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   movies: AESTHETICS
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   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
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   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
   theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

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SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  
 
on Digital Capitalism
 

My book The Critique of Digital Capitalism identifies how digital technology has captured contemporary society in a reification of capitalist priorities. The theory proposed in this book is the description of how digital capitalism as an ideologically invisible framework is realized in technology. These posts are excerpts from my on-going research:

  • CTheory articles on digital capitalism and media theory

  • from Hz Journal, no. 19, July 2014: "Critical Glitches and Glitch Art"

  • "Das exakte Leben" in Suddeutsche Zeitung,
    Thomas Steinfeld, September 8, 2016
     [.pdf]

  • Nothing Left to Steal, Dmitry Orlov, March 18, 2011

  • If you are looking for more on agnotology, digital capitalism or automated/immaterial labor, look at my published articles, posted in .pdf and with links to the magazines, under "articles" on MichaelBetancourt.com.


     


    The Collapse of Bitcoin

    story © Michael Betancourt | published June 12, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

    The collapse of value for Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies is likely to be inevitable.




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    Now Available - Kritik des digitalen Kapitalismus

    story © Michael Betancourt | published March 20, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

    Jetzt im Verkauf: 29.95 bestellen Sie Ihre Kopie direkt beim Verlag

    Aus dem Engl. von Manfred Weltecke
    270 S. einschl.

    Die grten, erfolgreichsten und mchtigsten Unternehmen unserer Zeit sind lngst nicht mehr nur im klassischen produzierenden Gewerbe zu finden. Der atemberaubende Erfolg von Firmen wie Facebook oder Google beruht auf der Bereitstellung immaterieller Dienstleitungen, insbesondere aber auf der Sammlung von Daten.

    Mit seiner Kritik des digitalen Kapitalismus legt Michael Betancourt eine scharfe Analyse dieser neuen konomischen Verhltnisse vor und beleuchtet deren Eigenschaften und Probleme. Von der vermeintlichen Demokratisierung der Gesellschaft durch die freie Verfgbarkeit von Informationen ber die Illusion der kostenfreien, weil nicht physischen Herstellung digitaler Produkte bis zur Neudefinition des Verhltnisses materieller und immaterieller Gter: Betancourt setzt sich mit den Begleiterscheinungen der digitalen Wirtschaft auseinander, die schon lngst unser Leben bestimmen und prgen.






     
    WBG interviews me about Bitcoin & Digital Capitalism

    story © Michael Betancourt | published February 17, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

    WBG has an interview about my work in The Critique of Digital Capitalism titled Gerechtigkeit in Zeiten der Digitalisierung available on their website in German:

    1. Haben Kryptowhrungen wie Bitcoin nach Ihrer Meinung auf lngere Sicht eine Zukunft?
    Die sich in Bitcoin und anderen Kryptowhrungen darstellende Technologie wird vielleicht neben ihrer Funktion, eine virtuelle Ware zu sein in der internationalen Bankindustrie zur Anwendung kommen. Es gibt einige Experimente in diese Richtung, aber fr die allgemeine ffentlichkeit erwarte ich, dass es zu einem Zusammenbruch kommen wird, sobald alle Bitcoins geschrft sind. Das Verstndnis dieser Entwicklung hngt von mehreren Eigenschaften der Technologie selbst ab: dass das Schrfen von Bitcoins ein Nebenprodukt der Berechnungen ist, die fr einzelne Transaktionen erforderlich sind, ist weithin bekannt. . . .

    Here are my answers in English:




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    notes on Digital::Material

    story © Michael Betancourt | published January 3, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

    Materiality for the digital describes an ambivalent relationship between two distinct, but overlapping, understandings of materialism. The first is familiar from art history and criticism: the literal substance of the digitalthe electronic signals that encode binary data. This digital code is what enables computer operations and is the substance of all electronic files. Artistic and aesthetic engagements with the materiality of the digital are addressed to the technological and semiotic functioning of encoded files and the use of computer languages. In manipulating these features of digital technology, artists (and critics) are addressing the materiality of that technology and its active role evident in even the most banal or prosaic uses of computer and digital technologies. This first meaning for materiality has an extensive use in the discussion and analysis of technological and computer art, and is apparent from the recurring emphasis on computer programming in the evaluation of digital art. The materialist engagement with the technology itself is a precursor to the differentiation between art addressed to the machine, and art that addresses what the machine can make. This understanding of digital materiality transforms computer software and hardware (computer art) into an analogue for the same formal relations from other artistic media such as paintingit recreates a conception where the manipulation of software/paint on the hardware/canvas brings the realm of digital art into a coherent parallel to older, established media, allowing the transfer of the art historical conceptions of materiality to apply to the discussion and analysis of the digital.




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    for 'Excavating Transcendence'

    story © Michael Betancourt | published December 8, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

    The Modernist desire for transcendence common to abstraction and abstract art generally is an attempt to escape from the physical repressions of industrial capitalism, a translation of the alienation of capitalist social valorization into a rejection and alienation from physicality. This erasure of the physical world from consideration becomes internalized as the aura of the digital's effacement of concern with physicality and matierial restrictions, giving these rejections an esoteric, theological significance as an appeal to and instantiation of an immaterial realm accessed through the digital computer.




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