IPEG 2016 Panel CfP
Call for contributions to a panel/roundtable at IPEG 2016 I am organising with Chris Till. IPEG will be held at Leeds Beckett on 15 October.
The Quantification of Life at Work
Creative forms of measure made possibly by new technologies penetrate our daily movements, with implications for changing spatial and temporal recognition of how life happens. Personalisation of technology seems to give us more control in principle, but there are a range of consequences made possible as data and information we produce about ourselves is rapidly extracted by corporations and employers. By rejecting the qualitative despite such intimate measure, capitalism becomes a system of empty self and social reproduction, where data simply affirms the order it has already prefabricated. The system is circular and beset by a contradiction; functional, but lacks a functional goal, because it does not recognise the qualitative, or use-value, the unconscious, symbolic exchange. As mediation between person and machine becomes increasingly intimate, we often inadvertently produce a wealth of data about our movements, our interests, our dispositions and indeed: our quantified selves. This panel looks at the ‘quantification of life at work’, which can be understood in a number of ways. Companies provide self-tracking for wellness at work as well as monitoring of productivity in factories. Professional knowledge workers and educators find ourselves in positions where we our activities are judged by metrics only imagined during Victorian ‘payment by results’. Consumers’ practices are turned into data that is used for profiling and marketing. Call centre workers’ emotions and accents are monitored and reviewed. From self-tracking and the affective register, monitoring and possible surveillance, control and profiling, technology and the data produced is never a neutral process. This roundtable/panel will identify a range of ambivalent implications, from empowerment to selfhood, from privacy to co-creation, production to reproduction. The devices and related practices quantify experience and perpetuate neoliberal capitalist inequalities and are symptomatic of burgeoning, gendered, globalising precarity.
Email me asap if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org