September 15, 2009
There is a convergence here. In the last half-century, media and media machines have increasingly become the means of production. Hardt and Negri (among others) have argued that immaterial or communicative labor is the new dominant form of labor (dominant in terms of tendency not number), and this labor primarily produces knowledge, images, and affects. For instance, communicative laborers involved in bringing a pair of athletic shoes to market, do this using computers, specialized languages, images, and other media in order to produce media that make up the product “shoes.” As a commodity, “shoes” is something more or other than its mere material self. If media today are the means of production used by the dominant labor forms, then media theorists such as Carey and Kittler are today’s Marxists.