(IM)material Labour

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude, p.113:

In general, the hegemony of immaterial labor tends to transform the organization of production from the linear relationship of the assembly line to the innumerable and indeterminate relationships of distributed networks. Information, communication and cooperation become the norms of production, and the network becomes its dominant form of organization. The technical systems of production therefore correspond closely to its social composition: on one side the technological networks and on the other the cooperation of social subjects put to work. … The central forms of productive cooperation are no longer created by the capitalist as part of the project to organize labor but rather emerge from the productive energies of labor itself. This is indeed the key characteristic of immaterial labor: to produce communication, social relations, and cooperation.

Of course, sport provides a unique case in which we see both material and immaterial labour — the very real physicality of the athletic competition itself as well as the information and messages it instantly produces. "Much like the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings chaotically, then, [a sporting movement] triggers a maelstrom of events globally, the sum of which serve to sustain the sportocratic apparatus." » resample


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