Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons by Matteo Pasquinelli

By Matteo Pasquinelli

In the course of a time while pop stars develop into recognized because of intercourse tapes which were leaked on-line, it's transparent that the net isn't resistant to the draw of the media. but artwork, academia and activism proceed to advertise the net as an untouched utopia. Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons addresses the double commonplace dominating modern media discourse and shatters the myths of inventive commons, unfastened software program and open-source routine, suggesting that "free tradition" is an monetary parasite siphoning funds via peer-to-peer networks. Theorist and electronic fetishist Matteo Pasquinelli makes use of the metaphor of the animal body--which Paul Virilio has characterised as instinctual and reactionary--to counter what he sees as a capitalist exploitation of collective imagery, calling for a thorough new realizing of the forces at paintings in the back of the electronic financial system and cultural construction.

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Indd 33 02-12-2008 13:42:30 animal spirits After various simplistic and theoretically unsound interpretations of immaterial labour and general intellect, especially within Anglo-American academia, Virno finally provides a disenchanted dimension for those concepts. Collective intelligence is the ambivalent exoskeleton of the species: at once the basis for institutions of the common and an extension of humanity’s inborn aggressiveness. Virno advances the picture of what may be called a bicephalous nature of politics, where the biological evil is part of the institutional good, where logos travels always with its own peculiar hubris.

However, this ‘ambivalence’ is not another binary opposition, but actually a consequence of deeply asymmetrical and contradictory forces. The ambivalence of nature is never symmetrical. The arrow of surplus-value and energy, desire and power, exploitation and accumulation always flows in one direction, forming a ternary vector. What puritan radicalism can also not tolerate is a ternary element that disturbs the harmony of its binary world. Michel Serres captures the asymmetry of universal life in the conceptual figure of the parasite.

28 Instead of celebrating the animal spirits in another desiring revival, it is more interesting to see how the figure of the animal has been used historically to condense those natural instincts that resist the matrix of ordinary power. Instead of establishing a further animalism, an animal mythology to condense frustrated and alienated energies (as the animal rights ideology often functions), it is more useful to investigate how natural instincts are part of the material basis of contemporary production, even in its more ‘immaterial’ and technology-based forms.

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