[csaa-forum] Fibreculture Journal: Precarious Labour

Brett Neilson B.Neilson at uws.edu.au
Thu Oct 13 20:24:51 CST 2005

Fibreculture Journal - issue 5

"Multitudes, Creative Organisation and the Precarious Condition of 
New Media Labour"
Edited by Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter

Broadly speaking, this issue of Fibreculture Journal is interested in 
the problem of political organisation as it relates to the 
overlapping spheres of labour and life within post-Fordist, networked 
settings. It's becoming increasingly clear that multiple forms of 
exclusion and exploitation within the media and cultural industries 
run along the lines of gender, ethnicity, age, and geography. New 
forms of class division are emerging whose locus of tension can be 
attributed to the ownership and control of information.

The mobile capacity of information corresponds, in many instances, 
with the flexible nature of work across many sectors of the media and 
cultural industries. And it is precisely the informatisation of 
social relations that makes political organisation such a difficult - 
even undesireable - undertaking for many. Without recourse to 
traditional institutions such as the union, new technics of 
organisation are required if the common conditions of exploitation 
are to be addressed and transformed.

Precarious labour practices generate new forms of subjectivity and 
connection, organised about networks of communication, cognition, and 
affect. These new forms of cooperation and collaboration amongst 
creative labourers contribute to the formation of a new socio-
technical and politico-ethical multitude. The contemporary multitude 
is radically dissimilar from the unity of "the people" and the 
coincidence of the citizen and the state. What kinds of creative 
organisation are specific to precarious labour in the era of 
informatisation? How do they connect (or disconnect) to existing 
forms of institutional life? And how can escape from the 
subjectification of precarious labour be enacted without nostalgia 
for the social state or utopian faith in the spontaneity of auto-
organisation? These are some of the key questions the articles 
gathered here set out to addresss.

This issue is launched just months, perhaps, after memes such as the 
"multitude" and "precarity" have reached their high point. We find 
that it is all the more instructive to be publishing this collection 
of articles at such a time, since the urgency to organise is greatest 
when the novelty of slogans begins to flat-line, when routine and 
fatigue perhaps kick in again. Such occasions mark a transition 
period of regeneration and imagination, of working out what works and 
what doesn't in order to gather resources and begin the creative 
composition of living labour.


"From Precarity to Precariousness and Back Again: Labour, Life and 
Unstable Networks"
Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter

"On the Life and Deeds of San Precario, Patron Saint of Precarious 
Workers and Lives"
Ilaria Vanni and Marcello Tarì

"A Playful Multitude? Mobilising and Counter-Mobilising Immaterial 
Game Labour"
Greig de Peuter and Nick Dyer-Witheford

"Precarious Playbour: Modders and the Digital Games Industry"
Julian Kücklich

"Postcard from the Edge: Autobiographical Musings on the Dis/
organisations of the Multimedia Industry"
Linda Leung

"Speculations on a Marxist theory of the Virtual Revolution"
Bob Hodge and Gabriela Coronado

"Learning and Insurgency in Creative Organisations"
Paul Newfield and Timothy Rayner

"Dawn of the Organised Networks"
Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter


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