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Memories of the Future

On Countervision


Edited By Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffé

What is a memory of the future? Is it a myth, a fiction of a severed arm, a post-human debate or a broken time machine? In an increasingly insecure future-world there is an urgency to consider and debate these questions. Memories of the Future: On Countervision addresses these concerns by speculating on the connections between memory and futurity in fields such as counter-histories, women’s studies, science fiction, art and design, technology, philosophy and politics. This book reveals how these subjects regenerate at the intersections of vision, counter-cultural production and the former present. The volume links the re-imaginings of memory into the present with topics such as the fever dream allegory of the adolescent social experience, soft technologies of future dress, reinventions of monetary exchange, rekindled subjectivities of school days, and technics and human progression. These countervisions argue against the homogenizing status quo of the present in order to challenge the customs, traditions and conventions of the past and propositions of the future.

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8 The Attention Economy: From Cyber-Time to Cinematic Time (Claudio Celis Bueno)


← 168 | 169 →


8   The Attention Economy: From Cyber-Time to Cinematic Time


The aim of this chapter is to examine the temporality of the attention economy through the prism of Bernard Stiegler’s notion of cinematic time. The attention economy is a concept forged within the field of political economy in order to explain the growing value of attention in a world rich in information.1 The fact that information is acquiring such a crucial role for the productive process implies that the attention necessary to process this information increasingly becomes a scarce resource. At the same time, there seems to be a growing discrepancy between the finite human time required to pay attention to and process the available information, and the inhuman speed at which this information flows and accumulates. This discrepancy has led some authors (Christian Marazzi, Franco Berardi and Jonathan Crary, among others) to argue that the temporality of the attention economy is characterized by the asymmetric relation between cyber- and human time. The problem with this definition of the temporality of the attention economy is that it naturalizes a given notion of human time which is then used to evaluate the detrimental effects of information technologies. Human time is therefore posed as an unquestioned and unproblematic concept, deprived of any sort of historical transformation. Contrary to this definition of the temporality of the attention economy, this paper ← 169 | 170 → uses Bernard Stiegler’s concept of cinematic time in...

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