The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital

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Pluto Press, 2018 - Political Science - 208 pages
Written as a wake-up call to the field of media studies, The Message is Murder analyses the violence bound up in the everyday functions of digital media. At its core is the concept of 'computational capital' - the idea that capitalism itself is a computer, turning qualities into quantities, and that the rise of digital culture and technologies under capitalism should be seen as an extension of capitalism's bloody logic.Engaging with Borges, Turing, Claude Shannon, Hitchcock and Marx, this book tracks computational capital to reveal the lineages of capitalised power as it has restructured representation, consciousness and survival in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It argues that the global intensification of inequality relies on the discursive, informatic and screen-mediated production of social difference.Ultimately The Message is Murder makes the case for recognising media communications across all platforms - books, films, videos, photographs and even language itself - as technologies of political economy, entangled with the social contexts of a capitalism that is inherently racial, gendered and genocidal.

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About the author (2018)

Jonathan Beller is professor of humanities and media studies and director of the graduate program of media studies at Pratt Institute, in New York.

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