Wednesday, March 28, 2012

coding the self

This post first appeared on Myspace, Jan 3, 2004.

These over-HTML'd myspace profile pages are as intriguing as they are annoying...the rush to say everything about oneself, all at once, in a concatenation, nay, an explosion! of pictures and visual motifs (and/or a song, while the text, by contrast, becomes barely legible), a kind of hysterical insistence, identity by proxy, as though a list of favorite movies were not already enough to flatten subjectivity into a display of effects. There is in this rush, this hysteria, a certain honesty. Overwhelm me with your truth! And when you do, thankfully, there will be nothing left to desire and no speech.


  1. "It seems to me that Facebook, et al., represent capital’s current attempt to reconcile the productivity of subjectivity with capitalism and neutralize the liberatory potential inherent in that productivity. Social media allow us to expand our identity and the amount of work we can sink into it without that work prompting an escape from or an elaboration of alternative to capitalist relations. At the same time, that flow of work becomes increasingly deployable by capital to make profit as it sees fit even as it retains its unique meaningfulness for the worker. In other words, social media compel labor not through wages but through the promise of apparent self-actualization." -Rob Horning, Facebook and living labor

  2. More from Rob Horning that reminded me of this old "coding the self" post: 23 Ways To Deskill The Self