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The Search Drive : A Hack-ography
COGNITIVE ACTIVISM understands, first and foremost, that the doctrines, apparatuses, and means for achieving political resistance, including street demonstrations and sit-ins, were invented in the late 19th century and early 20th century. They were based on responses to labor practices and conditions associated with industrial capitalism or Fordism such as repetition, boredom, low pay, and poor working conditions. Post-industrial capitalism creates a very different series of stresses within labor. This now takes place on computer terminals and includes: precarity, real subsumption, software substitution for lower-end and less-skilled jobs, work replacement technology, fragmented worker scripts, exacerbated income inequality, and code-generated surplus value. Recently, there has emerged a materialist component to cognitive capitalism in which what is at stake is the premeditated institutional sculpting of the brain’s neural plasticity.
Cognitive activism is a call for the creation of new set of strategies, in addition to those already in use by the proletariat, with which to combat the dispositifs of control and normalization faced by the cognitariat in our accelerated age of the anthropocene. It is at this intersection between the Information and Knowledge economy, the entertainment industry, and cognitive neuroscience that this book The Search Drive: A Hackography begins. Warren Neidich uses real and fictive software programs to search himself on the web and by doing so creates what he calls a hackography or new form of autobiography. Each generation tooled with new technologies of the self creates its own stories and narrations. This book is a series of screen shots made during the projection of this video work. It includes essays by Franco Berardi, Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield, Bik Van der Pol, Andrew Berardini and Charles T. Wolfe.