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).

Was liegt daran, wie gesprochen wird? Dividuelles Sprechen in Gerald Raunigs “Ungefüge”

Ungefüge_Cover“Was liegt daran, wer spricht?” Michel Foucault wollte bereits 1969 kein weiteres Mal das Verschwinden des/der Autor:in konstatieren, tat es dann aber doch wieder. Und etwa so lange dreht sich auch die Diskussion um Autor:innenschaft im Kreise, nicht zuletzt deshalb, weil auch die Kritik den/die Autor:in als Figur ins Zentrum stellt und wenn nur als Leerstelle, die es zu untersuchen gilt.

In einem der aussergewöhnlichsten Bücher der politischen Philosophie der letzten Jahre dreht Gerald Raunig Foucaults Frage um, ohne sie je direkt zu erwähnen. Als Problem erscheint nicht mehr der/die Sprechende, sondern die Sprache selbst. Denn es ist in der Sprache – als Struktur wie als Praxis – in der sich das Subjekt konstituiert. Dieses Subjekt ist heute dividuell, endlos teil- und wieder zusammensetzbar in der grossen Datenbanken der digitalen Konzerne, algorithmisch konstruiert, reibungslos und umfänglich verfügbar für smarte Strategien der Kontrolle und In-Wert-Setzung. Die hegemoniale Form, in der sich diesse Prozesse vollziehen, ist die Quantifizierung und das Ziel ist Optimierung.

16.09. Arbeitskultur im Wandel (Hannover, online)

Arbeitskultur im Wandel. Eine Online-Vortragsreihe

Die Arbeitswelt unterliegt einem stetigen Wandel. Wo früher mit Schreibmaschinen gearbeitet wurde, stehen nun Computer. Wo früher Berechnungen von Hand vorgenommen wurden, erledigt dies heute Software. Doch nicht nur Technik und Methoden haben sich im Laufe der Jahrzehnte geändert, sondern auch das Miteinander in Arbeitskontexten und unsere Haltung zur Arbeit an sich.

Die VHS Hannover wagt einen Blick in die Zukunft und beschäftigt sich daher im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe „Arbeitskultur im Wandel“ mit den Themen:

Herausforderungen der Digitalität - Prof. Dr. Felix Stalder
Influencer-Relations - Prof. Dr. Annika Schach
Klassismus und die neue Arbeitswelt - Prof. Dr. Francis Seeck
BYOD - Einsatz von privaten Geräten in Arbeitskontexten - Phil Höfer
Podcast als Marketinginstrument - Georg Dahm
Superkräfte der Kommunikationskultur - Susanne Lorenz
Kulturwandel durch agiles Mindset - Frank Golinsky
Krisen als Chance für die Unternehmenskultur - Dr. Andreas Kohne
Arbeiten an der Zukunft - MA BA BSc Alexander Wöran (ars electronica)

Im Rahmen dieser Vorträge informieren Expert*innen Sie über neueste Erkenntnisse aus der Forschung, geben Ihnen Best Practice-Beispiel und stellen sich natürlich auch Ihren Fragen. Diskussionen sind ausdrücklich erwünscht!

https://www.vhs-hannover.de/aus-den-programmbereichen/arbeitskultur-im-w...

Celebrating 25 Years of "Information Age" trilogy. A round table

A semi-virtual roundtable to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Manuel Castells' The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Castells, Professor of Sociology at the UOC, gave the opening lecture.

My contribution starts at 01:49:50. In it, I draw parallels between our current systemic blockages preventing necessary (ecological) transformations and those of the late Soviet Union blocking the adaption to informationalism. This argument is worked out more fully here.
My review of the trilogy from 1998 is here.

https://www.uoc.edu/portal/en/agenda/2021/agenda_257.html

03.06. Round table "The Network Society Today: (Revisiting) the Information Age Trilogy" (online)

The Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), the UOC's research institute specializing in the study of the internet and the effects of interactions between digital technologies and human activity, is celebrating 20 years since its founding.

The event to mark this will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Manuel Castells' The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Castells, Professor of Sociology at the UOC and the current Spanish Minister for Universities, was formerly director of the IN3 and will take part in the event.

The key part of the event will be a talk by Castells himself: “The Network Society in the age of pandemics”.

There will then be a round table discussion moderated by philosopher and member of the UOC's Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Marina Garcés. The members of the panel will analyse Castells' work and the implications for today. The panel will include Diana Roig Sanz, ERC grant holder and ICREA Research Professor at the IN3; John Thompson, Professor of Sociology and Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge; Fernando Calderón, Professor at Argentina's Universidad Nacional San Martín (UNSAM) and Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO); Ida Susser, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center; Felix Stalder, Professor of Digital Culture at Zurich University of the Arts, and Hana Jalloul, lecturer of International Relations at Univeristy Carlos III (Madrid).

Mind Map zu Digitalität und Stadt

Die Student:innen des Studiengangs "Kultur der Metropole" der HafenCity Universität in Hamburg hatten mich zu einem Gastvortrag zur Digitalisierung und Stadt eingeladen. Während des Vortrags haben sie gemeinsam diese Mindmap erstellt. Ein sehr schönes Verfahren des gemeinsamen Notierens.

Lokale Kopie als PDF

13.05. "The digital city as laboratory for the more-than-human society." University of Posnan (online)

Najbliższe spotkanie: Prof. Felix Stalder "The digital city as laboratory for the more-than-human society."

Spotkanie odbędzie się 13 maja 2021 o godzinie 18:00 na MS Teams (kliknij TUTAJ, aby przejść do seminarium)

Abstract
This talk starts from three assumptions. First, digital media have contributed to social diversity and polarization by leading people into ever more self-enclosed worlds, some of which are constructive, while others are destructive. Commercial social media have amplified the destructive ones for their own interests. Second, digitization and the informational economy are a driver of the “great acceleration” pushing the earth system beyond the relatively steady-state during which human civilization has so far existed. Third, digital infrastructures are necessary to manage the sharply increased complexity of the “post-industrial” society. From this, a major challenge emerges: how to use new digital infrastructures to bring people together, establish new forms of participation in the res publica, that is, the things that are shared by and affect, everyone. This is a daunting task because the institutions of the res publica cannot simply extend participation by citizens, as important as this is, but they need to account for the massively extended range of actors – technical as well as biological and even geological – that make up the dynamic system in which we live. I will look at the city-scale for practical examples of new social institutions.

11.05. Digital Unconscious. Book Launch (online)

Tuesday, 11. Mai, 19.00 @ Depot Vienna -- online (Zoom Link)
Digital Unconscious
Book Launch

With:
Franco Berardi "Bifo", philopher, activist, Bologna
Cécilia Calheiros, writer, Paris
Steve Kurz, Critical Art Ensemble, USA
Katja Mayer, sociologist, University Vienna
hosted by Felix Stalder and Konrad Becker (eds.), World Information Institute, Vienna

In hyper-normal hybrids the boundaries between man and machine have dissolved. Inside their nervous systems lies a strange but fascinating theme: the digital unconscious.

Which forces act through algorithmic processes?
What secrets be found in the shadowy realm of technology, welded to human nervous systems?
How can the complexity of these relationships be described and what forms of access can cultural approaches offer?




Autonomedia publishing: "Digital Unconscious - Nervous Systems and Uncanny Predictions!" S.M. Amadae, Franco Berardi Bifo, Cecilia Calheiros, Ewen Chardronnet, Critical Art Ensemble, Erik Davis, Graham Harwood, Eva Illiouz, Lydia H.Liu, Katja Mayer, El Iblis Shah, Felix Stalder, Michael Taussig, Peter Lamborn Wilson. ISBN: 978157027

http://www.depot.or.at/index.php?article_id=30&clang=0

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