immaterial labour

What is this thing?

Introduction

The digital touch: Craft-work as immaterial labour and ontological accumulation

Introduction

What is a paper on the resurgence of handicrafts doing in a special journal issue on digital labour? How could this most manual, pre-industrial form of labours be elucidated within a theoretical framework (autonomist Marxism) that begins with the pervasiveness of immaterial labour? What does the pre-capitalist practice of craft-work have to do with late capitalism, even post-capitalism?

Is capitalism dying out?

The Austrian born but French writing social philosopher and author André Gorz’s (1923-2007) important book The immaterial: Knowledge, value and capital is now available in English. The leftist radical post-Marxist theorist originally wrote the book in French, entitled L’immateriel. Connaissance, valeur et capital, five years before the international financial crisis hit the world in 2008.

Immaterial and affective labour: Explored

One of the important points of departure for us as the editors of this special issue was the hypothesis that, whilst the concepts of immaterial and affective labour – as theorised primarily by Maurizio Lazzarato, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri – succeed, to a certain extent, in describing real and existing tendencies, their analyses have taken particular forms of this labour as the de facto ‘advanced’ forms of all the others. This has been the case to the extent that their particular (and singular) characteristics become imposed upon the rest.

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