[iDC] Michael Jackson and the death of macrofame

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at sbg.ac.at
Fri Jun 26 11:55:58 UTC 2009

And how is this category of playbour or play-labour connected to Michael 
Jackson? Was Michael Jackson a playbourer, a capitalist, an immaterial 
worker, or something else? If there is no theoretical way that allows us 
to distinguish the class position of Michael Jackson from the class 
position of a precarious call center agent or a precarious 
singer/dancer/writer etc, and we consider them all as part of one 
"class" or describe them all with one category such as "playbour", then 
such categories do not make sense because they too much intermingle 
different socio-economic life worlds. So what categories should we use 
for describing the political economy of Michael Jackson? Is playbour a 
sufficient category=


Julian Kücklich schrieb:
> Hi all,
> Trebor asked me to write "a succinct, one paragraph definition of 
> playbour." Okay, here goes:
> If we assume that play is distinct from "ordinary life" (Huizinga), 
> and that it constitutes an "occasion of pure waste" (Caillois), then 
> playbour is the re-entry of ordinary life into play, with a 
> concomitant valorization of play activities. Insofar as life (bios) is 
> always productive, and be it only in the sense that it produces waste, 
> the extraction of value from play can be seen as a form of waste 
> management; and insofar as play can be seen as a waste of time, the 
> logic of playbour demands that time be wasted efficiently. In this 
> sense we could also call playbour the Taylorization of leisure. Like 
> other forms of affective or immaterial labour, playbour is not 
> productive in the sense of resulting in a product, but it is the 
> process itself that generates value. The means of production are the 
> players themselves, but insofar as they only exist within play 
> environments by virtue of their representations, and their 
> representations are usually owned by the providers of these 
> environments, the players cannot be said to be fully in control of 
> these means. Playbour is suffused with an ideology of play, which 
> effectively masks labour as play, and disguises the process of 
> self-expropriation as self-expression. However, exploitation and 
> empowerment, subjectification and objectification, wastefulness and 
> efficiency coexist in the ambiguous "third space" of playbour, where 
> these binary oppositions break down, and thus open up new 
> possibilities of intersubjectification.
> Hmm, maybe not so succinct, but it'll have to do for now. I'll try to 
> condense it to 140 characters and tweet it later.
> Julian aka @cucchiaio
> 2009/6/25 Trebor Scholz <trebor at thing.net <mailto:trebor at thing.net>>
>     Hi Julian,
>     Great, could you re-join the discussion with a succinct, one
>     paragraph definition of playbour
>     and a very short argumentation of why neither play nor labor
>     easily fit the situation?
>     Cheers,
>     Trebor
>     ----
>     Written tersely, typed imperfectly, and then sent from my phone
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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- - -
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christian Fuchs
Unified Theory of Information Research Group
University of Salzburg
Sigmund Haffner Gasse 18
5020 Salzburg
christian.fuchs at sbg.ac.at
Phone +43 662 8044 4823
Editor of 
tripleC - Cognition, Communication, Co-Operation | Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society
Fuchs, Christian. 2008. Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age. New York: Routledge. 

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