Internet Economies: Porn, Labor, and Banking

Event Type: 
panel
Start Date: 
7 Oct 2011
Hours: 
6:00PM-8:00PM
Cost: 
Free
Venue: 
Eyebeam
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Jeff Crouse and Stephanie Rotheberg, Laborers of Love

Eyebeam invites you to join us for a discussion on the future of internet economies. What might be strategies to explore and build alternate economies? Eyebeam Fellow Fran Ilich, alums Stephanie Rothenberg and Jeff Crouse, and Finnish researcher Susanna Paasonen will lead discussion to examine the worlds of online porn, digital labor, and alternative finance models.

In their projects "Laborers of Love", an adult web site that leverages Mechanical Turk labor, and "Invisible Threads” a just-in-time telematic factory, Rothenberg and Crouse have been researching new models of outsourced, distributed global labor. They are interested to explore not only how this affects production but in how these new technologies impact behaviors, value systems and ideologies as workers move between worlds.

During his current Fellowship, Ilich is investigating creative practices in virtual community investment banking. Globalized capitalist markets use finance as a means to extract surplus and value from localized world production - relying on networks of power to do so. But finance can also be reversed engineered so that it becomes the seed for new forms of cooperation, collaboration and socialization, drawing on and building networks through virtual communities. Used creatively, finance can actually further the prosperity and efficacy of minority reports, marginal narratives, alternate commodity markets, social currencies, hacktivism and other activist practices, as well as strengthen the hope of sustainability in creative digital labor and internet production practices.

Paasonen’s research is in online porn - with a primary focus on how the genre has been transformed with digital production and distribution tools. She explores how we might better account for the affective dynamics of porn consumption. This links to affective economies, amateur porn as "labors of love" (or not), and cans of worms around labor and ethics.

The conversation will be moderated by Amanda McDonald Crowley.

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