This collection of essays explores the interfaces between new information technologies and their impact on contemporary culture, and recent transformations in capitalist production. From a transnational frame, the essays investigate some of the key facets of contemporary global capitalism: the ascendance of finance capital, and the increasing importance of immaterial labor (understood here as a post-Fordist notion of work that privileges the art of communication, affect, and virtuosity). The contributors address these transformation by exploring their relation to new digital media (YouTube, MySpace, digital image and video technology, information networks, etc.) and various cultural forms including the Hispanic television talk show, indigenous video production, documentary film in Southern California, the Latin American stock market, German security surveillance, transnational videoconferencing, and Japanese tourists’ use of visual images on cell phones. The authors argue that the seemingly radical newness and alleged immateriality of contemporary speculative capitalism, turns out to be less dramatically new and more grounded in colonial/racial histories of both material and immaterial exploitation than one might at first imagine. Similarly, human interaction with digital media and virtuality, ostensibly a double marker for the contemporary and economically privileged subject, in fact reveals itself in many cases as transgressive of racial, economic and historical categories.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: digital media, cultural production and speculative capitalism - Freya Schiwy, Susan Antebi and Alessandro Fornazzari
2. The talk show uploaded: YouTube and the technicity of the body - Susan Antebi
3. Digital ghosts, global capitalism and social change - Freya Schiwy
4. Capital implications: the function of labor in the video art of Juan Devis and Yoshua Okón - Kenneth Rogers
5. What time is this picture? Cameraphones, tourism, and the digital gaze in Japan - M.D. Foster
6. A stock market theory of culture: a view from the Latin American neoliberal transition - Alessandro Fornazzari
7. Südländisch: the borders of fear with reference to Foucault - John Namjun Kim
8. Is nostalgia becoming digital? Ecuadorian diaspora in the age of global capitalism - Silvia Mejı´a Este´vez
Freya Schiwy is Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside. She teaches in the Media and Cultural Studies and in the Hispanic Studies Departments. Her current book project is titled “Broadcasting Dissent. Community Media, Latin America, and the Politics of Aesthetics.”
Alessandro Fornazzari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. His area of specialization is contemporary Latin American literature and culture, and recent research explores the intersections of culture and the economic text in the context of the Latin American neoliberal transitions.
Susan Antebi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto.