Call for Proposals DIGITAL LABOR: SWEATSHOPS, PICKET LINES, AND BARRICADES To be held at The New School, a university in New York City NOVEMBER 14-16, 2014 #dl14 The third in The New School's Politics of Digital Culture Conference Series Sponsored by The New School and The Institute for Distributed Creativity Digital Labor: The Internet as… Continue reading Exciting CFP: DIGITAL LABOR: SWEATSHOPS, PICKET LINES, AND BARRICADES, the New School, NYC, NOVEMBER 14-16, 2014
As reported by Reuters and picked up in the Huffington Post, Facebook today released a confusing infographic ostensibly designed to shed light on the cryptic route that reported content takes through the company's circuit of screening. According to the company, content flagged as inappropriate, for any one of myriad reasons, makes its way to "...staffers… Continue reading Obscurity through Transparency: Facebook releases infographic that reveals little – by design?
In the past few days my inbox has seen an influx in forwards from friends and colleagues, all sharing links with me covering the recent revelation that Facebook outsources some of its dirtiest work, and that those firms handling Facebook's outsourced labor pay exploitatively low wages for some of the most psychologically damaging digital work… Continue reading Social Media’s Dirty Work: Contextualizing the Facebook Screening Controversy
With travel out of the way and just a moment to breathe before turning back to piled up work demanding my attention, I have just a few moments to reflect upon AoIR 11.0 in Göteborg. As is often the case with these sorts of activities, so much of the richness of the conference came from… Continue reading AoIR 11.0 Roundup
Theodor Adorno's primary critiques in the selections brought together in Routledge's The Culture Industry focus on what can be termed generally mass culture (or, to use the term he coined along with Horkheimer, "the culture industry"), being those artifacts which are mass-produced, reproduced, distributed - both as the means and the end to advertise, promote and consume the products. The result is that what was once the province of cultural output such as artistic expression is reduced instead to artifacts and emblems of products and commodities; this then becomes the common cultural currency. Advertising stands in for art, and cultural objects are created expressly for consumption - by necessity, as a result of their mass-production - and to generate capital.
Doing some reading over the past week, I was prompted to think about, then comment on, a chapter by Friedrich Kittler on Cold War computing technology and the implicit (and explicit) ways in which an examination of so-called "defense technology" comes into direct contact with, and within the purview of, media studies, information studies and labor studies. Specifically, I am interested in uncovering the history of these technologies and their development, particularly when the when many defense technologies have been considered value-neutral or even as beneficial (and perhaps were, particularly when they moved from the province of military applications to consumer or mass-market ones). Additionally, the process of uncovering the hidden labor embedded in digital and computing technologies and processes, is inextricalbly tied to the critically important task of uncovering their hidden agendas, applications and roots within the military-academic-industrial complex.