South Atlantic Quarterly, 116(2): Autonomia in the Anthropocene (2017)

5 October 2018, dusan

“Despite Autonomia’s widespread influence on political action and post-Marxist scholarship, it has been surprisingly slow to address planetary change and environmental politics. With a focus on cognitive capitalism, many autonomist scholars have downplayed or fully ignored the ecological dimensions of post-Fordism—its foundations in extractive energy economies, its links to the accelerating financialization of nature under the banner of so-called green capitalism, its harnessing of nonhuman capacities, and its wildly uneven toxic geographies. This lack of engagement is regrettable given that, we propose, autonomist insights hold great promise for understanding both the transformed relation between capital and nonhuman natures in post-Fordism and the many political movements that have emerged in response. […]

It is no longer evident that key terms found in the autonomist lexicon—species being, the common, multitude, potentia—survive the challenge of the Anthropocene unchanged or that the production of subjectivity (a cornerstone of autonomist thought) can be understood solely in terms of language, habit, or gesture. It may therefore be necessary to think beyond the struggles of the factory floor, or those of the cognitariat today, to imagine and think from other sites of struggle, other forms of solidarity, and other experiments in “commoning.” These bring into play unfamiliar actors and unacknowledged geographies: sites of extraction and circuits of waste, indigenous communities and territories, rising seas and toxic landscapes that are materially present within the informationalized economies of global capitalism, but often invisible to those working within them. We might say, then, that the Anthropocene names autonomist Marxism’s unthought, an unthought that intrudes on its political imaginaries. What happens to autonomism if it begins to question the autonomy of the human? Or if it leaves its privileged sites in the global North?”

With contributions by Sara Nelson and Bruce Braun, Miriam Tola, Jason Read, Elizabeth R. Johnson, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Matteo Pasquinelli, Karen Pinkus, Marco Armiero and Massimo De Angelis, Anja Kanngieser and Nicholas Beuret, and Isabelle Stengers.

Edited by Sara Nelson and Bruce Braun
Publisher Duke University Press, Apr 2017
ISSN 0038-2876
178 pages

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D. Fox Harrell: Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (2013)

13 May 2018, dusan

“An argument that great expressive power of computational media arises from the construction of phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination.

In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell considers the expressive power of computational media. He argues, forcefully and persuasively, that the great expressive potential of computational media comes from the ability to construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. These ubiquitous and often-unseen phantasms—cognitive phenomena that include sense of self, metaphors, social categories, narrative, and poetic thinking—influence almost all our everyday experiences. Harrell offers an approach for understanding and designing computational systems that have the power to evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to the exposure of oppressive phantasms and the creation of empowering ones. He argues for the importance of cultural content, diverse worldviews, and social values in computing. The expressive power of phantasms is not purely aesthetic, he contends; phantasmal media can express and construct the types of meaning central to the human condition.

Harrell discusses, among other topics, the phantasm as an orienting perspective for developers; expressive epistemologies, or data structures based on subjective human worldviews; morphic semiotics (building on the computer scientist Joseph Goguen’s theory of algebraic semiotics); cultural phantasms that influence consensus and reveal other perspectives; computing systems based on cultural models; interaction and expression; and the ways that real-world information is mapped onto, and instantiated by, computational data structures.

The concept of phantasmal media, Harrell argues, offers new possibilities for using the computer to understand and improve the human condition through the human capacity to imagine.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 9780262019330, 0262019337
xix+420 pages

Reviews: John Harwood (Artforum, 2014), Brian Reffin Smith (Leonardo, 2015).

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Murmurae, JOAAP (eds.): Situating Ourselves in Displacement: Conditions, Experiences and Subjectivity across Neoliberalism and Precarity (2018)

7 February 2018, dusan

“Displacement is a key paradigm of our time, for who can afford not to move, to shift, to change, to develop and improve – or to be moved, shifted, displaced? Situatedness is a key condition for solid and sustainable practices, in politics, arts, research or otherwise. Yet situatedness is not something we can take for granted today. What is the meaning of situatedness within displacement?

In this book we address conditions, experiences and subjectivity as shaped by the tension(s) between displacement and situatedness. Neoliberalism and precarity are the main contexts we depart from in developing concepts, tools and tactics that stem from our collective and individual lives.

What do politics and ethics mean in the context of frequent displacements? How do we understand and give account of our positionality and trajectory as itinerant subjects? What tools do we have for orienting ourselves in new contexts, for mapping out stakes, problems and possibilities of relating?”

With contributions by Alan Moore, Amit S. Rai, Bue Rübner Hansen, Claire English, Claudia Delso, Cristina Ribas, Esquizo Grupo Barcelona, Jara Rocha, Julius, Laura Lapinskiene, Manuela Zechner, Marc Herbst, Ninaha, Sara Larsdotter Hallqvist, and Paula Cobo–Guevara.

Edited by Paula Cobo Guevara and Manuela Zechner (Murmurae) and Marc Herbst (Journal of Aesthetics & Protest)
Publisher Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press, Leipzig, and Minor Compositions, Colchester, 2018
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License
ISBN 9781570273230
224 pages

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