The Social Production of Radical Space: Machinic Labor Struggles Against Digital Spatial Abstractions – Capital & Class – article

The Social Production of Radical Space: Machinic Labor Struggles Against Digital Spatial Abstractions

Marco Briziarelli | Capital & Class

2019-11-19

In this paper we revive Lefebvre’s perspective on the production of space contextualized within the recent debate on digital capitalism, and we explore the antagonism between capital and labor from a distinctive spatial and connective perspective: by examining the tension between the production of digital abstract space in the context of machines and computational automation, and the powerful push backs of embodied labor struggles of gig-economy workers advancing alternative connective strategies. Digital Connectivity creates a sphere that facilitates the post-Fordist subsumption of lived into abstract space, as well as usevalue into exchange value by re-organizing space in delivery logistical venues and by quantifying, measuring and automatizing logistical tasks, thus closing/interlocking social relations around capitalist expansion objectives; on the other hand, the inherent relational-connective logic of (digital) mediation — i.e. the machinic condition of co-production of value — also opens up to alternative directions. We concentrate on the role played by workers in mediating principles of alternative-connectivity against the general tendency of casualization of work in the gig/digital economy. Based on the present analysis, we point to the theoretical and political challenge to dialectically identify when and how the very machinic combination of digital technology and human agency that facilitates capital accumulation also provides conditions for re-appropriation and self-determination.

Bookmark

Your comment

Scroll to Top