[iDC] Introductions: Patrick Lichty

Patrick Lichty voyd at voyd.com
Sun Jul 13 16:53:42 UTC 2014

My apologies for the delay as well. I didn't realize until lately that the
Thing posts were going into an alternate folder, meaning I hadn't seen any
of them.


This is what I would like to propose:
The Neoliberal Internet Dream 2.0 - Beyond Working for Facebook.

In the Beginning, there was user-generated content, or Web 2.0, and the
Stacks thought it was good.  From Myspace to Friendster to Facebook, and now
any myriad of user-generated sites, like Instagram, Twitter, et al, the
concept of leisure productivity, or "playbour" was fully realized.  While
users shared and created the content for the Stacks to use as their
intellectual property and leverage through advertising revenue, the user
was, in essence, "sold" their labor back to them through those sites'
monetization of the user content.  Even with Amazon's Mechanical Turk, there
was still an element of a volunteer "ghost" workforce who complicity agreed
with the work-for-service model.


Recently, apps like Lyft, AirBnB, and other "connective" entrepreneurial
sites have created a number of key shifts within the conception of labor as
we know it, perhaps to the point of being a harbinger of a Web Labor 3.0.
These sites "casualize" labor, by allowing the user to pick up a dollar or
two in their free time by giving a lift or renting their apartment when the
user's use of the asset is idle.  However, this has several effects. First,
to paraphrase Guattari, it "molecularizes" labor by eliminating the idea of
a coherent workforce by creating a worker-by-volition. This has an added
effect of shifting physical plant maintenance off of the company, and
placing it (car maintenance, housekeeping) in the place of the casual
laborer.  And, since the services offered are on-demand to a molecularized
cloud of casual workers, those workers are now placed in a struggle of
Neoliberal competition to get to the customer first, much like fish to the
food a the top of an aquarium.  From this, solidarity is rendered
impossible, leverage is made moot, and the sole locus of infopower lies with
the apps' operators.  In this author's opinion, this is the Randian dream
write large in the mobile network.


But are there mechanisms for resistance? Recently, news has broken regarding
research linking Facebook and the US Department of Defense in manipulating
the psychology of the community through algorithmically altering mood
statuses.  Furthermore, related to this research, a DoD initiative codenamed
Minerva has been revealed to be investigating pattern recognition in social
networks that could signal threats or unrest in those communities.  While
one could easily write this off as using electronic countermeasures to
project unrest in the 3rd world, it could just as easily be used to sense
pre-emptive displacements of resistance or dissatisfaction from streams of
consumption, voluntary workforces, or even the possibility of resistances
channeled domestically through social media.  The worst-case scenario is a
sealed cybernetic system that isolates and casualizes workers saddled with
displaced liabilities, unwittingly monitored for any form of unrest, or
patterns resembling them, much like the world of George Lucas' THX-1138.  My
presentation seeks to connect these dots to propose the emergence of a
system of control through displacement of assets, liability, and even
regularity of work onto the laborer that paints again, a Neoliberal model of
total competition, free from responsibility to the other, for diminishing

Patrick is a media "reality" artist, curator, and theorist of over two
decades who explores how media and mediation affect our perception of
reality. He is best known for his work as an Artistic Director of the
virtual reality performance art group Second Front, and the animator of the
activist group, The Yes Men. He is a CalArts/Herb Alpert Fellow and Whitney
Biennial exhibitor as part of the collective RTMark. He has presented and
exhibited internationally at numerous biennials and triennials (Yokohama,
Venice, Performa, Maribor, Turin, Sundance), and conferences (ISEA,
SIGGRAPH, Popular Culture Association, SLSA, SxSW). He is also
Editor-in-Chief of Intelligent Agent Magazine, and a writer for the
RealityAugmented blog. His recent book, "Variant Analyses: Interrogations of
New Media Culture" was released by the Institute for Networked Culture, and
is included in the Oxford Handbook of Virtuality. He is a Lecturer of
Digital Studio Practice at the Peck School of the Arts in Milwaukee,



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/attachments/20140713/0da7dad5/attachment.html>

More information about the iDC mailing list