I watched this LCC guest lecture by Lana Swartz as a livestream about a month back, and glad to see it’s finally made its way out to public availability. The basic argument is right there in the title of this post—payment as media—but I wholeheartedly recommend anyone with an interest in the usual theoretical thematics of this blog to take the time to watch it, because the detail is rich and fascinating:
It’s also nice to see a smart and successful scholar who takes the same cram-in-as-much-material-as-possible approach to talks like this as I do myself; here Swartz tears through a huge amount of territory, and I struggled to keep up with my note-taking. Now of course I can rewatch at leisure… but I’ll also be requisitioning the book, which sounds like it will be an utter goldmine for Planritningen research.
It begins. A map can never be a territory, particularly when it comes to writing a book, but nonetheless you need to at least imagine where you think you might be going… and I’ve at least walked some parts of this landscape before, albeit hurriedly and without taking as much time to look around as I’d have liked. Or, to borrow instead from literary concepts: there’s a plot outline here that feels like it might work, but I’m prepared—perhaps even hopeful—for the characters to decide to go in different directions to the ones I currently think best of.
Lots of reading needed to fill the gaps, of course—and that’s what will provoke character rebellion, most likely. But I think I’ve at least bounded what I need to read to tell this story, and can start writing the bits I already have in my head while filling in the gaps.
A first step, long overdue.
science fiction / social theory / infrastructural change / utopian narratology