This handsome dual language book published in response to a new film work by Harun Farocki arrived at my home last week. The book, edited by Nina Montmann, features an essay I wrote some time ago and have presented previously in various forms. I think this is the most developed version, I’ve posted it here: https://saladofpearls.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/capitalist-limits-from-the-probability-of-exhaustion-to-the-exhaustion-of-probability/
The editors and designers have made a great job of bridging the tricky language divide. I’ve always liked books which start with a text on the front cover. Farocki’s film, A New Product, which was the occasion for the publication of the reader, is great, pithy and hilarious. A trailer can be viewed above. More info about the book below.
Brave New Work / Schöne Neue Arbeit
A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product,
Edited by Nina Möntmann
With essays by Dirk Baecker, Diedrich Diederichsen, Mark Fisher, Anthony Iles, Nina Möntmann, Nina Power, Andreas Rumpfhuber
Published by Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Verlag der Buchandlung Walther König, February 2014.
After 30 years of neo-liberalism, the meaning and structure of work have changed radically. With the market as the organising principle of state and society, capital no longer utilises the products of workers’ labour power, but directly targets the whole personality, social behaviour, energy and lifestyle.
How we will work in the future and who has the power to decide the answer to that question are the subjects of Harun Farocki’s film Ein neues Produkt (A New Product, 2012). The film follows a team of management consultants as they develop a new consulting product, exposing, amidst flip charts and models, the psychological and ideological mechanisms of contemporary management culture.
The essays in this reader take up the topics broached by the film, exploring the spatial planning models of immaterial labour; the history of ergonomics and its social implications; the influence of management consulting on corporations; power shifts since Taylorism; the process by which the economic has continuously expanded to encompass the social; the physical aspect of immaterial labour; and the pointlessness of post-Fordist labour, culminating in the fundamental awkwardness of the office as workplace.
English and German text.