Conference "Many regimes of capital in the postdigital age"

Country: Poland

City: Warsaw

Abstr. due: 05.04.2020

Dates: 21.05.20 — 22.05.20

Area Of Sciences: Humanities; Arts;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Techno-Humanities Lab, Faculty of "Artes Liberales", University of Warsaw


Capitalism today is gaining new meaning and looking for a new name and new theorethical and practical approaches. In recent decades, philosophers and critical theorists have taken to reconceptualizing the many appearances of Capital: from cognitive, affective, and neoliberal capitalism to computational, necro-, anarcho-, and surveillance-capitalism. These are just several of the ways to name an era marked by the capitalization of nearly everything—work, attention, affect, and even life itself. Along with these attempts to characterize our epoch, new modes of resistance have also been imagined: from alternative modalities of negation and accelerationist pleas for Promeathan transformations of the logic of production to new forms of immanent resistance through situated counter-conduct.

This conference wishes to address not only the varieties of capitalist production today but also whether and to what extent the different manifestations of capitalism are only different types of capital. In other words, is mental and emotional health a commodity in the same sense as the products of our hands and brains are commodities? Does capital therefore have an essence with many different appearances—as suggested, for example, by MacKenzie Wark in Capital is Dead. Is This Something Worse? (2019)? And if capitalism does have an essence, then is it reducible to the permanent expansion of economic transactions to every domain of human and nonhuman activity?

This conference wishes to draw on a wide range of voices—from philosophy and critical theory to experimental arts and design— to interrogate, critique, and reimagine the many regimes of capitalist and post-capitalist production today and in the future.

Proposals are welcome on, but not limited to, the following topics:

What are the differences between the various regimes of capital? Do we find the difference between the model of production (used technology, type of work, division of work, etc.), the regime of accumulation (system of dividing the value into wages, investments, savings, insurance) and the system of regulation of a given capital in these different regimes?
What is the relationship between “emotional capital” and “cognitive capital”? How do cognitive, affective and symbolic elements of capital relate to each-other? 
Does each type of capital develop specific new accumulation mechanisms? What is the accumulation of value today and in what sense do all types of capital come together in Exchange Value?
What does exploitation mean today? What is the main domain of exploitation – innovation, ideas, time, energy, attention devoted to various products?
Innovation can be labour-saving, capital-saving, or neutral depending on its impact on the distribution of income between capital and labour. For Marx, innovation might create a febrile prosperity in short-run, but it would be at the expense of long-run degradation. Innovation and mechanisation depresses the average rate of profit; restoration of the rate of profit requires an increasingly large “reserve army of the unemployed” (redundant population). Does this mean a need to rebel against innovation?
If social and political criticism can no longer be a comfortable and safe occupation of a total point of view, what is critique at all? What is criticism in the field of immanence? Is it just an affirmation of an existing constellation or situation? Is the very imaging of life still capable of an act of resistance?

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