Anna Munster talk at the CoDE-institute
The next CoDE-talk:
Dr Anna Munster on biopolitics, death and digital aesthetics
at Anglia Ruskin, East Road, Cambridge
Organized by Cultures of the Digital Economy institute, in collaboration with the New Network Politics-project
October 14, Thursday, 16.00-17.30
Room: Helmore 112
‘Out of the biopolitical frypan and into the noopolitical fire: death and finitude as emerging trends in digital culture and aesthetics’
This paper tracks the emergence of a digital ethos that is cognisant of consequence, finitude and even death. On the one hand, sectors of the digital entertainment industry – specifically computer games developers – and new start-up industries are concerned with the question of how to m…anage ‘death’ digitally. On the other hand, death and suicide have become the impetus for creative expression. Bernard Stiegler’s analysis of technicity goes some way toward unfolding a political analysis of the relations between ‘life’ and ‘death’ in the recent and current aesthetics of digital code. Specifically, his more recent work is concerned with the over-reaching of biopower into what he terms ‘psychopower’ and with inventing a ‘noopolitics’ that can respond to this.
But I will also argue that his articulation of noopolitics fails to provide us with a way to conduct ourselves digitally in the light of the spread of technologies and cultures of cognitive capitalism. It does not take account of either the recuperative noopolitics of aesthetic practices in an economy of cognitive capitalism or the productive and differentiating potential of aesthetic practices of digital ‘coding’ that suggest lines of flight for contemporary technoculture. I focus upon the relation between recuperated and critical software practices and the constitution of provisional networked publics that transversally produce lines of flight toward a more transformative noopolitics for digital aesthetics.
Anna Munster is a writer, artist and educator. She is the author of Materializing New Media (Dartmouth College Press, 2006) and one of the founders of the online open-access journal The Fibreculture Journal. Her theoretical and artistic research covers the politics and aesthetics of networks and media technologies, biopolitics and information societies, embodied perception and neuroscience. She is currently working on a database for generating dynamic concepts about contemporary media (http://www.dynamicmedianetwork.org/), and a book on how networks experience. She is an associate professor, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia.