I will be teaching a four-class-long seminar at the New Centre entitled “The Age of Computational Desire: Towards a New History of Culture in the 2020s” This is my first time teaching in five years and an entirely new course. My hypothesis, which I first outlined in 2022 my year in review, is that Network Culture is finished. After looking at postmodernism and network culture while inquiring into the validity of this task of periodization, this research seminar asks: what’s next? It is part of the Post-Planetary Universal Design certificate program run by my brilliant friends Ed Keller & Carla Leitão. A short description (subject to change follows).
The course will run from 1400 to 1630 EST on May 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th and costs $225. You can sign up on the New Centre site. I’ll have more to say about what interests me about the New Centre and why I am willing to teach again after five years of not teaching in another post I hope to have up soon.
By 2005 “postmodernism” had outlived its usefulness as a theoretical concept for understanding the present time. Instead, others suggested “network culture” and “metamodernism,” as new frameworks to understand a period in which the Internet became central to everyday life, culture, and economy. By 2010, it was clear to thinkers interested in the subject that network culture would last a decade, after which a new constellation would take hold.
This Seminar sketches the technological outlines of the post-COVID era. Old corporate models of network culture, characterized by the five most prominent global technology corporations, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (FAANG) are decaying, cryptocurrencies are questioned and devalued as we see the rapid rise of various forms of Artificial Intelligence that, as yet, have no capacity for inherent cognition but uncannily predict the relationship of immediately-adjacent or related elements. This Seminar probes the consequences of these transformations, tracking how the very structure of networks transformed political forms and discourses. The Seminar asks, can a new political order be constructed around these shifting technological structures? What will this new era’s markets and economies look like?
Session 1: From Postmodernism to Network Culture. Marx, Jameson, and the concept of totality
Session 2: Network Theory. Social Networks, the perils of influence, and the promises of decentralization
Session 3: Artificial Intelligences and computational desire, or Hegel and singularity
Session 4: Jackpot Theory from Dark Accelerationism to Angelicism