Cloud time

Coley, Rob and Lockwood, Dean (2012) Cloud time. In: The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture, 22 October, 2012, New York University.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Keynote)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Presented by THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

"We are certainly within something bestial. Our host? I don't know. But I do know that we are within. And that it's dark in there." (Michel Serres)

What is "cloud culture"? Arguing, with the wide-eyed euphoria and boosterism that characterizes so much digital discourse, that it represents "the future of global cultural relations, Charles Leadbeater has also claimed that it promises a future of "mass self expression, ubiquitous participation and constant connection," a utopian world driven by "collaborative learning and improvement." For ROB COLEY and DEAN LOCKWOOD however, the Cloud is better understood as piloting a monstrous new form of power and control, a catastrophic condition in which "living labor is the engine and the engineer of creativity's enclosure."

In CLOUD TIME, Coley and Lockwood will draw freely on tropes of horror fiction and dystopian SF (J.G. Ballard, H.P. Lovecraft, Tom McCarthy, Christopher Nolan's 'Inception) to conceives of the virtualization of computing in the form of 'the Cloud' as a decisive moment for our Weird culture, our 'Tentacular Novum.' Cloud-based capitalism, they speculate, turns on the vectoral capture of collaborative invention power, appropriating and modulating the commons. Even as we embrace it, the Cloud Thing remains an unknown force, an overdetermined, unutterable power of transformation. Viscerally pervading the social, it effects a mediatized and banalized numinousness.

In CLOUD TIME they will consider whether the critical and diagnostic function of fictioning, or 'fabulation,' might conjure ramifying, disjunctive truths to falsify the Cloud, releasing potential for other worlds beyond the infernal alternatives of the present. 'The fact of the weird,' China Mieville has said, 'is the fact that the worldweave is ripped and unfinished.' 'Post-life,' we are holed, burrowed, eaten. Can the contagious 'burrowingness' that afflicts the world be turned to the purposes of an anti-capitalist fabulatory pragmatics?

Keywords:Horror, cloud computing
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:9841
Deposited On:13 Jun 2013 08:10

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