DIVIDUALS

screenshot_20121022«During that time, the world of screens and the world of men were not, as today, separated; one could go in and out through the screens and both kingdoms lived in peace. One day the people of the screen invaded earth. Their strength was great, but through bloody battles and magical powers, emperor Yellow prevailed. He rejected the invaders, jailed them in the screens and imposed on them the task of representing, as if in a kind of dream, the life of men. He rid them of their strength and form and reduced them to simple and servile representations.

One day, however, they will get rid of that magical lethargy…

The forms will begin to rebel. They will begin to differ from us, to represent us less and less. This time they will break their crystal and metal barriers and it will be the world of men that will be reduced to a mere representation of the world of screens[1]

[1] This a free version I have done of the tale “The mirror´s animal” from Jorge Luis Borges. Replacing mirrors for screens mostly.

 

DIVIDUALS AND DELEUZE

Goodbye individuals, hello dividuals. This is the new language of control, according to Deleuze. Instead of seeing people as value, it’s actually the data produced by individuals that becomes valuable in today’s capitalist society. Capitalism today is for a higher-order production – it no longer follows the typical factory model. Instead, the new model of capitalism is wrapped up in marketing. Marketing has become the driving force of consumption today and the actual products have taken the backseat. And what makes marketing even more effective? The fact that an extensive amount of individuals’ information is collected through data and available for analysis.
The article «Spinoza and Us» explains that the body is defined by relations of motion and rest and development… It’s a little confusing, but essentially, this description reminds me that networked individuals are most valuable today – not static individuals. Facebook doesn’t care about Erica Olmstead. Facebook cares about what items Erica Olmstead likes, who she’s friends with, what links she posts on her wall, which public figures she follows, and so on. The value is continuously changing, Erica’s network is expanding, and data miners are loving it.
The ideas presented in Haggerty and Ericson’s article, «The Surveillant Assemblage» were easier to follow. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, the authors explore the abstraction of human bodies into data flows, or «data doubles». In this way, everything that we do (that can be traced through data) is reassembled into some meaningful way – clearly, for the purpose of making a profit. This idea is similar to what I mentioned above from Deleuze’s articles, but the argument is more clear to me. In the surveillant assemblage, people are commodified; their data flows are closely monitored and used by companies for the purpose of making profit. Similar to how Arvidsson discussed branding of life and programmed individuals, the surveillant assemblage allows for the manufacturing of desires. The surveillant assemblage makes it easier to market specifically to individuals as so much of their information is available.