WED, 16 February 2022
Our so-called networked society has so far failed to bring the logic of interconnectedness into our lives. Citizens are becoming more machine-like and data-dependent, threatening the connection between humans and their natural habitats. Although most of our daily transactions are carried out through electronic devices, we know very little about the apparatus that facilitates such interactions, or in other words, the factory behind the interface. In this talk, we discuss the interface as a well-engineered capitalist machine that disconnects users from the material complexity of global chains of commodity and data production – and also social reproduction – in order to maximise economic profit. It is therefore necessary to trace the connections that exist between things – as well as the workload involved in the basic maintenance of these connections – if the user is to fully understand the systems in which they operate, in order to balance and repair the profoundly asymmetrical distribution of agency, energy, labour, time, care and resources within these planetary networks.