Franco “Bifo” Berardi
Franco Berardi, aka “Bifo,” founder of the famous “Radio Alice” in Bologna and an important figure of the Italian Autonomia Movement, is a writer, media theorist, and media activist. He currently teaches Social History of the Media at the Accademia di Brera, Milan.
Phenomenology of the End
Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s newest book analyzes the contemporary changes taking place in our aesthetic and emotional sensibility—changes the author claims are the result of semio-capitalism’s capturing of the inner resources of the subjective process: our experience of time, our sensibility, the way we relate to each other, and our ability to imagine a future. Precarization and fractalization of labor have provoked a deep mutation in the psychosphere, and this can be seen in the rise of psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, panic, and attention deficit disorder. Sketching out an aesthetic genealogy of capitalist globalization, Berardi shows how we have arrived at a point of such complexity in the semiotic flows of capital that we can no longer process its excessive currents of information. A swarm effect now rules: it has become impossible to say “no.” Social behavior is trapped in inescapable patterns of interaction coded by techno-linguistic machines, smartphones, screens of every size, and all of these sensory and emotional devices end up destroying our organism’s sensibility by submitting it to the stress of competition and acceleration.
On Poetry and Finance
Semiocapitalism is infiltrating the nervous cells of conscious organisms, inoculating them with a thanato- political rationale, a morbid sentiment which permeates the collective unconscious, culture and sensibility— an obvious effect of sleep deprivation and a patent consequence of the stress placed upon attention. The digital capture of attention and experience has, notably, been the crucial goal of the Google corporation, whose mission is to create the most flexible and dynamic relationship as possible between the Net and the netter, between the machine and the cognitive worker.
The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy
Translated by Francesca Cadel and Mecchia Giuseppina
Preface by Jason E. Smith
Capital has managed to overcome the dualism of body and soul by establishing a workforce in which everything we mean by the Soul—language, creativity, affects—is mobilized for its own benefit. Industrial production put to work bodies, muscles, and arms. Now, in the sphere of digital technology and cyberculture, exploitation involves the mind, language, and emotions in order to generate value—while our bodies disappear in front of our computer screens.