Note — Dec 13, 2020

An Interview with McKenzie Wark

Seen in → No.154

Source → believermag.com/logger/an-interview-with-mckenz...

Excellent interview with McKenzie Wark, partly about her new book Sensoria: Thinkers for the 21st Century but also about her work, hackers and vectoralists, education, transdisciplinarity, and how “[t]o understand the Anthropocene is to begin untangling the way this new economic mode is shaping our societies and planet, how algorithms and other-than-human processes are co-producing a reality we set into motion but have little control over.”

Note the part on the “other-than-human” vision where Wark explains her inclusion in Sensoria of chapters specifically to “point out that there are other parts of modernity [coming] out of indigenous and non-metropolitan cultures,” which I find especially open-minded and highlights an important challenge; finding “a way of reconnecting the technical infrastructures the world runs on to a world that perceives nature as more [than from] which to extract.”

Class, she argued, is now being organized through relationships with intellectual property, divvying up “hackers” who produce that intellectual property and the “vectoralists” who eventually own it. In 2019 Wark continued this line of thought with Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse? further delineating how a new ruling class, without owning the means of production, have come to dominate the world through data harvesting, patents, brands, and copyrights. […]

It’s kind of this massive privatization of knowledge, culture, feeling, and it’s not just Google. Everything you interact with now is extracting that in one way or another. […]

[W]e don’t have a way of reconnecting the technical infrastructures the world runs on to a world that perceives nature as more [than from] which to extract. But there could be other forms of organization than this one we ended up in.