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:

  • Soylent: a word-processor with a crowd inside

    A new plugin for MS Word, to inject real people performing some of the commands present in the application: document shortening, proofreading, and human-language macros. From MIT researcher Michael Bernstein. 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