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On Digital Capitalism

This site presents extracts from Michael Betancourt's current research and writing projects, with news about current happenings. A portfolio of finished, published writing is posted here.

If you are looking for more on agnotology, digital capitalism or automated/immaterial labor, look at The Digital which presents my inks to my most recent published articles and other research on the political economy of digital capitalism:

  • The Aura of the Digital  [.pdf]

  • The Valorization of the Author  [.pdf]

  • Immaterial Value and Scarcity in Digital Capitalism   [.pdf]

  • Automated Labor: The New Aesthetic and Immaterial Physicality   [.pdf]

  • Bitcoin   [.pdf]

  • or download the free ebook, Agnotology and Crisis in Digital Capitalism   [.pdf]

    More articles and translations into Spanish, Portuguese and Greek are posted on



    Films from the Attic, Richmond, VA - March 20


    story ©  | March 17, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    Studio Two Three Film & Video Series: Films from the Attic on March 20th, 7:30pm will be screening my movie Remixed Message.


    read more

      Shortcutz Berlin - March 5

    story ©  | March 2, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    My movie The Kodak Moment will screen in a show of Highlights from DLX.

    The show takes place this Wednesday, March 5th

    Shortcutz Berlin
    Lagari, Pfluegerstr 19/corner Nansenstr.
    Next to U8-Schoenleinstr!



      Broken Beauty @ Contraband Cinema, Atlanta

    story ©  | February 28, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    Some of my recent works (The Kodak Moment, Helios|Divine) will screen at this show.

    I will be premiering my new movie the Dark Rift.

    Beep Beep Gallery is located at 696 Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30308, phone (404) 429-3320



      2014 Atlanta Film Festival

    story ©  | February 27, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    My movie, Dancing Glitch is screening in the Experiments In Cinema Shorts block at the 7 Stages Theatre on Friday, April 4, 7:00 pm.



      Dancing Glitch Screening in NY

    story ©  | February 25, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    If you're in New York, you can see my movie Dancing Glitch here:

    Synthetic Zero Event
    curated by Mitsu Hadeishi
    Wed Mar 5 6-9pm, Sat Mar 15, 7-10pm



    read more

      WACH in Chicago

    story ©  | February 14, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    If you're at the CAA conference in Chicago, you can watch my movies at the WACH exhibition. Details here.



    read more

      Director's Lounge X

    story ©  | February 2, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    on February 16, my movie The Kodak Moment will have its European Theatrical premiere in Selection XVII of Director's Lounge.

    The 10th Berlin International Directors Lounge
    Naherholung Sternchen (behind the Kino International)
    Berolinastr. 7, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
    U-Bhf. Schillingstraße

    Daily from 6 pm - open end



      USC's iMAP Visiting Artist Lecture Series

    story ©  | January 24, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    I will be doing a lecture/screening on my work at USC on February 4. Details here.



      Kolchak: The Night Stalker

    story ©  | January 16, 2014 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    My article That Uncanny Moment: Jack Cole’s Design of the Kolchak: The Night Stalker Title Sequence is concerned with how it creates an uncanny effect for the audience.



      Abstraction and Digital Production

    story ©  | December 8, 2013 | permalink | Google TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon MySpace   Print

    The reductive abstraction common to the twentieth century, from the ‘form is function’ of reductive formalism—both Adolph Loos and Clement Greenberg—mirrors the demands of early capitalism for efficiency and speed of manufacture by unskilled labor. The elimination of features dependent on personal training and their replacement by the industrial assembly line (by Andy Warhol as much as Donald Judd) demonstrates how abstraction embraced the ‘deskilling’ common to capitalism first noted by historian John Ruskin in the nineteenth century. With the development of digital technology, and the shift from production to replication, the formal protocols of earlier abstraction (especially the geometric formalist work of the 1920s and 1930s) were embedded within the digital itself. The digital automation foregrounded in the more contemporary work of Roxy Paine’s Painting Manufacture Unit makes the link between contemporary industrial production and abstract art into a subject of the work: instead of challenging capitalist processes and demands, abstract art instead acts to affirm them through the adoption of forms that are ‘deskilled’ (i.e. not requiring human agency); at the same time, digital technology collapses the assumed distinctions between the ‘abstract’ and the ‘not-abstract,’ a factor that becomes apparent in Wade Guyton’s digitally produced works. This elision of distinctions is a feature of digital capitalism—via the serial generation of commodity forms—where permutation ignores all differences, enabling the valorization of what were historically contradictory domains under the rubric of novelty; the elision of distinctions reflects this protocol’s dominance. Abstraction is thus simultaneously symptomatic and descriptive when confronting digital technology, a duality that is reflective of how both forms have historically emerged within capitalism. The problem both pose is therefore identical: engaging the contradictory demands of this historical foundation.



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