‘Zoom Etiquette’ as Prescribed by the University

This post continues on from the last dispatch from inside of the institution, ‘Disturbing Moment of the Day (DMOTD): Letter from the University’ to map yet another coordinate onto the University’s strange dealings during, with, and of the context of the digitisation of studying during the pandemic. … 

 

Disturbing Moment of the Day: Letter from the University

For over a year now, life inside of the University has been weird – and it seems to only be getting weirder. Today the entire student and faculty cohort received a letter from the ‘President’ of the university that has inspired a new series over here at INC’s corner of No Fun that will here forth be called Disturbing Moment of the Day (DMOTD). Feel free to make that acronym a thing. … 

 

Dude, Where’s My 22nd Century?

On the Burnout of Future-Images: How the mass phenomenon directly reflects the troubles of our cultural imagination. In his book The Image of the Future (1961), Dutch sociologist Fred. L. Polak (1907-1985) explains how the historical process of time – and along with it, speculations on the nature and meaning of time…

Dude, Where’s My
22nd Century?

Originally published in MARCH Journal of Art & Strategy.

An overlap has emerged between the experience of temporality in the contemporary condition of burnout, and time-flow in relation to social change. There is an intervention to be done. One that speculates on how these two apparently separate concepts have begun to converge, revealing potentially exciting qualities about one another. … 

 

Full Automation, Full Fantasy

On Content Moderators and the Illusion of AI.

This article was originally published in Rosa Mercedes,
the online journal of the Harun Farocki Institut.


‘The panic attacks started after Chloe watched a man die. She spent the past three and a half weeks in training, trying to harden herself against the daily onslaught of disturbing posts: the hate speech, the violent attacks, the graphic pornography. In a few more days, she will become a full-time Facebook content moderator, or what the company she works for, a professional services vendor named Cognizant, opaquely calls a “process executive.” … 

 

Work&Relax: On Total Work in the University

Late into the pandemic, the University announced a new area on the top floor titled ‘Work&Relax.’ Made up of a set of interconnected rooms, the space is at the far end of the building and appears to have materialised out of nowhere. This area was unknown to students before. Apparently, it is a former daycare. … 

 

Internesia: The Techno-Persuasion To Forget

We begin recalling a story from something seen online only to realize midway through that the facts are hard to retreive...

Internesia:
The Techno-Persuasion
To Forget

Originally published in MARCH Journal of Art & Strategy.

We begin recalling a story from something seen online only to realize midway through that the facts are hard to retreive. Where did I see that quote? What was the name of that author? Where did I find this image again? Who was it that posted that tweet? How long ago was I on that page? The communication of a point evades coherent oral transmission and we side-step ‘I’m not doing it justice’ with a reference to a source that seems to have become unlocatable, having slipped away into the endless online ephemera of the lost unknown. … 

 

Shock Me. Please: On Pervasive Boring Creativity

The following is an excerpt from my new book Offline Matters: The Less-Digital Guide to Creative Work, which can also be found in the current print issue of Amsterdam Alternative newspaper.


Shock Me. Please.

On Pervasive Boring Creativity

Who knew living ‘a creative life’ would feel so arid? Where is the joy, the excitement, the risk, or the shock? Nothing is shocking besides the diminishing sense of possibility – and the working conditions. The work is safe, predictable, and supposedly ‘predicted’. All conforming to predetermined directives.

It’s not a matter of standing out, it’s a matter of fitting in and doing that very well. Future Shock. Present Shock. The Shock of the New. Do we even know how to feel shock anymore? We’re talking real shock – confused, challenging, discomfort-at-oddity shock. Not the shock one is ‘supposed’ to feel. Not the play shock that follows looking around and see others acting shocked, then following along accordingly – hazarding a guess that it’s simply the correct reaction to be done.

Except, nothing is being done. What are we really doing here? What are we even creating now? More ‘engaging content’ to exasperate the masses, complicit in the contemporary zombie condition? More riffs on past styles, never-ending re-runs of previous cultural moments? More distractions and ever-cooler ways to say ‘spend, spend, spend!’ without quite saying it? Boring. … 

 

Interview: Jess on ‘Offline Matters’ with MAEKAN

An interview with long-time Outsider supporters MAEKAN about my new book Offline Matters.

When did creative work become so boring? When did ‘digital-first’ come to dominate everything? …and why is nobody talking about it?

Offline Matters with Jess Henderson
Interview by Charis Poon

 

To Be Continued… An Interview on Seriality (Part II)

This is the second part of an interview on serial media with Ryan Engley, Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College and one-half of theWhy Theory’ podcast.

In Part One we talked about the basics of seriality and Serial Theory, its connections to psychoanalysis, the centrality of  ‘the gap’, and how streamed TV and binge watching fits into all this. This week we continue on the topic of serial media, discussing seriality in journalism, the wildly successful podcast ‘Serial’, and the mislead general sentiments towards Netflix’s algorithms and offerings.

… 

 

To Be Continued… An Interview on Seriality (Part I)

With Ryan Engley. Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, and one-half of theWhy Theory’ podcast.

To listen to the Why Theory podcast is to sit in a room with a warm professor-student-turned-friendship duo. With a palpable tone of fondness and special ability to translate complex concepts into understandable hour-long thought-snacks, Ryan Engely and his former professor Todd McGowen ‘bring together continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.’ If you haven’t listened to Why Theory already, give it a go. It’s a blast.

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