Ojos y capital
Within the contemporary primacy of seeing via screens, experience is increasingly sustained within logics that dissolve old forms of collectivity and quantitatively condition new regimes of value and recognition of the other. Eyes and Capital suggests that the system becomes perverted setting in play two substantial gains: power over technological management of visibility as a guarantee of existence and value (eyes as a new currency); and involvement in what we deliver up in the networks, more or less consciously, contributing to new forms of domination and colonization of the gaze. And, although the inequality of the “non-seen”, of the excluded and non-conformists, permits today an appropriation of the net to bring into view zones of shadow and of the precariousness of what has traditionally remained outside the frame, this also shows up the illusion of a net-culture where the machine and its mechanisms have been made “invisible” to us through their ever-presentness and excess. Indeed, conflicts in our times make use not only of speedy online mobilization, but of the paralysis derived from infinite distances that makes it possible to see through technology as a new habitat, the blindness of seeing the “now” with no rest and no blinking, in a symptomatic crisis –or perhaps established status- of attention. It is a matter of urgency to understand the individual, whose life confronts the risk that this excess will have the effect of switching off our conscience.
This essay about the present and the net-culture, in its questioning of identity through visuality and the economy, cuts through concepts such as shadow, disappearance, representation, value, wastefulness, reciprocity, moral loop, capitalism and feminization, throwing into question the existing forms of value creation and new collectivity in the networks (what is to become of ethical and political links). This essay threatens to “lick the eyes”.
Remedios Zafra is a writer and professor of Art and Digital Culture at the University of Seville. She taught Politics of the Gaze at the Carlos III University of Madrid (2010-2014), directed the platform X0y1 for research and art practice on identity and network culture (2009-2014) and has run outstanding cultural projects on Gender and Cyberspace over the last twelve years. As an author, her books include: (h)adas. Mujeres que crean, programan, prosumen, teclean; Un cuarto propio conectado. (Ciber)Espacio y (auto)gestión del yo; #Despacio; Lo mejor (no) es que te vayas; and Netianas. N(h)acer mujer en Internet. Her essay work, geared to the critical study of Contemporary Culture and Feminist Studies and of Gender Identity, has been translated into Italian and English and has achieved important recognition, through the following awards: Premio Meridiana de Cultura 2014; Premio de las Letras El Público 2013; Premio Málaga de Ensayo 2013; Premio de Comunicación de la Associació de Dones Periodistes de Catalunya 2010; Premio de Ensayo Caja Madrid 2004; Premio de Investigación de la Cátedra Leonor de Guzmán 2001 and Premio de Ensayo Carmen de Burgos 2000.