[-empyre-] vigilar y castigar

Jon Thomson j.thomson at ucl.ac.uk
Thu Jan 20 05:24:28 EST 2011


> "Peer production is based on the abundance logic of digital reproduction, and what is abundant lies outside the market mechanism. It is based on free contributions that lie outside of the labour-capital relationship. It creates a commons that is outside commodification and is based on sharing practices that contradict the neoliberal and neoclassical view of human anthropology. Peer production creates use value directly, which can only be partially monetized in its periphery, contradicting the basic mechanism of capitalism, which is production for exchange value. So, just as serfdom and capitalism before it, it is a new hyperproductive modality of value creation that has the potential of breaking through the limits of capitalism, and can be the seed form of a new civilisational order." An interview with Michel Bauwens founder of Foundation for P2P Alternatives By Lawrence Bird. http://www.furtherfield.org/interviews/interview-michel-bauwens-founder-foundation-p2p-alternatives 

After reading this great quote, we wonder whether there is anything worthwhile to be had by laying it alongside Christina's notion of art and inefficieny? Or even how it relates to such a notion of efficiency?  We mention it because the idea of peer production has the potential to straddle different value systems i.e. being partly inside and partly beyond the 'labour-capital relationship" (or is peer-production completely beyond?).  And if the reality of peer production in today's world is partly visible in these distinct ways (a peer production model is certainly something we feel a part of as artists who participate in our own human-scale offline p2p network), then maybe their efficiency can be judged according to different criteria?  (Sorry this is typed out quickly because we've got to rush out in a minute -hope you catch the drift)

So, keeping art here as the example; while we agree wholly and endorse Christina's position that art is, in some ways, about as inefficient as something can get (and all the better for it), we're also struck by how little art tends to cost, while still stimulating large scale urban regeneration in various cities around the world and creating surprising amounts of predominantly non-mineral based monetary wealth for a few through the art market.  Also how small arts organisations often mix peer-production strategies with funding, so delivering cultural 'value' far beyond what it may have cost the public purse or other benefactors in any given organisation's salaries and overheads in the first place.  Seems pretty efficient to us, at least depending on from what rock you're sitting on.

best wishes,

Jon & Alison

More information about the empyre mailing list