Aesthetic Organization of Semiocapitalism and its Political Consequences

A Seminar with Franco Berardi

The seminar is based on the long time research on the ongoing social and political mutation by Franco Berardi and his forthcoming book AND – PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE END where he draws some provoking conclusions of his thinking: we are approaching the end. But the end of what? The seminar traces the aesthetic functioning of semiocapitalism, that is, the processes and techniques of organizing sensibility and embedding cognitive and emotional automatism at the deep level of perception, imagination and desire. How  does the transition from industrial capitalism to semiocapitalism affect the field of aesthetic sensibility and emotional sensitivity and what are the consequences for social becoming? What is the difference between conjunctive and connective modes of social communication? What happens to the body of general intellect? What happens to our singular ways of becoming? How can a new social form come into existence when nothing new seems possible? What is the next game? What is the end game? What is the and game?

“In a rhizome there is no beginning and no end…This is why I’m writing this phenomenology of the end. There is no end. One may take this assertion as a source of endless despair, one may take this assertion as a source of endless hope. Both would be on a wrong path. Do not get me wrong, I don’t pretend to know what is good and what is bad. I am not hopeful I’m not hopeless because phenomenology is an infinite task, so the phenomenology of the end is an interminable text. I decide to stop here because my life is not endless, and I’m approaching the end, but I know that I’m not stopping concatenating: and and and… The end is the mutation, and the way it happens.”

Franco Berardi: Humanism and automation
Franco Berardi and Akseli Virtanen: From arbitrary power to morphogenesis


MONDAY 7.4.2014, 14:00-18:00 (Room 5005, 5th floor, Aalto University, Arabia, Hämeentie 135C)

Sensitive Info-sphere – Genealogy of the skin – Emotion in cybertime – Desensibilization – Frail psychosphere

Global skin – Homelessness and identity – Becoming American – Sin and pleasure – The sad flesh – Frigid sublimity – Videoporn and vanishing body – Wreckage of communism and psychic depression – Japanese disidentification – Nervous breakdown – Connectivity and suidice in South Korea

Aesthetic genealogy of capitalism – Capitalism and semiocapitalism – global imagination and baroque – Truth and measure – Puritanism and virtualization – Neo-baroque of semiocapitalism – Deregulation – Iconophobia – Truth effectiveness of iconocracy

Audio Day 1 / Part 1

Audio Day 1/ Part 2


TUESDAY 8.4.2014, 14:00-18:00 (Room 5010, 5th floor, Aalto University, Arabia, Hämeentie 135C)

Money, language, poetry – Emancipation of the sign – Financial abstraction – Floating values – Futurist mythology – Language, rhythm, respiration – Composition and recombination

Avatars of general intellect – Abstract labour and general intellect in Marx – Figures of modern intellectual – Cyber-time and the expansion of capitalism – The intellectual, the merchant, the worrier – Cognitarians – The artist, the engineer, the economist – Virtual utopia – The soul at work

The swarm effect – Absolute capitalism – Governnance – Complexity, chaos, meaning – Swarm/connectivity – Collapse and subjectivation

Audio Day 2 /Part 1

Audio Day 2 / Part 2


WEDNESDAY 9.4.2014, 15:00-19:00 (Room 5022, 5th floor, Aalto University, Arabia, Hämeentie 135C)

Subjectivation – Social morphogenesis and neuro-plasticity – Cognitive mutation and the brain – Affection and language – The mind’s we – Subindividual and supercollective – Structure and machine – Chaosmic spasm – Social morphogenisis after the end of democracy – Capitalism as double bind – Generation by schism

Transhuman – Humanism as indetermination – Dismantlement of social civilization – History and evolution – Transhuman utopia – Self as access to the register of time – Discrete continuum

In the horizon of mutation – Capturing attention – the map captures the territory – Swarm experience – Neuro-totalitarianism in the making – Resisting mutation? – Morphogenetic vibration in neuromagma – Art, sensibility and neuroplasticity

Audio Day 3 / Part 1


Franco Berardi, also known as “Bifo”, is an Italian philosopher and organizational activist who decided to do his doctoral studies in Finland with us – he wanted to “become a doctor before I die”, he said :).  “And – Phenomenology of the End” is his manuscript for a doctoral dissertation. For quite some time he has been working closely together with Mollecular organization and Future Art Base in using contemporary art and contemporary artistic practices as examples, tools and inspiration of how to rethink the concept of economy and practices of social organization in the semiocapitalist context. Bifo is the founder of the legendary magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free radio station in Italy (1976-1978). Involved in the political movement of Autonomia in Italy during the 1970’s, he fled to Paris where he worked with Felix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. During the 1980’s he contributed to the magazines Semiotexte (New York), Chimerees (Paris), Metropoli (Rome) and Musica 80 (Milan). In the 1990’s he published Mutazione e Ciberpunk (Genoa, 1993), Cibernauti (Rome, 1994) and was the co-founder of the e-zine In the last decade he has published for example: Finance and Poetry (2013 Semiotexte) Félix (Palgrave McMillan London 2008) and The Soul at Work (Semiotexte, Los Angeles 2010), Precarious Rhapsody (London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires 2009), Tietotyö ja prekaari mielentila [Infolabour and precarious states of mind], Tutkijaliitto, Helsinki 2006. “And – a Phenomenology of the End” will be published by n-1 Publication in the end of 2014.

The seminar is organized by:
Mollecular organization
Future Art Base
n-1 Publications
Department of Art, Aalto University

Further information and reading material:
tel +358504092327
tel +358504369005

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