Rules for the Electronic Zoo: A Mediatechnics of the Neoliberal Present
Expanding outwards from a lecture bearing the same title, delivered in the spring of 2020, this course explores the technical and political composition of the present. As the term “neoliberalism” has, in recent years, become a ubiquitous category for describing various features of contemporary life, it has arguably also lost much of its conceptual content and specificity. Neoliberalism, it now seems, refers to a kind of vague, gaseous element, which permeates everything from economic discourse to domestic spending habits to construction labor policies.
Against this background, the course will build up a “minor” history of neliberalism’s emergence. If historical-theoretical accounts have thus far overwhelmingly sought to articulate neoliberalism’s political and economic origins, we will work in this course towards the explication of a lesser-known, mediatechnical genealogy, which, without discounting political economy, concentrates instead on spatial histories and theories of automation, information, and environmentalism.
Topics covered include, among others: technics and technology; media, formats and memory; the biopolitical foundations of contemporary urbanism; industrial location theory and the economic geography; individuation, and the spatial politics of neoliberalism; attention, distraction, and the psychopolitics of exhaustion; infrastructure and the managerial politics of environment.
Course structure: Lectures will run for approximately one hour, twice weekly (live), with additional asynchronous content and discussion sessions (time TBD).
Note: the instructor will offer live course presentations on 01/19-01/21. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website. If you need assistance, please contact Estefanía Ibáñez.