[iDC] Why labor?

Christopher Kelty ckelty at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 18:13:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 8:20 AM, Aymar Jean <ajean at asc.upenn.edu> wrote:

> Why labor? They work as an investment to obtain capital after production. So an independent filmmaker invests hours of his and his friends time, making zero or losing money, to get the attention of traditional media industries, have his/her series picked up or bought by an advertiser or network website (Crackle, Babelgum, etc.), or obtain enough of a fan base to support further creation (through YouTube ad deals or PayPal benefactors). Vloggers hope to become one of YouTube's top "partners" and make money off their videos, or they hope their online presence will lead to gigs, or fame, elsewhere. Some of these content producers are successful; the vast majority are not.

thanks for pointing this out. A variation on this issue is the
"democratization of venture capital raising" represented by sites such
as kickstarter.com.  Most of silicon valley (indeed, the entire
start-up economy) already runs on this model, but it has been carried
out in unformalized networks dependent on geographic or social
nearness to VCs  and the mobilization of not just of attention but of
reputation and rumor.   The idea of formalizing this system is
something people have long talked about (does anyone remember The
Street Performer Protocol?) and Kickstarter is one example.  It
doesn't seem to fit easily into the models of attention-as-money or
attention-as-commodity, because it doesn't bother with the moment of
conversion:  people pitch ideas, if enough people pledge money, then
people work and get paid.  If anything it inverts the time-relation of
capital in the same way the emergence of "salaries" did for elites.

Not being a marxist of any sort other than lapsed, I have no idea if
this fits with what other people on the list are talking about.


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