felix's blog

Book Out: Digital Condition (Polity Press)

I'm very happy my new book (a translation of Kultur der Digitalität) has just been published by Polity Press.

In the book I argue that referentiality, communality, and algorithmicity have become the characteristic cultural forms of the digital condition because more and more people – in more and more segments of life and by means of increasingly complex technologies – are actively (voluntarily and/or compulsorily) participating in the negotiation of social meaning. They are thus reacting to the demands of a chaotic, overwhelming sphere of information and thereby contributing to its greater expansion. It is the ubiquity of these cultural forms that makes it possible to speak of the digital condition in the singular.

The goals pursued in these cultural forms, however, are as diverse, contradictory, and conflicted as society itself. It would, therefore, be equally false to assume uniformity or an absence of alternatives in the unfolding of social and political developments. On the contrary, the idea of a lack of alternatives is an ideological assertion that is itself part of a specific political agenda. Indeed, advanced democracies are faced with a profound choice, to continue their long slide towards post-democratic authoritarianism or reinvent democracy for the digital condition.

You can get it from the publisher (UK, US), from Amazon (UK, US), or you local bookseller (UK, US).

The great cover image is by the Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, from the series Nimbus, Probe #6, 2010.

Updates

  • Sebastian Berg, Niklas Rakowski and Thorsten Thiel discuss the book as one of five "key points of reference in the German-language discussion on the digital society." Digital Constellation (12.2020)
  • Herman, Kelly. 2020. “Felix Stalder, The Digital Condition.” International Journal of Communication 14(3).

29.04. Das Digitale Bild (Keynote) Uni München (online)

Es freut mich sehr, an der Konferenz "Das digitale Bild – Die soziale Dimension, politische Perspektiven und ökonomische Zwänge" (28-30.04) eine Keynotezu halten. Die Konferenz wird im Rahmen des DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm: „Das digitale Bild“ ausgerichtet.

Composite Images. On the transformation of visual truth claims.

Forensic Architecture and the Invisible Institute, still from Six Durations of a Split Second: The Killing of Harith Augustus (2019).

Abstract:

It has been a peculiarity of Western modernity – the cultural constellation that extended, roughly, from the mid 15th to the mid 20th century – to assume that images represent the world as it is, in an objective, optical sense and that which can be seen is what counts. Contemporary digital technologies of image-making are, on the surface, extending this claim by creating ever more ‘realistically’ detailed images (HD, UltraHD, 4K, 8K, Gigapixel etc), yet, more importantly, they are fundamentally undermining it, by moving from the representation of an external reality to the generative production of images. At the same time, what constitutes reality is becoming ever more complex and distributed, eroding the value of representational images to make sense of it. With that, we need a new way of understanding images, as composites rather than indexes, and the role they play in the production of truth claims.

23,04. The digital condition and reconstitution of the public(s), Keynote, Lisbon (online)

I'm very happy to give a keynote lecture at the ​​Art, Museums and Digital Cultures Conference, organized by MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon. The conference date is 22-23 April 2021, my talk is on the second day, 10:00 AM

The digital condition and reconstitution of the public(s)

The digital condition has eroded many of the categories that have structured modernity. In this talk, I want to focus on two of them which are directly relevant to museums and other memory organizations, defining institutions of modern culture. One is the distinction between "public" and "private", the other is between "professional" and "amateur". These categories are no longer useful to structure the relations between these institutions and the wider environment in which they are embedded. Contemporary cultural production is defined by ubiquitous patterns of referentiality, communality, and algorithmicity. They transform the public into publics and give rise to "mass creativity" that threatens to bypass existing memory institutions.

Aesthetics of the Commons. New Book out!

We are very happy to publication of our book "Aesthetics of the Commons"

What do a feminist server, an art space located in a public park in North London, a ‘pirate’ library of high cultural value yet dubious legal status, and an art school that emphasizes collectivity have in common? They all demonstrate that art can play an important role in imagining and producing a real quite different from what is currently hegemonic; that art in the post-digital has the possibility to not only conceive or proclaim ideas in theory, but also to realize them materially. The underlying social imaginaries ascribe a new role to art in society and they envision an idea of culture beyond the individual and its possessions.

13.04. Immersion as escapism, control or co-existence. Lecture, ZHdK (online)

Immersive Arts and Practice: Lecture Series

Immersion_ZHDK

March 2nd | Christian Iseli | 17:15- 18:30h
EXPANDED ILLUSIONS: CINEMATIC CONCEPTS OF IMMERSION

March 16th | Marcus Maeder 17:15- 18:30h
AMBIENT: FROM IMMERSION TO IMMANENCE

March 30th | Hannah Walter | 17:15- 18:30h
BECOMING WITH TECHNOLOGY. BECOMING CYBORG

April 13th | Felix Stalder | 17:15- 18:30h
IMMERSION AS ESCAPISM, CONTROL, OR CO-EXISTENCE

April 27th | Maike Thies | 17:15- 18:30h
ENTANGLED IN ARTIFICIAL WORLDS

IMMERSION AS ESCAPISM, CONTROL, OR CO-EXISTENCE
Felix Stalder, Department of Fine Arts, Digital Culture

Abstract

09.03. Book Launch “Aesthetics of the Commons”


We are very happy to announce the launch of our book "Aesthetics of the Commons", online via Depot in Vienna.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021, 7 pm (CET)

Link to zoom meeting (will be active at 6.45 pm):
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82459911204?pwd=Y0FscUMwS1c5QmNtSmxTZ2JmMW9Xdz09

Book launch and discussion

What do a feminist server, an art space located in a public park in North London, a ‘pirate’ library of high cultural value yet dubious legal status, and an art school that emphasizes collectivity have in common? They all demonstrate that art can play an important role in imagining and producing a real quite different from what is currently hegemonic; that art in the post-digital has the possibility to not only conceive or proclaim ideas in theory, but also to realize them materially. The underlying social imaginaries ascribe a new role to art in society and they envision an idea of culture beyond the individual and its possessions.

Digital Commons. Defining Concepts of the Digital Society (Internet Policy Review)


ABSTRACT

Commons are holistic social institutions to govern the (re)production of resources, articulated through interrelated legal, socio-cultural, economic and institutional dimensions. They represent a comprehensive and radical approach to organise collective action, placing it “beyond market and state” (Bollier & Helfrich, 2012). They form a third way of organising society and the economy that differs from both market-based approaches, with their orientation toward prices, and from bureaucratic forms of organisation, with their orientation toward hierarchies and commands. This governance model has been applied to tangible and intangible resources, to local initiatives (garden, educational material), and to resources governed by global politics (climate, internet infrastructure).

Digital commons are a subset of the commons, where the resources are data, information, culture and knowledge which are created and/or maintained online. The notion of the digital commons is an important concept for countering legal enclosure and fostering equitable access to these resources. This article presents the history of the movement of the digital commons, from free software, free culture, and public domain works, to open data and open access to science. It then analyses its foundational dimensions (licensing, authorship, peer production, governance) and finally studies newer forms of the digital commons, urban democratic participation and data commons.

Full text open access.

Dulong de Rosnay, M. & Stalder, F. (2020). Digital commons. Internet Policy Review, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.14763/2020.4.1530

Mapping "Kultur der Digitalität"

Zwei sehr schöne Maps meines Buches "Kultur der Digitalität sind mir zu Gesicht gekommen!

Die erste von Adriano Montefusco, via miro.com. Die zweite von Vinzenz Rast, handgezeichnet!

Out Now: HYPER-EMPLOYMENT Book

24/7. Algorithmic sovereignty. Anxiety. Artificial intelligence. Automation. Crowdfunding. Data extraction. Entreprecariat. Exploitation. Free labour. Free time. Gig working. Human-in-the-loop. Logistics. Machine vision. Man-machine complexity. Micro-labour. No future. Outsourcing. Peripheral work. Platform economy. Post-capitalism. Post-work. Procrastination. Quantification. Self-improvement. Social media fatigue. Time management. Unemployment. These are arguably just a few of the many keywords required to navigate our fragile, troubled, scattered present, in which the borders between life and work, home and office, sleep and wake, private and public, human and machine have faded, and in which the personal is not just political but economic.

Edited by Domenico Quaranta and Janez Janša, featuring words by !Mediengruppe Bitnik (Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo) and Felix Stalder, Silvio Lorusso, Luciana Parisi, and Domenico Quaranta and works by !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Danilo Correale, Elisa Giardina Papa, Sanela Jahić, Silvio Lorusso, Jonas Lund, Michael Mandiberg, Eva and Franco Mattes, Anna Ridler, Sebastian Schmieg, Sašo Sedlaček, and Guido Segni, Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation is an attempt to scrutinise and explore some of these issues. A catchphrase borrowed from media theorist Ian Bogost, describing “the Exhausting Work of the Technology User,” hyperemployment allows us to grasp a situation which the current pandemic has turned endemic, to analyse the present and discuss possible futures.

The book is co-published by NERO and Aksioma

Format: 11 x 17 cm
Pages: 160
Language: EN
Year: 2020
ISBN: 978-88-8056-112-5

BUY IT HERE, 18,00€

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