Sun, 22 May 2022, 13:00 (EST)
Hosted by The Marxist Education Project
We are in the middle of a desirevolution — a fundamental and political transformation of the way we desire as human beings. Perhaps as always, new technologies – with their associated and inherited political biases – are organizing and mapping the future. What we don’t seem to notice is that the primary way in which our lives are being transformed is through the manipulation and control of desire itself.
Our very impulses, drives and urges are ‘gamified’ to suit particular economic and political agendas, changing the way we relate to everything from lovers and friends to food and politicians. Digital technologies are transforming the subject at the deepest level of desire – re-mapping its libidinal economy — in ways never before imagined possible.
From sexbots to smart condoms, fitbits to VR simulators and AI to dating algorithms, the ‘love industries’ are at the heart of the future smart city and the social fabric of everyday life. This book considers these emergent technologies and what they mean for the future of love, desire, work and capitalism.
Alfie Bown is a Lecturer in Digital Media at Royal Holloway University London. He is a founding editor of 1968 Press and his journalism has appeared in Tribune, New Statesman, Paris Review and the Guardian. His other books include The Playstation Dreamworld and Post-Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production.
‘If you want a glimpse into how our desires are manufactured under our new techno-feudal order, and how love can prove our last defense, read Alfie Bown’s Dream Lovers” —Yanis Varoufakis
“Dream Lovers is an exciting, astute analysis of how our capacity for desire and reverie has been slotted into the grooves of digital capitalism, and made to work for profit — from porn to Pokemon”. — Richard Seymour, author of The Twittering Machine