Info

ow is a research project focused on the transformation of the internet user in relation to labour. It draws from Benjamin Bratton's The Stack definition of user—anything able to interface with another user; whether human, animal, plant, mineral, machinic, algorithmic, etc.—to understand the idea of work in a different way.

To do so, the project sets a scenario where a Universal Basic Income is a prerequisite for a post-work society, undermining the classic idea of work and worker—a process began in the 70s with the rising of the post-fordist figure.

The internet user is, indeed, the latest iteration of a process of full identification between the post-fordist worker and his her job, where intellectual and affective labour are the main means of production and of subject-formation.

Reading

In no particular order:

Output

Working on:

  • The Stack, Interface Layer—Benjamin H. Bratton

    Relevant passages highlighted while reading the Interface Layer chapter of The Stack. Ultimately it is the arbitrary precision of interfacial diagrams of specific interactions that allows them to delimit in advance what the User can and can- not do with The Stack as a whole. Beyond just the framing of possible actions, the active responsiveness of the interfacial diagram allows its unique mapping of reality to seem not only valid but also functionally real to the User. This accumulation of incommensurable recursive projections back into direct perceptual reality (however inaccurate, false, stupefying, and illegible they may be) is the first ... more
  • Kirsty Hendry—Performing Software

    Such an amazing text, given as a talk by Kirsty Hendry at the RWX: Read Symposium about the history of building interfaces from the beginning of the computer era back in the 40s up to nowadays with personal assistants like Siri. The development of ‘software’ however is intrinsically bound to a very literal performance of gendered labour. Before ‘computer’ hardened to noun, it was once an adjective. Computers were female programmers during WW2 and software was the ‘daughter’ to hardware. Responding to ‘commands’ issued by male analysts, the female computers were not simply fulfilling tasks but helped make the male command legible ... more