[iDC] iDC Digest, Vol 91, Issue 3
erginb at gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 11:43:54 UTC 2014
This is Ergin Bulut. Let me briefly introduce myself.
I recently finished my PhD at the University of Illinois and took a
position at the Department of Media and Visual Arts at Koc University,
I wrote my dissertation on the labor process and spatialization in the
video game industry. For the conference, I will present on the relationship
between financialization and subjectivity of immaterial laborers in the
industry. I am really looking forward to the conference, the first of which
I attended as part of audience and learned a lot. Best wishes to all
On Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM, <idc-request at mailman.thing.net> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
> 1. Re: Instagram & Introductions (Nathan Schneider)
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:01:54 -0500
> From: Nathan Schneider <nathan at therowboat.com>
> To: idc at mailman.thing.net
> Subject: Re: [iDC] Instagram & Introductions
> Message-ID: <538F34E2.3080704 at therowboat.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"
> Thanks for this vigorous start to what I know will be a rich discussion.
> I'll be somewhat briefer. Greetings from Quito, Ecuador, where I've just
> finished a round of reporting on the FLOK Society project, which held a
> summit to design open-knowledge policies for the country. I'm a
> journalist currently in the midst of a series of magazine stories (for
> The Nation, Vice, Chronicle of Higher Ed, Hemispheres, etc.) about
> struggles over digital and material commonses. Before that, I wrote a
> book each about God <http://www.therowboat.com/books/god-in-proof/> and
> Occupy Wall Street <http://www.therowboat.com/books/thank-you-anarchy/>.
> I am also working with the Social Science Research Council on a project
> about digital culture and religion, which will result in several
> meetings and a book.
> I'll be speaking at the conference about the commons of time, and the
> ways in which digital capitalism continues to roll back what historian
> Benjamin Hunnicut calls "the lost American dream" of leisure time.
> I'm really looking forward to the conference, and to meeting you. In the
> meantime, please feel free to let me know about any tips related to:
> * organizing digital labor
> * the politics of scholarly publishing
> * communities that digital culture leaves out
> * discourses of the commons
> * overlaps between online and offline political struggle
> * innovations in cooperative financing
> Nathan Schneider / therowboat.com
> /God in Proof <http://www.therowboat.com/books/god-in-proof/>/ / /Thank
> You, Anarchy <http://www.therowboat.com/books/thank-you-anarchy>/
> On 06/03/2014 02:19 PM, Samuel Tannert wrote:
> > Cross-pollination is the key to life. In the abstract, I mean.
> > Communication, the process of producing difference, et cetera.
> > I took on the Instagram feed for #DL14, but I am yet to figure out how
> > exactly to take photos of digital labor. I have never been a photo
> > archivist in any meaningful way. The whole act seems too much effort
> > -- take out the camera, lens-cap off / camera-app on,
> > frame-focus-shoot -- and so none of my Facebook photos are my own. And
> > I have never been good with aesthetics in any meaningful way. Possibly
> > a fear of taste? I desired white jeans one winter, but mostly a
> > top-of-the-pile heuristic has helped me through the daily fashion
> > requirement. Despite my own inadequacies, however, the Instagram must
> > go on/line!
> > Initially I wanted it stylish/-ized with a particular form, e.g.
> > always the hands or just handwritten words. Repetition is
> > advantageously reductionist in that the pattern has certain
> > intertextual demands which can substitute for nuanced critique,
> > passing the buck from artist to audience; a cabinet of curiosities
> > speaks in a way a baseball-card collection cannot.. "I think." Digital
> > labor seems to me more than a series of instances to be cataloged.
> > Digital technologies are so pervasively immanent, "at once everywhere
> > and soon to come everywhere else," and the more I think about what to
> > photogram the more it seems I would have to capture the world itself.
> > Labor_Digital14 sits empty. Much/All of my time has been spent
> > thinking about what is possible:
> > A photo of hands typing on a keyboard is a necessity. & texting. If
> > you crunch the numbers we spend something like 60% of our waking day
> > doing this and I think omission would be deceit, here. The salient bit
> > is that digital labor can be captured at the point of human action on
> > the interface -- a kind of straightforward realist framing which blurs
> > the difference between perception by the tool & that of the human.
> > This conflation demands a search for all sorts of interesting
> > interactions with different digital technologies, looking with the eye
> > and capturing with the camera: e.g. programming the VCR
> > #throwbackthursday, gaming keyboards #MoreButtonsThanGod, or an
> > 11-hour time-lapse of a keyboard in use #2real.
> > Then there's the tension between the screen and the camera -- that
> > strange distance provoked by a photo of a monitor or someone
> > videotaping the TV. It doesn't really work, right? The extra agential
> > layer puts the user at such a level of abstraction from the object
> > that the role the representing apparatus plays becomes frustratingly
> > apparent -- 'learn to take a screenshot, buddy!' And that's it: the
> > screenshot understands the digital environment without the additional
> > abstraction in a kind of Bogost/alien-phenomenology, 'what does the
> > object see?' I keep wanting to use the word 'hyperreal' for semantic
> > integrity, but the baggage would suggest that the objects captured are
> > somehow merely symbolic which I don't mean at all.. Either way, the
> > capturing of the digital environment still demands a searching, but
> > within hyperspace and with hyperspatial vision.
> > And that all is just the first-order stuff! Then you've got the
> > innumerable material and ideal abstractions of digital labor,
> > reductively defined: industry and theory & art. On one hand I could
> > seek out that activity which our digital activities are predicated
> > upon, e.g. the ConEd guy out front of the apartment with a jackhammer
> > at 2 AM or, taken far more seriously, the now infamous 'FoxConn girl'
> > selfie. On the other hand I could go PostSecret and photograph the
> > symbolic abstraction, e.g. whiteboard sketch-ups, highlighted
> > quotations in worn books, art & more art in its broadest sense. If you
> > allow some kind of abstraction everything becomes associated with
> > digital labor, ~'no outside to capitalism.'
> > Digital Labor: DIGITAL LABOR. BIG. To really understand it you have to
> > come from all these different angles.. and that's been Hollywood's
> > problem all along, no? You can capture the person using the interface,
> > but it's someone just someone tak-a-taking away; or you can capture
> > the on-screen image, but it's just a bunch of boring input boxes. The
> > synthetic experience of using a computer is really difficult to
> > capture from outside, and also in our real lives -- watching someone
> > use a computer is painfully alienating.
> > So the film industry's first instinct was to only engage with digital
> > technologies through science fiction and I think this worked pretty
> > well. Either interfaces were made gesture/voice controlled so that
> > action & intent were apparent, or hyperspace was made material through
> > Hackers-esque VR goggles and graphical user interfaces (e.g., [HACK
> > MAINFRAME] [CANCEL]). Then for a while they settled on a 3-quarters
> > over-the-shoulder shot in a kind of defeatist realism, but now that's
> > changing! Shows are using overlays with the screen display stuck on
> > top of the picture, a kind of hyper-/material collage: House of Cards,
> > Sherlock, used often with texting. It's all very stylish and I can
> > only imagine that there was extensive audience testing done --
> > kidding.. maybe? It really is a significant advance in capturing our
> > experience of digital technologies, affect of a higher fidelity. We
> > have realized that one part of the act simply won't do.
> > So why Instagram at all? Is it necessary? Useful? I think it has to
> > be, because we live in a world of digital labor. The 'experience' of
> > digital technologies extends beyond the productive sphere and has
> > wormed its way into life itself. It is grafted to our collective
> > being. & Instagram is set up for this capturing of instances, not in
> > the sense of a Google Image Search ontology, but a Web-2.0 stream
> > epistemology. Instagram is useful in that it allows the crowd-sourcing
> > of a particular aspect of the whole which is most descriptive in
> > combination with other methods of knowing.
> > Turn left and I'm sure you could see this move coming, but I mean to
> > be very sincere: I really think that #DL14 will succeed in this way,
> > in the sense of a more complete picture than we have ever had before.
> > The Instagram aside, I have had the pleasure of reading innumerable
> > abstracts for projects of all kinds coming at the problem of digital
> > labor from so many angles (3 x BIG) -- a proper attempt at mapping the
> > kosmos. More subdued: we are all in for a treat.
> > A number of presentations tackle the problem of digital labor with a
> > very realist edge, from the panel of Amazon Mechanical Turk workers
> > which will provide a first-hand account of the emerging crowd-sourcing
> > industry to Henry Warwick's solo-performance of Terry Riley's "In C,"
> > written for 11 to 35 performers, which will make visible the
> > 'redundancies' in the labor market caused by digital technologies.
> > Others will engage with the hypermaterial, from Karin Hansson's
> > social-networking platform AffectMachine which attempts to commodify
> > human interaction to Carl DiSalvo and his team's reconfiguration of
> > civil society as something which can be 'hacked' through the
> > development of grassroots digital infrastructure. Others will be
> > slightly abstracted: Miriam Cherry will be giving an account of the
> > legal framework through which minimum wage could be extended to
> > crowd-workers, Gavin Mueller will be giving a history of the
> > piracy/'warez' scene, Frank Pasquale will work through the question of
> > whether we might someday "automate the automators" by replacing the
> > managerial class with algorithmic processes. There will even be a
> > stand-up comedy routine by Benj Gerdes, which I hope will let us laugh
> > despite the often overwhelming confrontation which is the conference's
> > focus. There are so many fantastic projects that I do not have the
> > space to list here, and I am awestruck, really, at just how unique
> > each submission was.
> > I have incredibly high hopes for #DL14 as an opportunity for a
> > meaningful advance of the whole field of digital labor studies.
> > Youthful idealism included, I feel like we live in a period of
> > particular import as both departure and genesis, situated as we are at
> > the turn of the millennium. There could not be an assembly more
> > capable of shouldering that responsibility than all of you.
> > Please introduce yourselves.
> > H M Theinert
> > tl;dr
> > Instagram is hard
> > Digital Labor is everywhere
> > Hollywood is OK, sometimes, I guess
> > #DL14
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