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.


In no particular order:


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
  • The Stack, User Layer—Benjamin H. Bratton

    Relevant passages highlighted while reading the User Layer chapter of The Stack. The Stack—User Layer By contrast, the platform sovereignty of the User in The Stack as identified for the Interface and City layers is derived not from some essential dignity of the particular human who “uses,” but from the agency of the User position in relation to the envelopes against which he or she or it is situated. Any sovereignty of the User draws less probably from established legal rights than from the contradictions and slippages between how formal citizens are provided access under control regimes versus how platfo... more
  • The Politics Of Platform Technologies—Benjamin Bratton

    At minute 5:41: [the state providing energy, infrastructure, legal identity, etc.] and bit by bit, each of these and more, are now also provided by cloud platforms. Not necessarily as formal replacement for State-version, but, like google-id, simply more useful and affective for daily life. So for these platforms, the terms of participation are not mandatory, and because of this, the social contracts are more extractive and constitutional. At minute 8:47: It’s important as well to recognise that platforms are not only a technical infrastructure, they are an institutional form as well. They centralise like States, scaffolding the terms of participation to... more
  • The Stack, a diagram by Metahaven

    Young Heraclitus ‎@DreamboatSlim says: could rly use a noice print of this diagram to put above my desk and look at occasinoally as I think about modernity more
  • The Cloud, the State, and the Stack: Metahaven in Conversation with Benjamin Bratton

    BB (...) The geographic-topological distinction between fixed node or fluid edge, central or de-central, could locate States on either side of the distinction and that amphibiousness is only increasing. I take “State” to mean a kind of formal jurisdictional structure that absorbs a geographic domain into its purview, that can assign identity and address, which can control mobility within a certain field, and which can claim final authority over the legitimacy of violence within a specific domain. But “networks” do all those things too. (...) MH How exactly are Clouds de facto States? They can bring together a rather large polity (like the Face... more
  • The Stack and the Post-human User: an Interview with Benjamin Bratton

    In your Stack model, the user can be human, but doesn’t have to be. What is the user in the Stack? When we say user-centred design, we focus on human users. Now, anything that can initiate what I call a column, that can activate all the layers of the Stack, can be a user. It is worth thinking about the layers as actually working sequentially, when one message is sent from one user to another user. The user sends a message to the interface layer, the address layer, all the way down to the earth layer, and then to th... more
  • The Black Stack, user as a political subject

    Benjamin H. Bratton and Metahaven in conversation at transmediale 2014, Berlin. At time 1:00:25s, Benjamin talks about the reconfiguration of the user as a new political subject, redefining what a political subject is nowadays. more