A talk by Aaron Peters - Novara Media

'It seems passe today to speak of the 'internet revolution'. In some academic circles it is considered positively naive. But it should not be. The change brought about by the networked informational environment is deep. It is structural. It goes to the very heart of how liberal markets and liberal democracies have co-evolved for almost over two centuries.'' - Yochai Benkler

It is claimed that the emergence of the internet and the rise of a number of digital technologies within its ambit signifies a shift in economic, social and cultural production. It is reasonable to remain reticent in the face of the more 'adventurous' of such claims and heed the answer given by Zhou Enlai when he was asked of the impact of the French Revolution some 150 years after it had passed, to which he replied 'it is too soon to say'. In spite of this however those technologies which catalyse what has been variously described as the rise of a 'network culture' (Terranova) a 'network society' (Castells) and a 'networked capitalism' (Boltanski and Chiapello) do seem to observably expedite the dissolution of the distinction between private and public life forms of sociality (Bimber, Flanagin, Virno). Contemporaneous with this is the elapse of another now anachronistic distinction, that between life and work (Bifo Beardi, Negri). What could such a change signify in terms of how we conceive of political action? Should it mean we reconsider how we think about the formation of both individual and collective political subjectivity, and more pressingly, appropriate forms of political 'organisation'?

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