Very pleased to announce imminent publication of new Rizosfera eBook in both Spanish and English. I hope these texts will provide a glimpse into a continuing project I have tried to encapsulate under the heading of Experience Capitalism. This term stresses the importance of a political inclination toward the management and intensification of the so-called user experience. The outcome of this tendency is twofold: (a) it draws attention to a neurological-somatic shift from the management of efficient cognition (perception, attention, memory etc.), toward previously marginalized affects, feelings and emotions, and (b), necessitates a critical theory and philosophy of experience, alert to such trends in digital labour.
The first text is taken from The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (Minnesota UP, 2016). It sets out a theoretical frame intended to trace the trajectory of Experience Capitalism from ergonomics and cognitive science toward the intensification of the collective dynamic of user experience. The second text, taken from A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media (Polity, 2020), extends this critical frame by sketching out a Whiteheadian philosophy of experience. In addition to these two chapters, there is an interview with Jernej Markelj, currently based at the University of Amsterdam. This text was first published in The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory (2020) and provides a rangy discussion on contagion theory, interestingly captured in the context of the first COVID-19 lockdown. There is also a dialogue with N Katherine Hayles, initially published in Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry (2018). This conversation locates the Assemblage Brain thesis in a converging and diverging spiral of relation to Hayles’s Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Unconscious (University of Chicago, 2017). We have also included some somnambulist illustrative diagrams by the artist Mikey Georgeson, extracted from A Sleepwalker’s Guide. More to follow: https://viralcontagion.blog/books/