Two books arrived in the mail yesterday. Ken Wark sent me a copy of Gamer Theory, which is totally cool. Plus I received a reviewer’s copy of Alexander Galloway’s Protocol. I quite enjoyed his Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture and I have been captivated by the 20 or so pages I have briefly read, lots of similar influences to my work. My interest is in understanding how or if Galloway rearticulates ‘control’ as a poststructuralist problematic of power. So, for example, Foucault examined the conditions of truth for discursive regimes of trans-institutional power relations in their silent emergence and durability as events (phew!). The issue at stake is not so much structurations of power — that has been done to death, and is slightly obvious — but specifically how contingency is incorporated into mobile power relations that may have once existed as structurated institutional power relations. Already I read Galloway as explicitly arguing along the opposite line; that is, he argues against the myth of the internet as being some sort of space of freedom. So if ‘freedom’ is actually produced as a conduit of governance within protocol, then how does this function in new institutions? It would be something like the capacity of new flexible or mobile infrastructures or institutional forms that anticipate and capture contigencies either through actuarial modes of governance or social/spatial/temporal/cultural/technological-threshold-based distributions of material-energetic populations.

2 replies on “books”

  1. Hi Glen,

    Funny that you should mention Gamer Theory and Protocol. I just happened to read both last week, and loved them. The material on control in intriguing indeed. Do send along your review of the latter whenever it’s out.

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