The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: Part Three

Edited by Warren Neidich
Published by Archive Books, 2017

Contributors: Meena Alexander, Amanda Beech, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Ray Brassier, David Burrows, Tyler Coburn, Jacquelene Drinkall, Mark Fisher, Bronac Ferran, Matthew Fuller, Liam Gillick, Melanie Gilligan, Scott Lash and Anthony Fung, Lambros Malafouris, Anna Munster

The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism is an ongoing event structure composed of symposia, workshops, and publications. Our intention is to raise consciousness by disseminating information about cognitive capitalism in general and its associated discourses.

This third volume of The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism emerges from deliberations that took place during two different symposia. The first was a collaboration between Warren Neidich and Mark Fisher at the Department of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths College, titled The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part Three: The Cognitive Turn, and the second was an event organized in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, Noise and the Possibility of a Future. This book combines elements of both programs.

This latter phase is the focus of the present volume, which concentrates on the plastic material brain, its hardware constituted by neurons and glial cells as well as its software, the dynamic rhythmicities that integrate electro-magnetic discharges along its circuits in response to events occurring inside and outside the skull – the body and its world. In this phase, the material brain in conjunction with the accelerated world with which it is imbricated becomes the site of an ontogenic battle between the forces of normalization and governmentalization on the one hand, and emancipation on the other, with consequences for the processes of individuation and collectivization.

The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: The Cognitive Turn
Organized by Mark Fisher and Warren Neidich

23 – 24 May 2014

We are currently transitioning from an economic system dominated by artisanal and industrial production to one ruled by information with its emphasis on communication, affect and cognition. Not without controversy, the term cognitive capitalism has been coined to describe these new sets of conditions. This symposium continues to pose many of the same questions asked in Part 1, held in Los Angeles in collaboration with California Institute of the Arts and Art Center College of Design, and Part 2, hosted by the ICI-Berlin but with special emphasis on what has been referred to as its ‘cognitive turn’.

Although cognitive capitalism has been investigated quite intensely in relation to such topics as abstract and immaterial labour, informational capital, real and formal subsumption, social production of surplus value, its connection to the brain itself has been so far limited. This symposium will consider the brain from a developmental point of view using such terms as neural plasticity and epigenesis to understand cognitive capitalism in light of theories of extended mind.

The symposium will consider the relationship between the attention economy, the 24/7 demagoguery of the sleepless society always on call, valorization, consumer neuroscience and conditions such as ADD, ADHD, panic disorders, autism, narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. It will utilize experts from archeology, philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and politics to consider whether a new form of anti-psychiatry can be developed for the 21st century. This conference means to inform the theoretical community on all sides of these issues in the hope of producing the epistemological tools necessary to combat the new forms of authoritarian governmentalization now on the horizon.

Confirmed Participants so far: Mark Fisher, Warren Neidich, Franco Berardi, John L. Protevi, Bruce Wexler, Lambros Malafouris, Dimitri Papadopoulos, Amanda Beech, Matt Fuller, Luciana Parisi, Alexei Penzin, Kerstin Stakemeier.