The media and journalism are undergoing a turbulent and painful period of restructuring. Joint forces of disruptive technological innovation and economic crisis have pulled the rug under the ailing print and broadcasting media and their production models. Journalism is being undercut by parallel processes of deskilling and lay-offs. Media reporting is increasingly becoming uniform and reduced to opinionated journalism, agency news and press releases. However, the roots of this process of economic rationalization are not of recent making. Although internet is frequently blamed for obliterating the business models of traditional media, this has only precipitated the fundamental problems of media in contemporary capitalist democracies that were set in motion in the decades before the internet with the growing concentration of media ownership and commercialization of media content.
If the last four decades of protracted crisis stem from the increasing productivity of capitalist technology, how does culture index this and how (else) might poets respond to the rise of the machines? Joshua Clover periodises the persistence and restoration of conceptualism within capital’s machinic boom and bust, and considers its fading to be necessarily en route, if not yet complete.
Image: John Baldessari, I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971
What should we do together? In this post-Snowden world…
Since the Snowden disclosures, the protagonists of the digital revolution are preparing for a new era of collaboration: hackers and journalists, pirates and capitalists, amateurs and professionals. Yet the common goals are still rife with conflict; there is still a lack of common values and universal practices. Nonetheless, or possibly exactly for that reason, we have become accomplices (in German: Komplizen). What greater problems could be addressed if the supposed opponents put aside their quarrels and work together? How could having a look through someone else’s glasses provide new approaches to finding solutions?
Critics of the grand enterprise of 'crisis-driven' poverty management often take special umbrage at Michael Gove's educational 'Victorianism'. In this riposte, Danny Hayward blows away the ideological dust from Gove's project for pedagogical reform, revealing a repressive programme for bourgeois 'aesthetic education' whose subservience to the needs of domestic capital accumulation is in fact bang up to date (by Mute, eds.).