Christian Fuchs on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:51:16 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> CAMRI seminar 28/1: Clint Burnham on Slavoj ÅiÅek and the Internet

CAMRI seminar
Clint Burnham: The Subject Supposed to LOL: Slavoj ÅiÅek and the Event of the Internet
Wed, 28/1, 14:00
Univ of Westminster
Harrow Campus
Room A7.01

Registration is possible by e-mail to

Is the Internet an Event? Does it constitute, as ÅiÅek argues an Event should, a reframing of our experience, a retroactive re-ordering of everything we thought we knew about the social but were afraid to ask Facebook?

In this talk Clint Burnham will engage with ÅiÅekâs recent work (Less than Nothing, Event, Absolute Recoil) as a way to argue, first, that in order to understand the Internet, we need ÅiÅekâs âimmaterial materialism,â and, in turn, to understand ÅiÅekâs thought and how it circulates today, we need to think through digital culture and social media. ââAs regards the Internet, then, no cynical disavowal, no Facebook cleanses, no shutting off the wifi: les non-dupes errent, or those who distance themselves from social media and the like are the most deceived. Next: the Internetâs two bodies: digital culture is both the material world of servers, clouds, stacks and devices and the virtual or affective world of liking, networking, and the mirror stage of the selfie. And here we must confront the âobscene undersideâ of digital culture: not only the trolls, 4chan porn, and gamergate broâs, but also the old fashioned exploitation of labour, be it iPhone assembly-line workers at Foxconn, super-exploited âblood coltanâ miners in the Congo, âlike farmersâ in India, or social media scrubbers in the Phillipines, who ensure your feeds are âcleanâ of porn, beheadings, and other #NSFW matter. These last concerns, then, mean we also have to think about what ÅiÅek calls the âundoing of the Eventâ of the Internet, the betrayal of the Internet, its diseventalization.

Clint Burnham teaches in the department of English at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of more than a dozen books of criticism, poetry, and fiction, including The Jamesonian Unconscious: The Aesthetics of Marxist Theory (1995), The Only Poetry that Matters: Reading the Kootenay School of Writing (2011), editor (with Lorna Brown) of the public art catalogue Digital Natives (2011), and editor (with Paul Budra) of From Text to Txting: New Media in the Classroom (2012). His essay âSlavoj ÅiÅek as Internet Philosopherâ is in the recent Palgrave collection ÅiÅek and Media Studies (eds. Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis), and he is currently writing a book on ÅiÅek and digital culture called Does the Internet have an Unconscious? In the winter of 2014-15 he is living and working in Vienna as part of a residency with the Urban Subjects collective.

Forthcoming talks (open for registration)

Feb 4: Marisol Sandoval - From Corporate to Social Media: Critical Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in Media and Communication Industries

Feb 11: Justin Lewis - Beyond Consumer Capitalism: A Movie Screening and Q&A with Justin Lewis

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