Below are terms as elaborated in Bifo’s new book The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance

bifo

Abstraction – When Marx talks about abstract labor, he is referring to the separation of a worker’s activity from concrete usefulness, which is what happens under capitalism. The use-value of the worker’s product is only a step toward the real thing which is value, which is surplus value…The capitalist cares only about how much value his work can produce in a given unit of time. This is the beginning process of capitalist abstraction.

In the late-modern phase of capitalism, digital abstraction adds a second layer to capitalist abstraction: transformation and production no longer happen in the field of bodies, and material manipulation, but in the field of interoperativity between informational machines. Information takes the place of things, and the body is canceled from the field of communication.

We then have a third level of abstraction, which is financial abstraction. Finance means that the process of valorization no longer passes through the stage of use value, or even the production of goods (physical or semiotic.) (104) Read the rest of this entry »

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Bifo: After the Future

June 21, 2011

“Our future, Berardi argues, has come and gone; the concept has lost its usefulness. Now it’s our responsibility to decide what comes next.”

Gary Genesko directed this teaser video in which Bifo discusses the new book, After the Future.

I’ve taken a little time to transcribe the video, forgive any minor mistakes and mediocre grammar.

AFTER THE FUTURE

You know, all along the modern times the myth of the future has been connected to the myth of energy; think about Faust, for instance. This idea that the future is energy: more and more and more. More speed, more strength, more consumption, more things, more violence. Futurism is the point of passage, the final step to full modernity, and futurism is the exaltation of violence, of despising the woman, for instance. The woman is weakness, is senselessness, is feebleness. Everything the modern energy wants to forget about: forget the woman, despise the woman, exalt war, exalt violence, exalt acceleration. This is futurism.

Read the rest of this entry »