20 April 2013

Recorded Lecture: McKenzie Wark, "Telesthesia: How Class and Power Work in the Post-Internet Age"

One of Google's data centers, photographed by Connie Zhou.
McKenzie Wark prods at our understandings of class and social relations with this half-hour video recording, "Telesthesia: How Class and Power Work in the Post-Internet Age", presented at the Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series hosted by the University of Berkeley's Center for New Media on 19 December 2012.

Extracted from his recent book Telesthesia: Communication, Culture and Class (published by Polity in the tail end of last year), Wark offers us an intriguing snapshot at his thesis on the current "vectoral age". Tracing vectoral strategies from the deployment of military force at a distance, to creative reappropriation of spaces and information, and the tactics of growth deployed by rising Fortune 500 corporations such as Google and Apple, Wark proposes that in this post-internet age and "overdeveloped" (first) world, we have entered a third stage of commodity culture - beyond pastoralism and capitalism - of information ruled and managed by the vector. And as the concept of property becomes more abstract, he asserts that the vectoral class now unseats the capitalist in power and dominance.
"The vector becomes much more flexible, elaborate, refined in its flows of data. It is nowhere necessary to cluster related parts of the production process physically near one another. The vector opens the way to a spatial disaggregation of production. It isn't the multitude who fled the scene, it was capital." 
The lecture can be viewed at Archive.org, where various other Art, Technology, and Culture lectures can also be viewed and/or heard, kindly provided by the Berkeley Center for New Media.

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