4. Capital Sticks to Itself (Marek Solo Ep.)

4. Capital Sticks to Itself (Marek Solo Ep.)
3 dic 2023 · 27 min.

First - come to our book launch, hosted by our friends at Foreign Objekt and organized by Sepideh Majidi. Dec 9 at 9AM Pacific: https://www.foreignobjekt.com/post/choreomata-book-launch-panel-ai-as-mass-performance. Since both Roberto and Marek...

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First - come to our book launch, hosted by our friends at Foreign Objekt and organized by Sepideh Majidi. Dec 9 at 9AM Pacific: https://www.foreignobjekt.com/post/choreomata-book-launch-panel-ai-as-mass-performance.

Since both Roberto and Marek are traveling this week, we’re doing something a little different this time — Marek put together a solo-cast.

Marek and Roberto wrote the opening chapter of Choreomata, a thought-experiment about what happens to subjective experience when it is fully subcontracted out by the various routines of datafication and computation that comprise contemporary digital society. Academics and researchers constantly worry about the extent to which we are constructing AI in our own image, but in reality the reverse feels truer: we are constructing ourselves according to machine protocols.

This episode goes ham into a conjecture from the chapter: what if we have also overinscribed our own image onto capitalism? We propose a weird fever-dream in which the opposite is true: what if capitalism is detaching, lifting off, and departing from the immediate sphere of human events?
A pretty long reference list:
  1. Anil Bawa-Cavia’s Logiciel brings a sledgehammer to contemporary computation, illuminating the ideological presuppositions and logical incoherencies at its core.
  2. Nick Land’s Machinic Desire inspires the piece, with its provocation that capitalism is an AI sent from the future.
  3. This piece gets extremely playful with some of Reza Negarestani’s work, which should be read on its own — especially “Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy” and “Solar Inferno and the Earthbound Abyss.” Seriously amazing pieces.
  4. It also plays liberally with Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus — it’s worth noting that D&G’s beliefs about capitalism change quite a bit after this particular piece, but it stands as a major work of 20th century social theory.
  5. As in a previous podcast, this episode owes a lot of its frameworking to Tiziana Terranova’s Free Labor: Producing Culture of the Digital Economy. And listen to our recent podcast with this hero of ours -- Episode 2!
  6. On social reproduction and reproductive labor, we recommend Bognia Konor’s Automate the Womb: Ecologies and Technologies of Reproduction, Sarah Elsie Baker’s Post-work Futures and Full Automation: Towards a Feminist Design Methodology, and the entire corpus of Helen Hester’s visionary work.
  7. Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth cleaved our world in two -- a major piece of anticolonial theory and critical race theory that undergirds our assertion that when we talk about capitalism, we are often talking about a very specific, bourgeois, Western experience.
  8. On the economic side, Suhail Malik’s Ontology of Finance is a must-read, as is Bifo Berardi’s “After the Economy”.
  9. Finally, we want to shout out the artist, thinker, Redditor Nina Rajcic who we dialogued with about some of these ideas with us at Sensilab Prato this year. We hope to have her on a future ep!


Enjoy this little bit of self-indulgence! We’ll be back soon with an episode featuring one of our biggest influences, Luciana Parisi (hopefully next week, depending on our travel schedule).
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Autore Marek Poliks, Roberto Alonso
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