always on standby

 /// always on standby ///
powering down in consensual contemplative spaces

Gregory Whitmore
22 March 2013 

infx598 / Prof. David Levy
The iSchool @ The University of Washington 

“We have lost the pleasure of being together. Thirty years of precariousness and competition have destroyed social solidarity. Media virtualization has destroyed empathy among bodies, the pleasure of touching each other, and the pleasure of living in urban spaces. We have lost the pleasure of love, because too much time is devoted to work and virtual exchange.”

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi and Geert Lovnik, October 2011

Since the early 1970s the conditions of our work have been radically evolving. Technology and the expansion of its effects into all manner of social relations have played a role in this transformation. In the 1980s and 1990s Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) heralded sure passage toward that grand horizon of freedom: the willing pioneers of this new labor now had freedom to choose: jobs, love, cities, modes of creativity, careers, friends, washing machines, starter homes, PCs, HMOs, 401Ks…

By the end of the 1990s everything seemed like it was up for grabs. Down at your new job, you got the chance to choose everything! You chose from any number of short-term assignments; you chose perpetual investment in yourself: new skills, better qualifications, wider social networks, self-motivation seminars; every day you got to choose “just how far you really wanted to go” – because the workplace was now a “meritocracy:” fair, judicial, highly competitive and managed by whatever means necessary; You got to choose whatever tools you had at your disposal to upwardly self-regulate yourself and your productivity at work. And If you didn’t have a favorite productivity tool you usually got to choose from among the baker’s dozen of company favorites: a POP email account, a mobile phone with multiple push email accounts, a remote login, stock options in lieu of a raise this year; an “ergonomic chair” for long hours of sitting in front of a computer; you got to choose among a variety of motivational training seminars, you got to choose the option to work-from-home on flex time; you got to choose how you were going to carry your own laptop to work too. Oddly, you weren’t granted the choice not to choose…

Knowledge workers, temp workers, flexible careerists who have an active “contract”, “project hires” -- a typical day may begin like this for any of them:

Wake up to an alarm built into the smartphone. Check email. Check twitter. Check Facebook. Check the weather. Check work email. Check Linked-In. VNC into work. Update some documents in the cloud….Get into the flow. Exit bed. Use toilet.[ii] Even in bed and headed to the toilet, our time is an increasingly abstract time, intellectualized time, a cybernetic time.

But it’s not all that crappy: many of us are good at the art of the flow state at work. We seem to have perfected a way to manage our task lists, with our to-do lists and the project Gantt chart, switch browser tabs, switch windows, multitask and maybe listen to music.  If we do it right, sometimes we forget about our bodies for the entire day.

And it’s not just workers multitasking and interfacing this way: with the increasing popularity of online education, students needn’t meet up with each other in the classroom: 31 U.S. states and Washington, DC, have statewide full-time online schools; in 2010 there were 1,816,400 enrollments in distance-education courses in K-12, 74% of these in high schools... [iii] “Massive open online courses,” or MOOCs free classes offered by MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton are attracting millions of students. Education startups like EdX, Udacity, and for profit counterparts Coursera startups dedicated to offering free or low cost education online.

a class in becoming: the precariat

We are working harder, more than ever, from everywhere, and secretly, we hope that one day we’ll be rewarded for it. But more likely, we’re doing all of this striving out of fear that we will be left behind. There is a word that describes this class of anxious, distracted, tired, dissatisfied, alienated, underpaid: the precariat. Guy Standing, in his 2007 book “The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class” defined the precariat as people who provide of flexible, adaptable labour, but also work hard (and are increasingly exploited) outside the workplace as well... And not only is precariousness the feature characteristic of work, many would argue,  it's increasingly the feature characteristic of education in the age of globalization.

Now more than ever, in graduate programs and in 3rd grade classrooms they are “learning in small parcels, small fragments, small fractals of knowledge, and they are becoming more and more accustomed to think of their knowledge not as knowledge but as intellectual availability to exploitation.” Berardi, (2012)

And likewise it follows that now with capital, labor, and increasingly knowledge itself almost fully digitized and deterritorialized, all three can be manipulated and redefined and redeployed at whatever level and wherever in the world the designers of the new corporation or the new university see fit.

a radical pedagogy for thinking through technology

On the fourth floor of the University of Washington’s Information School building for two hours, twice a week for 10 weeks during January 2013 , fragmented, scattered parceling of knowledge did not happen.

For the first 10 weeks of 2013, I had the privilege to participate in something wonderful and unique. A group learning experience within the halls of the public university the likes of which I’d ever before encountered. A class entitled simply:  Information and Contemplation. There were 18 of us, graduates and undergraduates, technologists and engineers and theorists and readers and we ranged in age from our early 20s to our mid 60s.

We met twice a week for 2 hours in that fourth floor classroom with the noisy ventilation system and for the first fifteen minutes of each class we would meditate quietly together.  Usually we practiced a form of sitting meditation. Sometimes we would do standing meditation or walking meditation.[i]

And then, after meditating, we would talk…slowly at first. Calmly. Remarkably clearly.  We would talk about the nature of work and technology and about speed and about our anxieties and our stress. We would discuss articles about pedagogy and attention regulation and breathing’s effect on cognition. We talked about addictions and debated whether one could really be addicted to the internet. We would talk rationally and analytically and we explore our emotional reactions aloud…most remarkably, we would listen attentively to each other. More empathically than any other group of people I’ve been around in recent years.

Our conversations circled around email quite a bit, partially because we were coming together to do an experiment: we had pledged to investigate our email usage using a variety of mindfulness practices and techniques. Why email? Of all the social media available to the networked subject – at least for the moment – it’s ubiquitous across generations. Student, worker, manager, the CEO – they all use e-mail.

Throughout the experiment, we would read about and talk about strategies for maintaining and regulating attention and limiting physical tension during e-mail sessions. We would learn a number of techniques of mindfulness meditation, open monitoring and self-observation. We kept logs of our experiments and wrote weekly reflections. We used some high tech video capture systems to record our interactions with our laptops. We used pencils to jot down notes about tension and posture while typing. We explored just how poorly most desk chairs perform at containing the 21century working body.

We shared (almost) everything with each other.

We spoke frankly about doing and being. How all of us, now that we’d rediscovered being, wanted to make more time each week – each day, just to be. Without doing all these sub-jobs at our jobs (emailing, conferencing, quantifying, Gantt Charting) that, when deconstructed, seemed less and less like work, and more and more like shuffling stones. Collectively, we lamented the acceleration of just about everything and the impossibility of carving out even just a few minutes in the midst of it all…just to think.

One week, we rediscovered the benefits – and contemporary impediments --  to tuning out and turning off  with a kind of digital Sabbath.  As the quarter progressed and we puzzled out how we would find a way to stay sane about work and digital incursions, things turned a bit melancholy: when this class is over it will be difficult given the state of the economy, to continue doing all of the things that we’ve learned how to do, when we have to get out there “in the world again.” A world that doesn’t believe in lunch breaks might not believe in meditation breaks, someone noted

Here’s what one member of the class had to say about the staying power of some of the meditation and mindfulness techniques he’d applied to e-mail tasks:

… It just seems easier to be in the moment and pay attention when I am physically (and mentally) slowing down. I also find it easier to recognize the “value” in the moment and appreciate it. All that can happen with email, just like walking meditation… 

The illumination, the sense of possibility and the utility gleaned from these insights would come to set up a paradox however: how do we keep it going, when they want us to keep going without stopping? He continues:

Doing email slow is a better experience. But does it work in the real world? Do I have time to do email slowly? Is it efficient? Does the benefit outweigh the cost of “lost time”? Naturally, it depends on the amount of email and how much time you have….The problem with email is just indicative of the bigger problems of stress and feeling overwhelmed by the job. If you can fundamentally fix your mental state overall and practice mindfulness, perhaps consequently it will result in email being easier to deal with. The big question in that environment is - can you go “slow” but still work “fast”?

Feb 5, 2013 11:39 PM

Mike’s comment was discussed in the class. Many agreed and found the bind of the paradox demoralizing. We didn’t have any answers, other than, “Well, work is work and it’s always been like this…You know, working for the man.”

But has it always been like this? Has the fruit of our labor always been "precarious?" When we speed through our days as a temp or as a self-employed contractor, are we still working for the man? Or is there some(one) or perhaps some alter force  propelling us?

How to navigate to a vantage where we might recognise and map such forces?

the power of silence in room 420a

It is true that it is difficult to bring individuals out of themselves, to disengage themselves from their immediate preoccupations, in order to reflect on the present and the future of the world. They lack collective incitements to do so. Most older methods of communication, reflection and dialogue have dissolved in favor of an individualism and a solitude that are often synonymous with anxiety and neurosis. It is for this reason, that I advocate - under the aegis of a new conjunction of environmental ecology, social ecology and mental ecology - the invention of new collective assemblages of enunciation concerning the couple, the family, the school, the neighborhood, etc.   

Felix Guattari
August 1992

day 1
On that first Tuesday, there were a handful of things we did as a group which built an important sense of intimacy and set the tone for our temporary community. I believe it is essential to go into detail about this first class, these first moments…It was in these moments that we set up a safe and consensual and thinking space. A space not for acquiring, or surveying, but a space for thinking. It was in these moments that we built a space for learning.

There were four main things that we did which, on surface seem simple. But when you consider the standardization and digitalization of learning environments at institutions around the world, these things seem downright radical:

  1. we meditated together in the classroom – the first of 20 group meditation sessions
  2. we placed a partial-to-full ban on digital devices in the classroom
  3. we declared the space a judgment free zone where both emotional and academic insights were welcome and would be received with equal attention
  4. we vowed to practice active listening every session – listening with our full attention, with our eyes focused on the speakers, with our body turned toward him, toward her with empathy without judgment.

the first meditation
For those of us who had never meditated in a group setting or even by ourselves for a few minutes, the exercise was difficult. It was just sitting, upright in a chair, with eyes open or closed, and for that first time, meant focusing on the breath. That’s all. Things would come up, ruminative thoughts would enter the mind, but we were just going to sit there and focus on the breath. For 15 minutes. The start and stop of this interval would be marked by the ring of a Tibetan singing bowl.

Thinking back, it was clear that old patterns related to testing and judging and academic performance were some of the first to be felt. I felt them personally. Not from any one other person in particular, but I felt them. In the air. Perhaps many of us were all in the act of judging ourselves – all at the same time, that first day…Others in their reflections in class and out of class mentioned the feeling of being distracted during the first meditation: distracted by getting it right, or achieving a state of relaxation or clarity as if on demand that could be performed. Most people who remarked upon this, myself included, mentioned that they had felt some kind of phantom motivational pull brought on by the combination of traditional pedagogic tools in play: there was the classroom itself, the timed aspect. We were students after all, and we were going to get it right. Turns out that getting it right meant and still means, giving yourself permission to get it wrong.

the partial ban
Reaching consent upon a series of strict terms about the use of digital media devices was surprisingly fun, but not simple. First we heard arguments from both sides: Many spoke clearly and passionately about the need to keep cellphones and electronic devices out of the classroom whenever the class was in session and even between the breaks. Others didn’t seem to mind using them. “We can manage our attention when they’re on and in front of us” someone said… “But I can’t manage my attention when I’m looking over your shoulder at your screen, someone else replied.”  “Touché!  OK. You have a point.” Others brought up the point that “Now with coursework being delivered online, and readings arriving in the form of a PDF or a linked URL, How will we ever consult the texts in class?”  We were at an impasse.  More arguments were made for both sides and in the end of the brief, 7 minute discussion, we decided that tablets and laptops were ok, as long as they were off-line and in use as digital readers -- for those in the class who didn’t want to waste paper printing out PDF files every week.

Penalties?  Any transgression to this rule would automatically require the perpetrator to providing snacks for every member of the group the following week.

This seemly pedestrian exercise was an important one, I’ve realized in retrospect. For the following reasons:

  1. we formed a collective goal
  2. we all got to choose 
  3. every voice was heard (almost) and for those individuals who may take a few sessions to feel comfortable participating in a classroom setting, they had already checked in and made their opinions heard on a matter that concerns their personal technology devices. An intimate question, no doubt.

emotional and intellectual stamina
In those first moments after that second tone rung out and the meditation was over and we all returned our attention to the classroom, there was a palpable feeling of excitement. Electricity. My assumption before we started was that in these first moments after the mediation there would be an upwelling of emotion for those around me -- and maybe myself.  It would become a kind of unfocused, directionless space of derailment. Maybe nothing would get done.  Maybe we’d have just triggered some kind of floodgate with our open minds and the classroom order would pay for it. A round robin of esoteric irrelevant comments gleaned from the collective upwelling conscious during the past meditative minutes  -- a comic letting go of stories about third grade traumas on the playground fields. 

None of this happened.

If anything could be generalized about the moments directly following the meditation on that first day, it is that everyone was awake and engaged. And no longer nervous.  No longer anxious. Many were smiling.  Even the tired among us were somewhat refreshed. We had intellectual resources available to really dig in, and quickly, to detailed observations about the nature of meditation. Some brought brilliant, off the cuff metaphor to their descriptions of controlling attention. Others had newfound confidence to dig into the texts that we’d been assigned to read. Many had questions about the notion of attention regulation. Was this what it felt like to have some level of control over mind? Had we just voluntarily, willfully, brought back wandering attention…

active listening
Listening with our full attention, with our eyes focused on the speakers, with our body turned toward him, toward her. Without judgment. Without the urge to line up a counter argument to the statement being presented. These tenets seem simple. But they are seldom practiced.

What I learned about listening by abiding to those simple rules that first day –and upon subsequent days – was enlightening. I didn’t realize it, but the majority of the time I spend looking at a number of places other than the face when a person is speaking. We seldom make the effort to repeat portions of another person’s argument -- especially when we understand them -- leading them to continue driving their argument forward as if they are shouting into a void. We don’t look at the eyes.  With so many signals being delivered with the eyes and via the musculature surrounding eyes, how is it that I had forgotten to look people in the eyes.

Without training, it’s quite difficult to maintain open channels for all this data that comes at us when another human talks.  We’re so focused on the message, the facts. We so often forget.

What we did on that first day and in the following weeks was to turn the class group into a kind of user group. A user group for exploring our minds, investigating the nature of our attention and jamming the code on how we interface with our social networking technology. We would go on to make in depth email use logs and even videos of ourselves interacting with our in-box.  But on that first day we tried out some very simple, very powerful tools which we already had in our possession, but had just forgotten to use.


email as triage OR email as trial

Perhaps I play Solitaire because I feel the need to continue the ‘doing’- all day I am working or at play, and the only time I have to stop and do nothing (aside from meditation sessions) is when I am trying to fall asleep. By playing a game until I am so tired I fall right asleep, I don’t have to deal with the moment of ‘being’. (This probably relates back to the anxiety I used to feel around not being able to fall asleep, which became associated with ‘being’.) If this is the correct explanation for why I play Solitaire, then it seems I should get more comfortable with ‘being’, since, as many of our readings suggest, it is a way for us to experience life more fully.

Reflections on Media Fasting
Posted Mar 6, 2013 10:58 AM

15 minutes later, waiting for my bus, on the way to my appointments, I feel the impulse to check my phone's "one bus away" app (an app that uses real time bus GPS data to broadcast the general lateness or timeliness of upcoming busses) How does one describe that impulse to check lateness? In an eye blink it's like this:  notice myself noticing the "act" of waiting  -> pang of anxiety/tardiness -> tightening of chest -> change in breathing -> physiological response in the form of hand seeking the handset.  In this case, my hand is almost all the way into my pocket when I remember that I will not find my phone there.

Author’s personal reflections on Media Fasting
Posted Mar 4, 2013 2:32 PM

Weekly reflections for the group were a tripartite contract: between all of our changing selves, between our mentor/our guide/our teacher and the group itself. As we wrote about the technology and the interface, we were all struggling with the fact that we were not just struggling with technology or our ability to moderate attention amidst the din of Tweets.  It ran deeper. We were engaged in a continuous interrogation of something simultaneously intimate and social. When we really started to interrogate  one of the prime suspects, email, we discovered quite a bit…

First and foremost, there is a vast, unfathomable variety and novelty of emotion and information we encounter while interacting with email. All those email arrive with radically different tone, character and intention, yet are formatted in roughly the same font and in the same style, all within the space of a few graphical column inches. (And when I say email, I refer to that common and alt-modish form which in a few years, may wear a radically new design…)

Commanding attention to decide – to triage these wide ranging informational demands requires balance and mindfulness of course…When we learn to meditate and relax the mind, we can choose among them.

But again, we still are not choosing not to choose….But, perhaps just ‘playing the game’ requires something more of us…perhaps, beneath the information sought and information given it requires subconscious participation in a grand withdrawal from the social body. Perhaps this happens a little bit each day. Perhaps this happens when we post to Facebook instead of placing a telephone call; when we email instead of just go outside and talk to a stranger; perhaps when we send and communicate instead of create; when we reduce the creative knowledge to a task to be processed….in the inbox or elsewhere in time…and then we execute the task.

“[If] you can buy a fragment of labor in Bangkok, a fragment in Buenos Aires, and a fragment in Milan…these three fragments become the same product from the point of view of capital. Knowledge is headed the same way. You no longer need – from the point of view of capital – to know in the humanistic sense, the meaning, the finality, the intimate contradictions of knowledge, you just need to know how particular parcels of knowledge can be made functional.(…)Today, this functional consideration is the dominant form of our relationship to knowledge. So, we should question people about what is happening to our knowledge. Are we really learning things, knowing things? Or are we simply learning how to become part of the productive machine?" Berardi (2012)

The email machines themselves won’t explain anything. One must analyze the arrangement of the machine and the role it plays in the society, in the culture, in the economy. There are vast, multi-tiered systems that coordinate the design and build of the device (be it tablet or phone or laptop or goggle) with marketing and training – training the hands the haptic interfaces, training desire, training want…And as the precariat grow, so grow this intended user base.  And we can’t live without it.

It’s the question so many of us have…way down there in the subconscious. It’s no wonder that comments about email like this came across the communal post board: “feelings of distractedness”, “giving me neck and back tension;” “A poorly designed prosthetic.” “a feeling of being “taken out of the present;” “loosing all sense of time, physicality and emotion;” a sense of being “pushed into a swimming pool with all of (one’s) clothes on” “A Waigaoqiao (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone of the mind.” “Witlessness.”

after the future

Personally, near the end of the 10 weeks, I began to worry about just how insidious the incessant drive toward a horizon of ubiquitous information technology just may be…and if I hadn’t built up enough training with mindfulness and enough tactics of interception that would allow me to keep some integrity, some sense of history, or narrative, or personal goals in the face of the dual tier of information overload. Here’s how I was writing near the end:

“In the absence of strong, tested tools, -- proven safeguards and regulation – unregulated email and social communication media will push me further toward work that isolates and marginalizes me – in a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. As a knowledge worker and a freelancer who has worked behind desks and out in the streets, there exists a danger to pursue modes of work that help me to achieve a kind of mastery of my domain. Isolating work that measures its worth and success based on its ability to tick off the completed goals of this new cult of productivity – a productivity that can be measured digitally.

Author’s personal reflections on multitasking
Posted Feb 19, 2013 1:40 PM 

Precarious lifestyles and work styles require continuous communication…incessant continuous multitasking communication. It comes with the territory. We wear many hats on multiple shifts, and use multiple email accounts, across platforms on multiple devices, to check in to our 3 jobs. We have scant control over time. We are wired into jobs where the management schema perpetually alters or modifies the schedules: from day to day and week to week and month to month. Sometimes this comes in the form of an overcommitted beastly schedule of our own making. Sometimes a manager makes this decision. Sometimes the information itself makes the decision for us. Either way the response is always the same: I’m ready to go. Ready to solve a problem at a moments notice from the remote location via email. Corporate cubicle workers, project freelancers, consultants, retail, sales all respond to texts and emails when they arrive now -- it's part of the culture.

I’m noticing that this tripartite structure of becoming distracted, staying distracted and then overcoming distraction may be playing some greater role in the evolutionary structure of the new economy.  We have reached a moment where anxiety, perpetual low-level panic, dis-ease and precariousness isn’t just a drain on our GDP – it’s a new market! The trouble and stress encountered on the job can, of course, become the source of new products. A paper titled “Email as source of stress” shot through the right (or wrong) lens, can easily be re-read as “Email-stress as source of growth” by hot-shot UX designers with a flair for haptic modeling. It is in fact a highly functional component of this late capital system -- a system that relies heavily upon our personal investment of all forms of our free time into our work, such that we become our jobs. 

Guy Standing, in  “The Precariat" calls it “an atmosphere of personalized insecurity.”  The precariat lifestyle, Standing says “matches its work style in being fleeting and flexible, opportunistic rather than progressively constructed…it makes it harder to do creative work or indulge in leisure that requires concentration, deliberation and sustained effort. It crowds out leisure leaving people relieved just to play, passively in the mental sense. Non-stop interactivity is the opium of the precariat, just as beer and gin drink in was for the first generation of the Industrial proletariat."

In sum, the precariat live in a box of multiples. Here are some of the walls:

1) Economic insecurity: lower real wages since the 1970s and fewer benefits;

2) Demands on personal time placed by the temporally fractured and multivalent nature of the new, online, digital work itself, e.g. I’m in Seattle – client is in Belgrade

3) Real and psychological burdens from work are with us all the time, via mobile desktops and smartphones

4) Doing work and looking for work….without end. email and social networking just to keep above water

anxiety as mutigen

For an innovator looking to capitalize on the next monetizable project in the best growing market – mobile interface design -- identifying the psychological limits to worker efficiency is the first step. Once you’ve named your barrier niche in this exploration, the incentive to circumvent that barrier that can be used to fuel creative destruction.  Just locate that moment – in email design, in smart phone multitasking modulation, in marketing strategy, in access to cloud computing; this so-called Zero Moment of Truth[iv] place will become the new site into the design process like a mutagen in a string of DNA. This process will precipitate new mutations in design interface.

As the geographer David Harvey has said, in his introduction to Marx's  Grundriße, “capital cannot abide a limit. It has to turn that limit into a barrier, which it circumvents or transcends.”  For generations this strategy has driven financial and technological innovation. Our culture and our domestic and global information economy  thrive and blossom on the innovation and entrepreneurship and growth tied to the mutagenic effects of this iterative design.  But as the information technology systems and our bodies enter into a new evolutionary symbiosis it may be useful to pause long enough to consider that serious long term economic and social downsides to this mode of this growth.

To start, not only can it devalue past innovation, it can often encourage obsolescence...throwing away useful tools in pursuit of elevated GDP; devaluing embodied social skills and opportunistically creating speculative precariousness everywhere.

As David Harvey explains in  "Conditions of Postmodernity"

"Innovation exacerbates instability, insecurity, and in the end, becomes the prime force pushing capitalism into periodic paroxysms of crisis. [...] The struggle to maintain profitability sends capitalists racing off to explore all kinds of other possibilities. New product lines are opened up, and that means the creation of new wants and needs. Capitalists are forced to redouble their efforts to create new needs in others [...]. The result is to exacerbate insecurity and instability, as masses of capital and workers shift from one line of production to another, leaving whole sectors devastated.[v]

Without some kind of human design principle dedicated to that defense wall, we will have nothing but thin, derivative derivatives, devoid of purpose. Pure instruments.  Without the defense wall, the model risks illuminating human limits and encouraging ever increased efficiency engineering in the domain of “distraction” research without positing critiques of ideology and the techno culture and the economy which has defined our place in new world of “work.”

I pause here to pose a few more questions -- wicked problems that seem to have lodged in my thoughts repeatedly after finishing a meditative session:

  • Is it possible that scrutinizing the friction encountered by switching between tools (tools that we are, as employees and students, and citizens of a networked society are required to use) only serves to fetishize time and productivity in yet another way?
  • Why are modern workplaces structured around interruption and management of interruption? Is this to be changed?
  • If so, and it requires of us a retreat to isolation and freelancing to achieve “flow” in our work, whither the group effort? Whiter the team work? Wither the social?


“Maybe speech and communication have been corrupted. They're thoroughly permeated by money—and not by accident but by their very nature. We've got to hijack speech. Creating has always been something different from communicating. The key thing may be to create vacuoles of non-communication, circuit breakers, so we can elude control.

Gilles Deleuze in conversation with Antonio Negri, 1990

Quiet and mindfulness practice around these technologies may not only be helpful, it may be imperative. In order to, as Deluze says “create vacuoles of non-communication, circuit breakers, so we can elude control.” And we is the key word here. I will continue to work in groups. To seek radically critical and mindful pedagogy as practiced in INFX598.  But I will not use mindfulness and breathing to help me to improve productivity or to work better. I will use it to help me work empathetically...which for me, means reclaiming my time. To use it for things I used to use it for....Away from the machine. Away from chairs. 


Berardi, Franco and Lovink, Geert. (12 Oct 2011). A call to the Army of Love and to the Army of Software. [ mailing list archives]. Retrieved from

Goldsen, R. K. (1978). Show and Tell Machine. Doubleday.

Guattari, Felix, "Pour une refondation des pratiques sociales"/“Remaking Social Practices” in Le Monde Diplomatique (Oct. 1992): 26-7

Harvey, D. (1989). The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change. Wiley.

Hugill, David; & Thorburn, Elise. (2012). Reactivating the Social Body in Insurrectionary Times: A Dialogue with Franco 'Bifo' Berardi. Berkeley Planning Journal, 25(1). Retrieved from:

James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology, Vol I. From

Pieper, J. (2009). Leisure / The Philosophical Act: The Basis of Culture. Ignatius Press.

Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. Bloomsbury Academic.

Žižek, S. (October 21, 2012). “Corporate Rule of Cyberspace | Inside Higher Ed.” Retrieved from .

Žižek, S. (2012, January 26). The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie. London Review of Books, pp. 9–10. Retrieved from

[i] At our last meeting we sat shoulder to shoulder, each with our own napkin and 5 or so raisins and almonds and then spent 10 minutes silently inspecting the food, smelling and chewing.

[ii] Kientz, J.A., et al. TEXTING FROM THE TOILET. Retrieved from

[v] Harvey, David (1989). The Condition of Postmodernity. pp. 105–06.

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