[-empyre-] empyre: Baudrillard on Viral Economy

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Fri Nov 6 10:28:26 EST 2009

It's interesting that while Renate was posting the Baudrillard 
passage to -empyre- I was sequestered in a plane to Taiwan and 
enjoying reading the second volume on cinema in the marketing age, 
Technics and Time: Disorientation,  by the French media philosopher, 
Bernard Steigler ( my jet leg than prompted me to leave my French 
copy behind on the plane!!!).

I had been planning to extract a few brief quotes for our 
conversation.  But the gist of Steigler's claim is that the modernist 
age propelled a new and unstoppable drive of "marketing" through 
which subjects and their objects are caught in a web of data 
organization through which they are 'adopted' as undifferentiated 
universal citizens of the net economy.  He published this book just 
before viral marketing took off in a way that seems have realized his 
wildest paranaoi's.

Our aim this month, however, is not to dwell on the Closed Circle of 
Viral Design, as a fast moving currency converter that negates all 
difference and specificity.  Rather by foregrounding artists and 
practioners committed to 'hactivating design' our aim is to emphasize 
the expansive and fluid libidinal economies that disrupt, critique, 
or offer playful alternative to the massive marketing machine that 
Steigler laments as the hegemonic operator of the new century.

Because those of us in academic institutions and not-for-profits are 
struggling daily with finding creative means to stay afloat in a 
results driven data economy, we're looking forward to sharing 
innovative projects with our invited artists and their critical ideas 
about hactivating design.

For now, we're hoping to engage this week  in a framing discussion of 
the viral economy,  its special effects, and the potential 
destruction and exacerbation of its own

I'm about to head out into the exemplary theater of its  current 
manifestations in Taipei.  More later.

Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

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