Magda Tyżlik-Carver (UK)

SUSTAINABILITY OF LABOUR WITHIN ORGANIZED NETWORKS

Since the introduction of the concept of organised networks as new institutional forms in network capitalism (Rossiter 2006), organized networks’ ‘capacity to become organized’ has been proposed as the potential for transformation. According to Rossiter it is labour power that needs to be transformed from its ‘individualized’ form to that of ‘a singularity with networked capacities’. It is within this ‘capacity to become organized’ that the issue of sustainability is implicit. Rossiter asserts that a plan for sustainability is required as part of a strategy for organised networks. However sustainability for networks refers to the multi-layered conditions – economic, social, political, technological, etc. – that place networks and get them to operate within capitalism. It is by articulating politics, based on the ‘labour-power’ understood as a ‘force’ and ‘pure potential’ to work against capital’s alienating tendencies, that organised networks will be able to sustain their influence in shaping network conditions of labour. Thus the important problem of sustainability for organised networks within network capitalism is to develop a kind of strategy where it is possible to sustain creative and indeed any kind of labour outside of the capital relations of power and labour exploitation by the way of re-organisation of labour.

This paper will take the example of playing practice – a curatorial project based on collaborative research, which is formed as a small socio-technological network – as the basis on which to consider the potential of organized network to organise labour. Taking into consideration the complex and multi-layered composition of playing practice as an organised network which includes relations between social and technological, space and time, temporal and durational as well as specific link between what Rossiter calls ‘constitutive outside’ and immanent conditions within the network, I will try to articulate the political dimensions within the network. This paper will also address the changing role of the curator within network cultures and will speculate further on what Joasia Krysa terms as ‘curating for networks’ (Krysa 2008; 2006).

References:
Krysa, J. (2008) “Curating after the Net”. After the Future [festival catalogue] Valencian Artistic Investigation Festival Observatori 2008
Krysa, J. ed. (2006) Curating Immateriality. The Work of the Curator in the Age of Network Systems. New York: Autonomedia (DATA Browser 03)
Rossiter, N. (2006) Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions, Rotterdam: NAi Publisher, Institute of Network Cultures.