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The Derivative Condition - A Talk by Jonathan Beller

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Thursday, November 29, 2018
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5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

An anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist revolution must learn how to make its participants the authors of the terms of risk and the architects of the circulation and distribution of the value(s) its movements produce. Such control means securing the content of protest and democratic-liberatory innovation for the protestors, and not, for example, allowing efforts to make social change be reduced to mere content for sensationalist media platforms that secure the world in the hierarchical terms dictated by today's fractal fascism. This essay builds on the notions of informatic labor, informatic racism, computational colonialism and computational racial capitalism developed elsewhere in my recent work to return for a moment to the cinema and, with the ambivalent benefit of hindsight that comes from contemporary conditions of derivative living in a fully financialized world, explore its prior functions and future potentials as a derivative machine. We conclude with the question of derivative communism: are there communist derivatives possible, and if so, what would they look like?

Jonathan Beller is the author of The Cinematic Mode of Production and The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital.

Sponsored by the Institute for Critical Theory.

Contact: Benjamin Crais