Log: Post-Media Lab Reading Group

Text:

The Work/Energy Crisis and The Apocalypse by Midnight Notes

Context:

For it’s second research phases, the Post-Media Lab, Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, will be focusing on The Subsumption of Sociality. This research period runs from August 2012 – January 2013. Research fellows for this phase are: Sean Dockray, Gordan Savicic and Inigo Wilkins.

Theme 2: The Subsumption of Sociality

As capitalism moves beyond the stage of ‘formal subsumption’ into that of ‘real subsumption’, capitalism is no longer content to encompass existing forms of production into the production of value, but must convert and transform all of life (production and reproduction) into capitalist forms, finding ways to extract value across all of social activity. Within this, our forms of relating, caring and of expression, of communicating and collaborating, are enclosed and templated. Networked media has played a determining though by no means exclusive role in such a transformation. As with forms of political struggle, expression and sociality are likewise defined by the conditions in which they arise, even when their objective is to challenge those same conditions.

This Lab phase proposes the practical and theoretical exploration of ways to (re)appropriate our own sociality, creativity, collaborative impulses and ‘free labour’ in the era of real subsumption. What pores or holes do media networks provide for us to develop alternative ‘forms-of-life’
within? What forms of sociality are mobilised by power and how are they mobilised? What forms of revolt or evacuation are open to the subject of human capital? How can we bend the tools of management and measure against themselves? Can creativity be freed from its industrial and governmental appropriations? How can ‘care’ escape the circuits of expropriation? How are urban and other spaces that help to constitute our sociality being shaped? How can new forms of subject mapping, data-tracking, neo-taylorisation, and logistical deployment be inverted, taken apart, perverted, used to create new collectivities? What would a truly ‘communal’ use of info-sharing and data gathering look like? And what should we make of the promise of ‘open knowledge’, ‘open data’, ‘open access’ and ‘open source’?