lunedì 3 febbraio 2014

Matteo Pasquinelli: Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine @ Theory, Culture, Society, 02.Feb.2014

Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine


The political economy of the information machine is discussed within the Marxist tradition of Italian operaismo by posing the hypothesis of an informational turn already at work in the age of the industrial revolution. The idea of valorizing information introduced by Alquati (1963) in a pioneering Marxist approach to cybernetics is used to examine the paradigms of mass intellectuality, immaterial labour and cognitive capitalism developed by Lazzarato, Marazzi, Negri, Vercellone and Virno since the 1990s. The concept of machinic by Deleuze and Guattari (1972, 1980) is then adopted to extend Marx’s analysis of the industrial machine to the algorithms of digital machines. If the industrial machine can be described as a bifurcation of the domains of energy and information, this essay proposes to conceive the information machine itself as a further bifurcation between information and metadata. In conclusion, the hypothesis of the society of metadata is outlined as the current evolution of that society of control pictured by Deleuze (1990) in relation to the power embodied in databases.

Pic: The Information Machine (1957) Created by the Eameses for the IBM Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, The Information Machine is a cartoon exploration of the history of storing and analyzing information.

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