User:Bohye Woo/RW&RM

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What (100words)
‘The Temple of the Digital Oracle’ is an interactive installation that plays the role of a contemporary personalised-Oracle. If you have any concerns about in all aspects of life, it will provide you an answer about your life question. It contains four categories such as ‘Health’, ‘Religion’, ‘Love’, and ‘Peace’. You can choose one of the categories in the main page to get enter into the Oracle. You will have to submit your personal information in order to receive a more personalised answer for you. Once you submitted it, you can ask any questions you think of, and wait for the answer.

How (100words)
The phenomenon of asking Internet to get answers is very comparable to the ancient Greek practice of relying on Oracles to seek answers in all aspects of life. In the ancient Greek period, people tend to find prophets who can deliver the message of God. The prophets took several different kinds of tools and rituals to receive the answers. Therefore I take this idea to apply on my work by taking the shape of the Greek oracle and how they go through a ritual. Moreover by using the name of different Gods and the way how they received the prophecy from the Ancient Greek period, I have created ‘The Temple of the Digital Oracle’.

Why (100words)
As the use of Internet is becoming more common and simpler, we even use it to find answers about life. However, those given by Internet, answers regarding life, found online, can be very broad and impersonal. As a result, it is rare for people to find answers that fully match their concerns about life. Despite knowing this fact, we forcefully try to fit and use them in our individual situations. Although the answers we find on the internet may seem appropriate, are they really the answers we are looking for? Rather, wouldn't it be limiting our opportunities to find answers that are more suitable to ourselves?


Digital labour the internet as playground and factory (Chapter: Free Labor)

Digital labour the internet as playground and factory edited by Trebor Scholz
  • Author: Tiziana Terranova
  • Publisher and date: Taylor & Francis, 2013


A critical concept of the essential role played by free labor and how the digital labor is implemented in its complicated relation to the capitalist society.

Original text

The real not-capital is labor. — Karl Marx, Grundrisse

Working in the digital media industry was never as much fun as it is made out to be. Certainly, for the workers of the best- known and most highly valued companies, work might have been a brief experience of something that did not feel like work at all.1 On the other hand, even during the dot-com boom, the “netslaves” of the homonymous webzine had always been vociferous about the shamelessly exploitative nature of the job, its punishing work rhythms, and its ruthless casualization.2 They talked about “24-7 electronic sweatshops” and complained about the 90-hour week and the “moronic management of new media companies.”3 Antagonism in the new media industry also affected the legions of volunteers running well-known sites for the Internet giants. In early 1999, 7 of the 15,000 “volunteers” of America Online rocked the info–love boat by asking the Department of Labor to investigate whether AOL owed them back wages for their years of playing chat hosts for free. They used to work long hours and love it; but they also felt the pain of being burned by digital media. These events point to an inevitable backlash against the glamorization of digital labor, which highlighted its continuities with the modern sweatshop and the increasing degradation of knowledge work. Yet the question of labor in a digital economy as an innovative development of the familiar logic of capitalist exploitation is not so easily dismissed. The netslaves are not simply a typical form of labor on the Internet; they also embody a complex relation to labor that is widespread in late capitalist societies.

In this chapter, I call this excessive activity that makes the Internet a thriving and hyperactive medium “free labor”—a feature of the cultural economy at large and an important, yet unacknowledged, source of value in advanced capitalist societies. By looking at the Internet as a specific instance of the fundamental role played by free labor, this chapter also highlights the connections between the digital economy and what the Italian autonomists have called the “social factory” (or “society-factory”).4 The society-factory describes a process whereby “work processes have shifted from the factory to society, thereby setting in motion a truly complex machine.”5 Simultaneously voluntarily given and unwaged, enjoyed and exploited, free labor on the net includes the activity of building websites, modifying software packages, reading and participating in mailing lists, and building virtual spaces. Far from being an unreal, empty space, the Internet is animated by cultural and technical labor through and through, a continuous production of value that is completely immanent to the flows of the network society at large. Support for this argument, however, is immediately complicated by the recent history of Anglo-American cultural theory. How should we speak of labor, especially cultural and technical labor, after the demolition job carried out by 30 years of postmodernism? The postmodern socialist feminism of Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” spelled out some of the reasons behind the antipathy of 1980s critical theory for Marxist analyses of labor. Haraway explicitly rejected the humanistic tendencies of theorists who see the latter as the “pre-eminently privileged category enabling the Marxist to overcome illusion and find that point of view which is necessary for changing the world.”6 Paul Gilroy similarly expressed his discontent at the inadequacy of Marxist analysis of labor to the descendants of slaves, who value artistic expression as “the means towards both individual self-fashioning and communal liberation.”7 If labor is “the humanizing activity that makes [white] man,” then, surely, this humanizing labor does not really belong in the age of networked, posthuman intelligence. However, the “informatics of domination” that Haraway describes in the manifesto is certainly preoccupied with the relation between cybernetics, labor, and capital. In the 20 years since its publication, this triangulation has become even more evident. The expansion of the Internet has given ideological and material support to contemporary trends toward increased flexibility of the workforce, continuous reskilling, freelance work, and the diffusion of practices such as “supplementing” (bringing supplementary work home from the conventional office).8 Advertising campaigns and business manuals suggest that the Internet is not only a site of disintermediation (embodying the famous death of the middle man, from bookshops to travel agencies to computer stores), but also the means through which a flexible, collective intelligence has come into being.

This chapter does not seek to offer a judgment on the effects of the Internet on society. What I will rather do is map the way in which the Internet connects to the autonomist social factory. I will look at how the “outernet”—the network of social, cultural, and economic relationships that crisscrosses and exceeds the Internet—surrounds and connects the latter to larger flows of labor, culture, and power. It is fundamental to move beyond the notion that cyberspace is about escaping reality in order to understand how the reality of the Internet is deeply connected to the development of late postindustrial societies as a whole. It is related to phenomena that have been defined as “external economies” within theoretical perspectives (such as the theory of transaction costs), suggesting that “the production of value is increasingly involving the capture of productive elements and social wealth that are outside the direct productive process.”9 Cultural and technical work is central to the Internet but is also a widespread activity throughout advanced capitalist societies. Such labor is not exclusive to so-called knowledge workers but is a pervasive feature of the postindustrial economy. The pervasiveness of such production questions the legitimacy of a fixed distinction between production and consumption, labor and culture. It also undermines Gilroy’s distinction between work as “servitude, misery and subordination” and artistic expression as the means to self-fashioning and communal liberation. The increasingly blurred territory between production and consumption, work and cultural expression, however, does not signal the recomposition of the alienated Marxist worker. The Internet does not automatically turn every user into an active producer and every worker into a creative subject. The process whereby production and consumption are reconfigured within the category of free labor signals the unfolding of another logic of value whose operations need careful analysis.

Wiki: Entreprecariat_reader_synopses_and_abstracts



A critical concept of the essential role played by free labor and how the digital labor is implemented in its complicated relation to the capitalist society.


The Chapter starts explaining about the discontents on the digital media industry including dot-com boom and 24-7 electronic sweatshop. With her text, she describes what it means to be a digital worker today which points to an unavoidable opposition towards the glamorisation of digital labor that emphasises on the modern exploitation of manpower.

This idea brings to another story about describing a process of the society-factory that have shifted to a truly complex machine. The author supports the argument on how we should speak of labor in cultural and technical way. By mentioning a postmodern socialist who referred a Cyborg Manifesto which explicitly explained the antipathy of Marxist analyses of labor, she also discussed the Internet as a site of disintermediation. Furthermore she explained that the chapter doesn’t deliver a judgmental opinion of the Internet on society, however it map the way that the Internet is a place to connect to the autonomist social factory.

In conclusion, the author wrapped up the story with the centralisation of cultural and technical work of the Internet and its broad activity on advanced capitalist societies.


In the temple of the Digital Oracle

Sacred digital oracle oh! so sacred
May cables link the divine forces of the world wide web.
May the digital oracle shares the sacred rituals for a virtual nourishment.
May all bring to the web the force of love of the precious divine Internet God.