </li></ul><ul><li>History of media as the historical extension of capital into the sensorium </li></ul>
    15. 15. Media as Capital =› Transformation of Value Form <ul><li>New Determinations of the Law of Value -- what are they? </li></ul><ul><li>On the IDC we’ve been told by both the avant right and the avant left, that the law of value doesn’t matter anymore. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t want to harsh anyone’s buzz but… </li></ul><ul><li>Seems kind of premature when “every page view is slated to be sold as a medium of labor-power” ( CMP , 234). </li></ul><ul><li>One little question we could venture, with respect to our progress beyond an accounting of/for the form of value: </li></ul><ul><li>Who pays? Who pays for this history? The one that is being written as we speak. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The labor theory of value is the theoretical expression of the actual robbery of workers’ life-energy through an unequal exchange with capital” ( CMP 177). Are we so sure we have transcended this problematic that we can blithely push on with our progressive agendas? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Facebook as Auschwitz <ul><li>One IDC writer said that as someone who lost relatives in the holocaust, the suggestion by another IDC writer that Facebook has anything to do with Auschwitz was deeply offensive. It didn’t seem to be a concern that there are other Auschwitzes, that the holocaust was not the exception but the rule, and that there are multiple holocausts going on this very second that together dwarf the Nazi experiment – what seemed to bother him was the idea that his precious facebook had anything to do with this situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Some might say in defense of Facebook, that it is no more responsible for the problems on this planet than you or I are – I think I’d partially agree with that, but my agreement would not be a defense of facebook, or of the logistics of media space and the culture of celebrity. On the contrary. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Armageddon <ul><li>What some on this list seem to be forgetting, is that while we (the Good Germans) write our well-informed fantasies about the internet, digitality, and the new-new, for two billion people, the apocalypse has already happened. As Mike Davis pointed out, that’s population Earth, 1929. </li></ul><ul><li>An entire planet, reduced to abjection, crushed below the threshold of perception, reduced to sub-humanity. Reduced, I would say, to a recording surface. A recording surface for someone else’s message. </li></ul><ul><li>Should we forget to read our Marx? Have we transcended his tired 19 th century problematic that shows that the production of wealth and the production of poverty are simultaneous under capitalism? What would it take to see that this tragedy beyond all proportions and beyond all knowing, is not a fact of nature, but is both a product and a sign of “civilization?” The unprecedented dispossession of the global south has been produced. For many, the worst thing in the world has already happened and it is the result of a series of choices – choices that we continue to make. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Denounce Capital, Defeat Wage Fetishism! <ul><li>So with actually existing Armageddon firmly in mind, I humbly submit that we put the questions of labor and the value-form back on the table. If you don’t think capital is your enemy than you can be pretty sure you are working for it. And even then… </li></ul><ul><li>In addressing expropriation and the rate of exploitation vis-à-vis the screen, Christian Fuchs wrote about wage-fetishism. While I don’t quite agree with his equations (which imply that the rate of exploitation approaches infinity when no wage is paid in the transaction known as the screen image), I think his introduction of the term “wage fetishism” is very important because it points to a blockage in the deeper understanding of capitalist production. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Platform Fetishism <ul><li>If the form of value-extraction has changed, why not the wage? Wage fetishism (the belief that if it is not wage labor it is not capitalist exploitation) is, it turns out, an example of what Allen Feldman has termed “platform fetishism” (the belief that each medium has its unique and essential properties -- and should therefore require disciplines, e.g., film studies, or literature, or political economy). In this case, however, the platform is money as capital. In a larger context, it is this money fetishism that allows the Italians to think that value has become immeasurable and that the labor theory of value is thus transcended. The incorrect hypothesis: No direct monetization = value is immeasurable. Another wrong direction : payment in reputation, pleasure etc. ≠ capitalism. </li></ul>
    20. 20. M-C-M’and the “Blindspot” <ul><li>Familiar territory of the labor theory of value. M’ depends upon extraction of surplus labor/value. Less familiar might be Dallas Smythe from “Communications, the Blindspot of Western Marxism” (1977) in which he posits the audience commodity. </li></ul><ul><li>Smythe writes: the central purpose of the information, entertainment and “educational materials transmitted to the audience is to ensure attention to the products and services being advertised.” (6) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The work which audience members perform for the advertiser to whom they have been sold is to learn to buy particular “brands” of consumer goods, and to spend their income accordingly. In short, they create the demand for advertised goods which is the purpose of the monopoly capitalist advertisers. While doing this, audience members are simultaneously reproducing their own labour power…. It seems, however, that when workers under monopoly capitalist conditions serve advertisers to complete the production process of consumer goods by performing the ultimate marketing service for them, these workers are making decisive material decisions which will affect how they will produce and reproduce their labor power. As the Chinese emphasized during the Cultural Revolution, if people are spending their time catering to their individual interests and sensitivities, they cannot be using the same time to overthrow capitalist interest and to build socialism [italics Smythe]” (6-7). </li></ul>
    21. 21. The Audience Commodity <ul><li>Consonant with my own conclusions in the CMP, Smythe argues that capitalist communications are necessary for the reproduction of labor power (the necessary labor required to bring ones labor to market to sell), which during the 20 th century moved from time at home to time with media, “In a word, labor power was ‘home-made’ in the absence of dominant brand-name commodities, mass advertising and the mass media (which had not yet been invented by monopoly capitalism). In Marx’s period and in his analysis, the principal aspect of capitalist production was the alienation of workers from the means of producing commodities-in-general. Now the principal aspect of capitalist production has become the alienation of workers from the means of producing and reproducing themselves. (7) </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore that the particular form of this production and reproduction was the necessary compliment to Taylorism and scientific management. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Simultaneously the system dealt with its problem of people as buyers of end products. As on the job front, science was invoked. The objective was personal satisfaction and the rationale was efficiency. The term “consumer” was invented to describe the desired object” (17-18). </li></ul><ul><li>Quoting Staffan B. Linder, Symthe writes “’the ultimate luxury is to be liberated from the hardships of buying’ [Linder]. For everyone else, ‘free time,’ and ‘leisure’ belong only in the monopoly capitalist lexicon alongside ‘free world,’ free enterpirese,’ ‘free elections,’ ‘free speech,’ and ‘free flow’ of information.” </li></ul>
    22. 22. Four Conclusions of Smythe <ul><li>“ To summarize: the mass media institutions in monopoly capitalism developed the equipment, workers and organization to produce audiences for the purposes of the system between about 1875 and 1950. The prime purpose of the mass media complex is to produce people in audiences who work at learning the theory and practice of consumership for civilian goods and who support (with taxes and votes) the military demand management system. The second principal purpose is to produce audiences whose theory and practice confirms the ideology of monopoly capitalism (possessive individualism in an authoritarian political system). The third principal purpose is to produce public opinion supportive of the strategic and tactical policies of the state…. Necessarily in the monopoly capitalist system, the fourth purpose of the mass media complex is to operate itself so profitably as to ensure unrivalled respect of its economic importance in the system. It has been quite successful in achieving all four purposes” [Smythe then goes on to elaborate three types of alienation and advocates “that the theory of work needs reconsideration”] (20). </li></ul>
    23. 23. Chen’s “Fictitious Audience Commodity” <ul><li>For Smythe: the work that the audience does is necessary for the production and reproduction of “needs” and therefore of consumers and markets as well as the production and reproduction of labor power. </li></ul><ul><li>Probably less familiar is the brilliant essay of Chih-hsien Chen, “Is the Audience Really Commodity?: An Overdetermined Marxist Perspective of the Television Economy” (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Chen argues that a firm’s Unoccupied Capital (capital that cannot be re-invested into direct production) is put to speculative uses including advertising. In an elaborate series of equations, Chen shows that industries become speculators, and, in a manner similar to the way in which they might hold other investments, buy with interest bearing capital deducted from appropriated surplus value what he calls a fictitious audience commodity – title to the future labor-power of audiences valued on a speculative basis. </li></ul><ul><li>This valuation is held in place by what Chen calls a “regime of truth” that is produced by ratings systems (Nielsen et. Al.) in particular and credit markets in general. </li></ul>
    24. 24. “Real Value”/Speculative Value <ul><li>“ The ‘real value’ produced by audiences’ labor is economically irrelevant as long as the credibility of the fictitious audience commodity and the credit for future exploitation have not been seriously challenged in the market” (Chen). </li></ul><ul><li>Put another way the value that audiences produce does not have to be directly monetized, so long as at can be statistically and narratologically posited by a regime of truth. Exit the wage, enter the derivative. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, one could see all the new metrics from screen time, to demographic measures, to clicks per minute, to Ad sense, as being extensions of the regime of truth imposed by advertisers. </li></ul><ul><li>Chen also argues that what he calls “the credit sustained television economy” depends upon the stability of credit markets and the endorsement of a regime of truth that “involves the production of audiences through various institutions, discourses, and technologies that are both conditions and effects of the production of truth about the fictitious audience commodity. We govern ourselves as the subject and others as the object through this very production” (Chen). </li></ul>
    25. 25. Construction of Audience =› Construction of Empire <ul><li>“ The credit-sustained television economy can be constrained and supported by the state’s regulatory power, whereas the formation and development of modern nation-state under capitalism have been tied to the historical connection between debt, empire, and fetishism. The debtor-creditor relationship hidden in global telecommunication deregulation is thus interwoven with the power relations between colonies and colonizers on a world scale on the one hand and with the decomposition of class relations and new forms of social marginalization and poverty in the domestic on the other hand” (22). </li></ul><ul><li>In other words there is an integration between the production of discourse/information about audiences (prosumers), the general categories of sociology and economy (race, class, nation--see Randy Martin), the military industrial complex, and neo-colonialism, in short, Empire. </li></ul>
    26. 26. C1. Historicity& Technological basis of reader/spectator/audience/prosumer/virtuoso <ul><li>With respect to Virno’s concept of virtuosity and Lazzarato’s ideas of cognitive capitalism we must observe that in capital’s capture of the cognitive-linguistic capacities of humankind, in its scoring of virtuosity that: </li></ul><ul><li>Here, the message is the medium: here thought itself is the medium of capitalization. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words there is no “real subsumption” without the history of media technologies. Marx: Industry is the open book of human psychology. Photography, cinema, television, computation, these are the technologies for the deterritorialization of the factory -- programs for the reconfiguration of words. They are also, it will be noted, technologies of gender and racialization. All along they have been vectors of social agency and of expropriation – the capture of new forms of agency and expressivity innovated by the so-called multititudes. They are nothing less than the historical conditions of possibility for the cognitive turn. To misrecognize the emergence of the multitudes, and the transformed role of the psyche, of language, of affect, and of cognitition by not identifying the techniques of capitalization that are in fact media technologies themselves is to commit an egregious historical and political error. Regis Debray: “Ideology: The play of ideas in the silence of technology.” </li></ul>
    27. 27. C2.Aggregate Monetization <ul><li>Through speculation and the credit-markets, the value-form is preserved for the purposes of capitalist accounting and valuation. There is in effect a set of statistical, aggregate process of monetization that are being intensively developed. (Patricia Clough’s “probabilistic, statistical background which provides an infra-empirical or infra-temporal sociality”.) </li></ul><ul><li>These metrics of course can be put into crisis by worker discontent and challenges to the “regime of truth.” </li></ul>
    28. 28. C3.Value Transfer, Directly Monetized and Otherwise Mediated <ul><li>Real value transfer, for capital as well as for us virtuosos, occurs both with and without money, in both the wage-labor and the screen-attention nexus. To this we may want to add the cognitive-performative nexus. Markets valorize commodities (including labor power) in money form and preside over the extraction of surplus value. Additionally, necessary and surplus labor, is tendered in exchange for other use-values in ways, that from the standpoint of the worker are not directly monetized despite the fact that they are monetized at other levels of the system. This in no way implies that the relations are not capitalized, only that some moments of production do not immediately pass through the money form, and this, in exactly the same way that domestic work and recuperation time did not (Mies, Fortunati). While the screen-attention nexus becomes the paradigmatic mode of post-industrial value transfer, having effectively overtaken many of the duties of school, holy-place, police and family, as well as having simultaneously become a deterritorialized factory, the organization of social praxis and consciousness by the screen means that its functionalization extends beyond what is ordinarily thought of as direct interfaces with technology. Consciousness has become fully cybernetic – which is to say that we are now artificially intelligent – and value production can occur anywhere any mediation occurs, which is to say, anywhere and everywhere. </li></ul>
    29. 29. 4.Politics of the Utterance <ul><li>If visuality, screen time, speech, writing and thought itself are now productive of capital, that is, if they are media of capitalization, the politics of the utterance – Pasquinelli’s “immaterial civil war” (which is actually material, as are signs) – is central. In other words, you should watch what you fricken say. [“’Immaterial’ is the constant struggle on the stage of the society of the spectacle: a cruel Ballardian jungle of brands, pop stars, gadgets, devices, data, protocols, simulacra. Immaterial exploitation is the everyday life of precarious workers, in particular of the younger generations, quite aware of the symbolic capital produced by their lives “put to work” (new trends and lifestyles generated by what post-Operaism calls biopolitical production). The immaterial civil war is the explosion of the social relations enclosed in the commodities” (Pasquinelli).] Capital-logic in-forms perception, thought, speech, and the built environment, rendering every moment a moment in the war to be human. Borges had already shown the shattering proliferation of tensors stretched between overdetermination and contingency that result from a war of informatics in “The Garden of Forking Paths.” We must learn to perceive the forks, and to act upon them. Panarchy, Wikification (Hartzog). </li></ul>
    30. 30. Mediation, Spatialization, Temporality <ul><li>Regimes of Space and Time: </li></ul><ul><li>Non-synchronicity – world time of the spectacle. </li></ul><ul><li>Today, when we are so apt to hear that socialism has failed, Marxism is no longer relevant, etc., we would do well to recall Ernst Bloch’s thesis: not everybody lives in the same “Now.” </li></ul>
    31. 31. Communist Insurgency <ul><li>My last image comes from the place that has been waging the longest continuous communist armed struggle in Asia and perhaps the world – more than 40 years—the Philippines. Currently, the U.S. supported Philippine Military is trying to persuade communists (conveniently identified as “terrorists” since president GMA’s assent to be part of the Bush coalition of the willing), that their struggle is past (by murdering them). Those persons who claim to be on the side of the people might find that their position of having transcended communism and being ready to insist that “we” move on is a little problematic. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Enduring Violence <ul><li>If you know anything about the Philippines then you may know about the Philippine American war, where the US stole the revolution against Spain, its colonizer for almost 400 years. During the ensuing Filipino-American War the U.S. killed between 1/10 and 1/6 th of the population between 1898 and 1902. Some say that this war is ongoing. Retrospecitvely called “The First Vietman,” the US cut’s its teeth as an imperialist power here, and developed an arsenal of techniques that would be useful for its 20 th century self-creation as an Empire, including hamletting/concentration camps, torture/water-boarding, engaging in war through educational policy, cultural/informatic techniques and the development and dissemination of racist ideologies. You may also know that the effects of such an imperialist war echo for decades and even centuries – today Manila, a megalopolis of 13 million, is approximately 50% squatters. Think Iraq and Afghanistan in 2109. </li></ul>
    33. 33. From Social Realism to Iskwaterpangk <ul><li>During Marcos era martial law the Philippines had the third or fourth largest film industry in the world: India, US, HK/Philippines: </li></ul><ul><li>Some of which was social realist / protest cinema of Lino Brocka, Mike de Leon, Ishmael Bernal – films which produced both evidence of the effects and concepts to combat U.S. backed martial law and state terror. </li></ul><ul><li>After the fall of martial law, film production dropped off. Today there is an explosion of talented digital filmmakers – this is the work of someone who has made about 20 films, Khavn de la Cruz. </li></ul><ul><li>Squatterpunk : 6’15”-9’50” </li></ul>
    34. 34. “The Digital” as Reification <ul><li>“ Playbor”: A few scenes later you will see those kids selling the plastic they scavenged to a small-time recycler and using the money to buy a small meal. There’s “playbor” for you. We should consider permanently marking this term with an awareness of child-labor and the post-apocalyptic neo-imperialist violence of mere survival. </li></ul><ul><li>Marginal as it may be, “punk” is still a style-choice, being born a squatter is not a choice. The situation of these children is political but it is not a political choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Squatterpunk is not a documentary. Khavn uses the bodies and conditions of these children as an expressive medium, thereby revealing the conditions that underpin Philippine digital cinema and, more generally, “the digital.” </li></ul><ul><li>Does not provide unmediated access to the Real, but dialectically reveals that the viewers’ experience (not just of this film, but all of it) is inscribed on the universal appropriation of these lives and bodies. Here we see through the digital and we know it. </li></ul><ul><li>One confronts the material basis of capitalist-digitality -- its conditions of possibility. In so doing, we also confront the condition and limit of the digital ideology. </li></ul>

    ×