McKenzie Wark is an Australian-born writer and scholar. Wark is known for his writings on media theory, critical theory, new media, and the Situationist International. His best known works are A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory.
Digital Labor and the Anthropocene
One way of thinking the Anthropocene is that it is the realization that collective, social labor is undermining the very conditions of existence on earth. What Marx called ‘metabolic rifts’ are opening everywhere. Rising levels of atmospheric carbon is just the tip of the iceberg — to use an expression that will rapidly come to have a new level of meaning. Some would prefer to think of this era as the Capitalocene, but the fact remains that with 7 billion people, any mode of organizing social labor runs into serious constraints. And so: what role can digital labor imagine for itself that does not merely perpetuate and extend the metabolic rifts that are currently yawning wide? In this presentation, I want to present a portrait of one critical thinker who joined these two issues together a long time ago — Alexander Bogdanov. Can we think forward from Bogdanov’s work to a theory and practice of collective labor for the Anthropocene?