Technology and Culture Reading Group

TCRG – School of Culture and Communication – University of Melbourne

Month: February, 2014

March 4: “In Modulation Mode: Factories of Knowledge” (Raunig)

by robbiefordyce

Photo Credit: _Hadock_ via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: _Hadock_ via Compfight cc

Hot on the heels of a lively discussion on Tuesday, we have next week’s reading already planned.

In 2013 Gerald Raunig’s Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity was published in the Semiotext(e): interventions series. I recommend Raunig’s book for its critical engagement with academia and the university system. While somewhat lacking in theoretical innovations his position is scrawled across every page. An excerpt from Chapter 2 states,

“We cannot understand all these aspects of the transformation of the universities by looking only at the assaults by authorities that come from above and outside. We also have to consider a certain degree of subservient self-government. Particularly from the perspective of self-reforming and self-deforming, however, there is also a strategy of resistance that can be gained, a double form of immanent desertion.” (p. 26)

On Tuesday we will be reading Chapter 4 of Raunig’s book: “In Modulation Mode: Factories of Knowledge” which is available for free online.

[HTML] Raunig, G. (2013). “In Modulation Mode: Factories of Knowledge”

TCRG – Tuesday March 4th, 5-6pm, Pierre Gorman Room, 1888 Building

Stuart Elden @UniMelb: Foucault’s ‘La société punitive’

by lukevanryn

Photo Credit: duncan via Compfight cc

Stuart Elden is giving a lecture at the University of Melbourne on Tuesday, 4th March at 2pm.

This lecture provides an overview and critical discussion of Foucault’s 1973 lectures La société punitive. This was Foucault’s third course at the Collège de France, and links in important ways to the two previous ones, as well as looking forward to the 1975 book Surveiller et punir (translated as Discipline and Punish) […] This presentation will concentrate on four areas: the interlinked themes of measure, inquiry and examination; shifts in modes of punishment; the discussion of civil war and the social enemy; and the treatment of popular illegality in England and France.

Further details and registration are at this link. Stuart is speaking at RMIT and Monash University; his blog has all the details.

Directions for 2014

by lukevanryn


Photo Credit: Schub@ via Compfight cc

A few weeks ago we met to discuss our plans for 2014: what we’d like to read, what we’d like to achieve, and what the TCRG would look like in a year. Some of those collected thoughts are below.

Potential Topics

Education and work

Raunig: “factories of knowledge” etc.
Quantified self, discipline etc.
Vostal “academic life in the fast lane”
Dead man working


Introduction from Neither Sun nor Death
Rules for the human zoo
Selections from Critique of Cynical Reason and Spheres trilogy

Space and Geography

Elden’s new book the Birth of Territory
Christophers, “The Territorial Fix”

Upcoming conferences


Swinburne Uni, July 2014
Abstracts due end of Feb


Bangkok, October 22-5
Abstracts due March

Knowledge, Culture, Economy

UWS Parramatta, November 3-5
Abstracts due 15 June

February 18: “Notes on Gesture” (Agamben)

by lukevanryn

Photo Credit: jinterwas via Compfight cc

To follow up on our reading last week, I’ve chosen Agamben’s short piece on gesture from “Means Without End”. Although Agamben is writing about cinema, this essay is frequently cited in discussions of gestural computing interfaces such as the iPhone.

Through a discussion of Tourette’s syndrome, early cinematic experiments of Muybridge, and the Nichomachean Ethics, Agamben comes to see gesture as a “the exhibition of a mediality … the process of making a means visible as such” (58).

We meet as usual in the Pierre Gorman Room, 1888 Building at 5pm.

[PDF] Agamben, G. (2000). “Notes on Gesture” in Means without End: Notes on Politics (V. Binetti & C. Casarino, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 49-60.

February 11: “The Political Ecology of Gestures” (Citton)

by lukevanryn

Antonio Saura

After meeting last week to discuss some of our goals and directions for the year ahead, the TCRG starts this Tuesday.

Yves Citton’s recent article in New Literary History seems appropriate, as it connects many of our favourite themes in a pretty rapid fashion. The “Political Ecology of Gestures” that Citton describes encompasses, among others: the act of reading; bodily habit; interactions with ATMs; and literary interpretation. Citton positions gesture as an important means for humans (and the humanities) to escape the relentless drive of semiocapitalism through opacity, equivocation, and reformulation:

Literary studies, therefore—and, more broadly, the humanities at large […] —appear as a crucial site for our societies to refine the interface through which we interact and collaborate. What is at stake in our fields of study is the obstinate resistance of human gestures to any attempt to subsume and entrap them in any form of rigid programming protocol (302-3)

We will meet in the Pierre Gorman Room, 1888 Building, at 5pm. All are welcome.

[PDF]/[HTML] Citton, Yves. “Reading Literature and the Political Ecology of Gestures in the Age of Semiocapitalism.” New Literary History 44.2 (2013): 285-308.