In this double-keynote, two of the most important contemporary scholars dealing with the dilemmas of post-digital labour will each deliver a talk and then engage in an in-depth conversation on questions of the possibilities and capabilities of workers to cope with and organise out of today's both highly diffuse as well as algorithmically governed labour situations.
Judy Wacjman is known for her pioneering work in Science & Technology Studies, The Social Shaping of Technology – How The Refrigerator got its Hum (with D. MacKenzie, 1985) and her long-term engagement with research at the intersection of the sociology of labour organisation, technology and feminism, as explored in books such as Women in Control: Dilemmas of a Workers' Co-operative (1983) and TechnoFeminism (2004). In her keynote, Wacjman will offer a perspective on technological acceleration and the precarious work/life balance as explored in her latest study, Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism (2014). Drawing from empirical and historical studies, Wacjman elaborates a perspective beyond acceleration as merely a technological or even economic phenomenon and instead looks at how we come to favour certain structures of time-management over others in our everyday life situations.
With Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy (2003), the activist and theorist Tiziana Terranova wrote one of the most influential statements on labour in the digital age. By shifting the focus of the new media/new economy discourse from one of participation, interactivity and collaboration to the key role of free labor, Terranova pointed out new forms of exploitation dangerously inherent in the digital paradigms of open-source and peer production models. The book Network Culture – Politics for the Information Age (2004) further sedimented Terranova's post-marxist and materialist critique of the information age but also importantly offered perspectives of how resistance and forms of counter-organisation can manifest themselves through the gaps and excesses of the cybernetic networks. In her talk, Terranova will discuss how new social forms of resistance can help labour forces organise themselves across the divides of cognitive and more physically bounded types of work.