In this keynote from Virtual Futures, Mark Fisher, author of the stunning Capitalist Realism, talks about the role which innovations in communicative technology play in the unfolding of late capitalism.
He talks about the growing ‘digital communicative malaise’ which can be observed in contemporary society while suggesting that there’s still too much reluctance to address this issue on the left. Yet why should attacking a technological development be seen as reactionary? He suggests that digital technologies can be seen as communicative parasites that destroy other enjoyments: it destroys our capacity to attend to the pleasurable (described by others as Continuous Partial Attention) and tightens the grip of disciplinary power on our everyday lives. As he observes, “as soon as you have e-mail you no longer have working hours”
SI was supposed to interview Mark at the conference but unfortunately the editor was ill so consigned to (frustratedly) watching this fascinating talk via the conference live stream. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to do the interview later in the summer!