Cloud games: reinventing invention-power

Coley, Rob and Lockwood, Dean (2010) Cloud games: reinventing invention-power. In: The Experimental Society, 7-9 July, 2010, Lancaster University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A recent report for the think tank, Counterpoint, outlined the social and cultural implications of emergent ‘cloud’ computing. The ‘cloud culture equation’ means ‘mass self-expression, ubiquitous participation and constant connection’ as default options for life (Leadbeater, 2010). Friction-free pick up, mixture and sharing of data, facilitates experimentalist ‘hive minds’. The only thing that hinders this great adventure, we are told, is the threat that capitalists will move in, buy out, lock down. However, we suggest that the situation is even more intractable. We are already, so to speak, post-apocalypse. As Virno (2004) argues, capitalism has long ‘put to work life as such’. The alien machine of capital knows how to appropriate virtuosic human ‘invention-power’. We claim that the default – read invisible, nonconscious - options of cloud culture constitute, in fact, a radical strategy on the part of that which Lash (2007) has diagnosed as a vitalist post-hegemonic power which has already ‘entered into us and constituted us from the inside’. Power dominates immanently, intensively, through algorithms and other virtuals generating our realities in ways of which we have little conscious awareness. Cloud capitalism will further intensively organize our affective experimental involvements, instituting new modes of enclosure, new logics of temporal control. The multitude can only intervene in the relations of force involved by intuiting its own disruptive and transversal simulations, images and reality games – ‘diagrams’ (Deleuze, 1988) for new interstitial worlds which refuse to accommodate themselves only to the virtuals of capitalism, only to ‘capitalist realism’ (Fisher, 2010). Such diagrams might critically engage with the strangeness of the present, constituting an ‘artifactual derive’ (Thacker, 2005). In other words, they might connect with, and unfold with, another virtual, a real which the cloud cannot yet remember.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:A recent report for the think tank, Counterpoint, outlined the social and cultural implications of emergent ‘cloud’ computing. The ‘cloud culture equation’ means ‘mass self-expression, ubiquitous participation and constant connection’ as default options for life (Leadbeater, 2010). Friction-free pick up, mixture and sharing of data, facilitates experimentalist ‘hive minds’. The only thing that hinders this great adventure, we are told, is the threat that capitalists will move in, buy out, lock down. However, we suggest that the situation is even more intractable. We are already, so to speak, post-apocalypse. As Virno (2004) argues, capitalism has long ‘put to work life as such’. The alien machine of capital knows how to appropriate virtuosic human ‘invention-power’. We claim that the default – read invisible, nonconscious - options of cloud culture constitute, in fact, a radical strategy on the part of that which Lash (2007) has diagnosed as a vitalist post-hegemonic power which has already ‘entered into us and constituted us from the inside’. Power dominates immanently, intensively, through algorithms and other virtuals generating our realities in ways of which we have little conscious awareness. Cloud capitalism will further intensively organize our affective experimental involvements, instituting new modes of enclosure, new logics of temporal control. The multitude can only intervene in the relations of force involved by intuiting its own disruptive and transversal simulations, images and reality games – ‘diagrams’ (Deleuze, 1988) for new interstitial worlds which refuse to accommodate themselves only to the virtuals of capitalism, only to ‘capitalist realism’ (Fisher, 2010). Such diagrams might critically engage with the strangeness of the present, constituting an ‘artifactual derive’ (Thacker, 2005). In other words, they might connect with, and unfold with, another virtual, a real which the cloud cannot yet remember.
Keywords:cloud computing, digital culture
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Media
ID Code:5928
Deposited By: Rob Coley
Deposited On:26 Jun 2012 19:08
Last Modified:26 Jun 2012 19:08

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