From left: Alif Ibrahim, Britney Gil, Rob Arcand.

Theorizing the Web Presents: Diminishing Returns

Part of Theorizing the Web Presents
Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 10:00 a.m.

How is wealth created in digital economies? Who profits and who doesn’t? In “Software, Scanners, and Sharecroppers," the first part of this edition of Theorizing the Web Presents, Alif Ibrahim considers workers at the bottom of the digital production chain, who are largely hidden and poorly paid despite being deemed "essential for human culture.” Then, in “Ambient Accumulation,” Rob Arcand uses one band's lucrative prank album on Spotify as the jumping-off point for a discussion about wealth creation that stems from the commodification of digital assets. This episode is moderated by Dr. Britney Gil.

Panelists include Alif Ibrahim (@_alifibrahim), a writer and artist from Indonesia whose work on art, technology and culture has recently appeared on It's Nice That and in Real Life Magazine; and Rob Arcand (@robarcand), a writer, editor, and web developer based in Brooklyn whose work focuses on the relationship between digital platforms and the arts, and who has published work on SPIN, Pitchfork, Vice, The Nation, and elsewhere. He recently completed an M.A. in Computational Media, Arts, and Cultures at Duke University. Britney Gil (@_britneygil) is an audiobook producer and cohost of the podcast Ironweeds. Her writing has appeared in Real Life, Refinery 29, Cyborgology, and The New Inquiry.

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