About Us

We are a group of graduate students at the CUNY Graduate Center whose dissertations address issues of digital labor. We formed this working group in order to both organize our thoughts about a rapidly changing and dynamic field of inquiry and reach out to a larger community of scholars addressing these same issues. Through this working group we aim to tease out the changing meanings and practices of labor on and through the Internet. Among our considerations is not only the material and affective nature of online labor but the specificity of the digital interface itself. A running theme throughout is the way in which the digital interface creates a feedback loop, mediating pre-existing desires and passions into monetized desires and passions that feed the system further. These resulting relations and methods of production are built on an endless renewal where resources are presumed as always already abundant. Through our examinations of the myriad interfaces that produce and condition digital activity we are seeking to offer a theoretical framework that accounts not only for the entrepreneurial mechanics of production but also the transforming nature of value and the role that the body plays in such a transformation. Understood as site of energy and renewal, we are reconsidering the entrepreneurial, laboring body from an ontological perspective. Here, it is not only desires and fantasies of the self fueling commodification but a synthesis between the interface, the body, and notions of ā€œlife itself.ā€

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