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   avant-garde movies, motion graphics, and theory

The Paradox of Agency - New Article!

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 5, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

CTheory has posted my new article, "The Paradox of Agency," that describes the new alienation we all live within: created by automation, this alienation masquerades as a liberating force enabling fluid forms of identity/action/being in the digital society, but if and only if we accept the limited range of constraints generated by the digital systems builders. A new, contemporary alienation originates from within this affective surplus of agency created by digital systems. Any action or behavior not contained by this structural preconception is designated as invalidrendered impossible through a technology that transforms the social restrictions into instrumentalities that cannot be questioned. The limits of this freedom are immediately apparent in the situation of gig workers (such as on-demand labor) whose work is managed by autonomous systems. The separation of action from result by the aura of the digital reveals this alienation in the paradoxical dispersal of efficacy and immediacy of control.






 

Agnotology wins (as always)

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 9, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

The problem posed by a dominant regime of agnotology is that it makes challenges to established patterns of thought difficult if not impossible: the affect of agnotology, perversely, is a reinforcement of certainty since it undermines alternatives that could challenge those ideas; thus, it leads to an unwillingness to compromise, and an inflexibility of thoughtboth essential features of how digital capitalism is an ideological construction capable of governing what would otherwise appear as incompatible, mutually exclusive groups.






 

Generative Color and Time Displacement

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 7, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Avant-GardeMovies

OtherZine 31 is running my discussion of using digital tools to create a movie with the same kind of RGB-based generative color used by Len Lye in Rainbow Dance .






 

The New Alienation of Digital Capitalism

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 19, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

Historically, alienation has been understood as a disassociation of an individual from their agency. It is a well-theorized result of industrial production and the assembly-line in particular, but is common to historical capitalism generally. In digital capitalism, a new type of alienation has arisen not based in disassociations of agency. This contemporary alienation originated with an apparent surplussage of agency created by digital systems. The new alienation resides not in a loss of agency, but in the insignificance of that agency. The aura of the digitals separation of action from result reveals a this alienation in the paradoxical dispersal of efficacy and immediacy of control. Introducing a seemingly unbounded agency, it creates an alienation utterly distinct from that of historical capitalism. This changed alienation masquerades as fantasies of empowerment and autonomy associated with digital technologies.




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Antag|Protag screening in Chaos and Order, August 26 @ 8PM

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 16, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Shows

The iotaCenter is showing my movie Antag|Protag at Artists Television Access in San Francisco as part of Chaos and Order.

Witness a collection of visual music from across time and from around the world that represent the spectrum of rationality. Order on the one side and chaos on the other. Are really polar opposites? Is there order in total chaos or chaos in highly organized forms? Tell them your thoughts in this night of films and discussion.




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