[artinfo] on 'machinic capitalism' and network surplus value

Matteo Pasquinelli matteopasquinelli at gmx.it
Fri Oct 14 09:43:39 CEST 2011

attempting to fill the gap between media theory and 'operaismo',
Marxism and the Turing machine, and to clarify some vicious and
perverse debates about the notoriously misnomer 'immaterial labour' I
wrote this essay, that start with a steam-punk insight by Simondon. I
tried to escape contemporary binaries and go a bit back in time...

I include the abstract and I recommend the PDF for reasons of

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Machinic Capitalism and Network Surplus Value: Towards a Political
Economy of the Turing Machine

PDF: http://bit.ly/nljAVo

Abstract: Gilbert Simondon once noticed that industrial machines were
already an information relay, as they were bifurcating for the first
time the source of energy (nature) from the source of information (the
worker). In 1963, in order to describe the new condition of industrial
labour, Romano Alquati introduced the notion of valorising information
as a link between the Marxist concept of value and the cybernetic
definition of information. In 1972, Deleuze and Guattari initiated
their machinic ontology as soon as cybernetics started to exit the
factory and expand to the whole society.

  In this text I focus again on the Turing machine as the most
empirical model available to study the guts of cognitive capitalism.
Consistent with the Marxian definition of machinery as a device for
the _augmentation of surplus value_, the algorithm of the Turing
machine is proposed as engine of the new forms of valorisation,
measure of network surplus value and new _crystal_ of social conflict.
Information machines are not just _linguistic machines_ but indeed
a relay between information and metadata: in this way they open
to a further technological bifurcation and also to new forms of
biopolitical control: a society of metadata is outlined as the current
evolution of that _society of control_ pictured by Deleuze in 1990.

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Matteo Pasquinelli

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